Prince Charles is hosting a garden party this week, in his own back yard and those of two neighbouring historic houses. In keeping with the theme of sustainability, there were some very special garden initiatives on display, including HRH's own royal vegetable garden (which was looking rather scruffy, just like everyone else's does right now).
The Future Cities Garden is an eclectic and stylish display of edible, medicinal, ornamental and just plain amazing plants. It shows how one can get high yields of vegetables in small spaces and how creative it's possible to be.
The three organic and spiritual gardeners and growers and designers who created the display have used recycled containers, such as these cooking oil tins and gone vertical as well, using a step ladder as shelves for the herbs which are planted in old tomato tins.
Vertical gardening takes up less space and is very flexible as to location. Consider this for an apartment balcony. It is a herb garden, planted in old javex bottles, with an irrigation system built in from rain water collection.
This old door has never looked so good: it's a platform for growing lettuce. And the runner beans beside look pretty happy too.
A new use for the old office filing cabinet. A home for ginger stalks, surrounded by french runner beans and cucumber plants.
Getting children involved is key to the future of the environmental movement.These girls are giving out pots of seedlings as part of the One Pot Pledge. It's a programme to encourage people to grow their own food by signing up to grow just one edible plant this year. Garden Organic, UK's leading organic growing charity, has been spearheading this campaign to get people to get their hands into the soil; "there's no better way to get connected to food than by growing some."
Here's one delightful school project that has involved local school children and neighbours in the King's Cross area of London. The Skip Garden is a self-sustaining vegetable garden that can be moved from site to site. It is part of Global Generation's network of rooftop and ground level sites that bring together people in the area and teach them to build gardens and a sustainable future.
Here's another of Garden Organic's bug-a-boos: a bug house. It's a refuge for bugs such as ladybirds, lacewing, mason bees and butterflies which are so essential to the growth of gardens. You can make your own using old bricks, bamboo and pieces of wood. Or you can buy one.
The Royal Vegetable Garden
The royal vegetable garden is looking a little bit worse for the wear, and eating. Just like everyone's garden at this time of the year: not much left and pretty scruffy.
Clarence House: Prince Charles' Residence
The royal residence: Clarence House is a 19th century white stucco building, with a lovely lavender and rose garden, planted in honour of the late Queen Mother in 2004. It was originally laid out in the 1660's for King Charles II. A long historical tradition continues and grows with new ideas and old values. A big cheer for putting on this lengthy and lovely garden party.
More on Prince Charles' Garden Party
Prince Charles is Partying and TreeHugger was There
Brit's Take the One Pot Pledge
Prince Charles is Having a Party
Prince on Tour for Sustainability
Prince Charles Tell us to Get Woolly Again