Wildflower Inspiration from Highgrove

One of the loveliest things about England is the sight of our native wildflowers. wildflower meadow at Highgrove

For some it may be possible to take these things for granted, but to me, cow-parsley growing in the hedgerows, and bluebells appearing in unexpected places, is something miraculous – along with the oxeye daisy, the meadow buttercup, viper’s bugloss, red clover, the cowslip and many others exquisite plants and wild grasses. And so I was delighted to visit the Prince of Wales’ garden to Highgrove again last Wednesday, to see his wildflower meadow in its full glory, and to hear a talk on Plantlife.

I first wrote about Highgrove when I visited the garden last August, and then I noted how quirky, playful and imaginative it is.  However the wildflower meadow had been mown and it wasn’t the time of year to appreciate its true beauty. Now, however, we could delight in it as we learned about orchids and buttercups, about crested dogtail and sweet vernal grass.  Afterwards we enjoyed a glass of Pimm’s on the terrace then went into the Prince’s visitor reception centre the Orchard Room, for a delicious meal and a talk from Plantlife about the Coronation Meadows project, which aims to have created 90 wildflower meadows around the UK by the Queen’s 90th birthday. The talk was highly inspirational and by the end I was determined to create a wildflower meadow in a 4 metre square area of our own garden.

Later I was reading the Prince’s book on Highgrove Garden and I was particularly struck by what he says in his foreword. He wrote about the so-far 36-year process of creating a garden like this from scratch (in 1980 when he bought Highgrove there was nothing but extensive grassland with a few trees). Though he was talking about gardening, many of his words related closely to the creative writing process too:

He spoke of “moments of magic… light becoming dreamlike, illuminating intensity” and in such moments when we are “lost in wonder that such beauty is possible, inspiration can come.” It can “easily go wrong if you rush at it,” he wrote; and he advised against “forcing a plan or design.” Instead he believes we must “wait for an intuitive idea to form itself when the moment is right.” In many cases, he observed, it was “several years before the correct setting dawned on me.” He hoped that visitors, whether garden experts or not, would find something here to “inspire, excite, fascinate or soothe.”

Some may regard this view of the creative process rather high-minded; and of course, perfectionism can create its own problems;  and yet I believe there is much truth in these words, and they can be applied across many creative endeavours.

If you’d like to visit Highgrove take a look here for further details.

Published by SC Skillman

I'm a writer of psychological, paranormal and mystery fiction and non-fiction. My latest book, 'Paranormal Warwickshire', was published by Amberley Publishing in November 2020. Find all my published books here: https://amzn.to/2UktQ6x

6 thoughts on “Wildflower Inspiration from Highgrove

  1. Hi Sheila,

    Enjoying your blogs! I agree…It is an inspirational sight and definitely resonates with the creative process.

    I also enjoyed reading about the conference you attended recently….sounded amazing.

    I have been studying a module on Spirituality which I have loved and am sure you would too. Plenty of material for another book?! On the subject of which – I raced through A Passionate Spirit…desperate to find out what happened. Apologies for not reviewing yet….I always find I’m juggling so many things with home, work & church things slip through the net. I will try to do it soon. Loved your vision of the creative retreat centre…hmm, I might need to set one up one day 😉 But not with spooky undercurrents!

    Would be great to catch up properly soon.
    Much love to you all,

    Caroline xx 

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

    1. Hi Caroline, Hope you’re having a fabulous summer … I’m busy not only trying to produce two error-free paperbacks and two error-free epubs of Mystical Circles and Perilous Path ( all being re-issued on 5 Sep with new publisher Luminarie) but also preparing to go to a writers conference in Scotland on 22 Sep. There’ll be writers, publishers and agents there. Will be packing three chapters of my new novel / WIP in my suitcase! Would love to see your review of “A Passionate Spirit” on Amazon! At this stage it will be a good test of your memory! xxx

  2. Several years before the correct setting dawned on me. Yup, that’s about right for novel-writing!! If not setting, the right characters, or the plot, or the themes …

    1. That’s right. And yet the commercial publishing world pressures authors to get the next book out within a year of the last one being published. Not that I’m saying I wouldn’t like to be in that position… but how do we strike a balance?

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