Among each green leaf and delicate petal of Highgrove Gardens, squirrels dart, wrens warble, and 40,000 visitors a year flock to Highgrove Gardens. Dispersed across the lawns or sitting nestled amongst hidden alcoves, people come to enjoy a peaceful moment away from modern life and revel in the harmonious sights and sounds of the quintessential English garden.
It is this enchanting environment that has provided us with inspiration for our recent collaboration with Highgrove. Read on as we look at the story of the estate, the foundations of our new collection, and the reason our two businesses are so perfectly aligned.
The Story of Highgrove
Highgrove is the beloved family home of Their Majesties King Charles III and The Queen Consort. Set in the idyllic Gloucestershire countryside, it’s known for its exceptional gardens. When HRH Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales bought the Highgrove Estate in 1980, the gardens consisted of little more than a cobbled path, a deserted kitchen garden, and a few thorn bushes. Since then, the grounds have been a treasured personal project and a labour of love. And so… with their hands in the soil, heads in the sun, and hearts with nature, The King and the gardeners at Highgrove have transformed the meticulously manicured gardens into a rich haven of flora and fauna: an oasis for life founded on the principles of organic horticulture.
Highgrove Gardens covers 15 acres in total and comprises a varied collection of six luxuriant landscapes, from the genteel Sundial Garden to the untamed beauty of the Wildflower Meadow. You can enjoy an unforgettable tour of the extraordinary gardens, led by one of Highgrove’s expert garden guides.
The Wildflower Meadow at Highgrove
The Wildflower Meadow at Highgrove was originally hand sown with a seed mix known as 'the Gloucestershire Farmer's Nightmare’ in 1982. The 32-species seed mix was created by world famous zoologist, naturalist, and academic Dame Miriam Rothschild and contains a selection of annuals that were once common in cornfields. Rothschild was passionate about wildflower conservation and promotion and believed that ‘people really do benefit from contact with plants, animals, birds, and butterflies. Without them we are a deprived species.’ Since then, the meadow has become a species-rich landscape that evolves in harmony with the seasons and is widely perceived as one of the most picturesque gardens at Highgrove.
As the sun washes over The Wildflower Meadow, the sugar-frost coat of winter melts from the grass. The meadow grass grows to Jurassic heights, pheasants sprinting like road runners as they celebrate the arrival of Spring. ‘Lent Lily’ and ‘Ice Follies’ daffodils burgeon forth. Yellow rattle keeps the grasses cropped and more than seven types of orchid thrive in the soil.
The careful wild cultivation of the meadow suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway, a balance between our desire to create order out of the chaos and the beauty of nature’s freedom. The meadow’s life cycle is maintained by cutting in the summer for hay and is grazed by sheep between September and October who tread the wildflower seed back into the ground. As a result of this management, the seed rich green hay introduces new species each year, making the meadow a lavish habitat for wildlife and viridescent flora and fauna.
The Wildflower Meadow was named as the first of 60 Coronation Meadows in a project initiated by HM King Charles III in 2012 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation.
Halcyon Days’ Wildflower Meadow Collection is the result of a close collaboration with Highgrove Gardens. The symbiosis between the values of our company and Highgrove is unrivalled, both sharing in a commitment to nurture the best of British and work in traditional ways. Halcyon Days products are entirely handcrafted in England and are made using locally sourced materials.
This divine collection comprises English fine bone china, tea and dinnerware, silk accessories, and an enamel box. Adorned with forget-me-nots, buttercups, red clovers, and ceanothus, it reflects the untamed beauty and ever-changing canvas of the Wildflower Meadow at Highgrove, ushering the warm and hazy days of Spring and Summer into your home.
The Prince’s Foundation
For the past 35-years, King Charles III has continued His stewardship of the natural world and taken an active role in championing positive change through this organisation The Prince’s Foundation.
The Prince’s Foundation aims to provide a more sustainable future through a series of diverse programmes of education and training for all backgrounds. Their work cultivates a heritage-led regeneration of key skills and local trades which enable the people who practice them to thrive and flourish. Halcyon Days shares in the foundation’s values of preserving traditional modes of craftmanship and sustainable manufacturing. Our handmade production facilities remain in the traditional home of English pottery in Stoke-on-Trent. A portion of all sales of the Wildflower Meadow collection will be donated to The Prince’s Foundation to aid in their work.