British people love gardens, and the royal family are no exception. Fittingly the man who will be the next monarch, Prince Charles, has the greenest fingers (1) of all. As a young man, he was mocked (2) when he admitted that he talks to plants.
But these days the septuagenarian Prince is admired as an organic pioneer. The hands-on (3) gardener likes nothing more than to sow, weed and prune at his country home, Highgrove House in Gloucestershire.
Apparently the Prince has a penchant for bright blooms. His head gardener Debs Goodenough once told Hello! that Charles, whose other hobby is landscape painting, has “a wonderful eye for colour”.
He himself says he looks at gardens with a child’s eye, because “I have such happy memories of my grandmother's house."
Among the features he has designed especially to appeal to children is a fascinating maze at Dumfries House in Scotland.
These days not only Charles’s son Prince William but also his grandchildren Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are benefitting from his expertise. He finds that giving the kids trees to plant is a great way to encourage (4) them, as they can see the trees grow alongside them.
"Each time they come you say, 'Do you see how much the tree has grown?', or whatever, and you hope that they take an interest," Charles explains.
It also seems like a neat way to provide young heirs to the throne like George with an insight into their role. After all, looking after something that should last (5) for centuries after you’re gone is what that’s all about.
1. Green fingered = Good at gardening.
2. To mock = To ridicule.
3. Hands-on = Involved in a practical way.
4. To encourage = To inspire and motivate.
5. To last = To remain, persist.