Image from the Telegraph
Allotment gardens are the new new--everyone wants one. And why not--the word is out that growing your own vegetables is healthier, cheaper and more delicious. Michele Obama has one, and now Queen Elizabeth, always a frugal woman, has her own on the grounds of Buckingham Palace.
In a move reminiscent of the Victory Gardens during the War, an organic vegetable patch 10 X 8 yards has been created where a whole range of vegetables are being grown. These include runner beans, sweetcorn, beets, carrots and an endangered species of climbing French beans called Blue Queen.
In fact there seem to be a whole bunch of regally themed vegetables. In association with Garden Organic, heritage seeds are being grown. There is a round bed made up of concentric circles that includes the tomato varieties Golden Queen, Queen of Hearts and White Queen, lettuce Northern Queen and dwarf French bean Royal Red. The vegetables will be served to the Royal family for dinner, with the first crop of strawberries already in.
Her majesty's garden will be organic, with liquid seaweed used instead of chemical fetilizers and garlic to keep away the aphids (does that really work?). The vegetables are hand watered (!). The water will come from the borehole which was dug a few years ago. Mulch will be supplied from her compost.
The Queen is not new to the green theme. With or without the influence of her son, Prince Charles, she has already instituted changes at her summer retreat, Balmoral, in Scotland. She has a small hydro-electric plant developed on a stream in the estate forest that generates enough to supply electricity to the 1,000 residents in the area with the excess sold to the national grid. All the woodlands are registered with the Forestry Stewardship Council and serious recycling takes place.
There were vegetables grown at the Palace in 1918; there is a picture of the turnip harvest in the YouTube clip above. During the second World War vegetables were grown at Windsor Castle, in support of the Victory Garden campaign.
The gardens at the Palace are the largest private gardens in London, at 40 acres. Apparently there are more than 350 different wildflowers and 30 bird species. The Telegraph