Wandering in a Royal Garden

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”-Marcus Tullius Cicero

Yesterday I took a day trip to the Sandrigham Estate and Gardens. It was my first time visiting the holiday grounds of the royal family. It’s been in the family since the 1800s, an area they retreat to at least every Christmas. The museum was full of old cars and golf carts the family have been driven in. The house includes old hunting rifles, gifts given from leaders of various nations, and other bits and bobs artifacts. Nobody was allowed to take photos in the home, or even allowed to have their phone on silent. The contents in the home were so precious that every opportunity to capture it electronically was seized.

I couldn’t help but think it’s great this is immortalized for us to see, but if all this is kept in our family it would be described as junk. We wouldn’t have the space to hold generations worth of stuff. Nor would we really want to? Why are we paying to look at other people’s stuff? Simply because they are royalty?

What was worth the trip was the beauty of the gardens. There were expansive grounds filled with a variety of trees, and people of all ages walking in peace and wonder. There were adults with developmental disabilities being pushed in wheelchairs, encouraged by their parents or caregivers to listen to the trees whistling in the wind or to spot the flowers blossoming as the weather shifts to autumn. Walkways led to a church on the grounds and even a jolly Buddha statue.

We journeyed in a van further down the road, where for a small price you can pick your own apples. Families and couples delighted in grabbing for apples or at the queue bottles of cider. People walked away with more bags of apples than they can eat or cook with in the next few weeks. People got carried away with the joy of picking their own fruit in nature versus a grocery store aisle.

The treasures the estate offer were not in the precious china the royal family eats from each Christmas, or the Rolls Royces that graced their bottoms. It was in the opportunity for all of us to experience the beauty nature has to offer in landscaped garden. Having a safe open space that people of all ages, races, and places can simply be and live in wonder of the moment.

“A garden must combine the poetic and mysterious with a feeling of serenity and joy.”-Luis Barragan

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