The beautiful SUNKEN GARDEN was planted in 1908, transforming part of the gardens previously occupied by potting sheds into a tranquil ornamental garden of classical proportions. It was modelled on a similar garden at Hampton Court Palace and celebrated a style of gardening seen in the 18th century. The garden is terraced. Paving and flower beds surround an ornamental pond. The fountains were formed from reused 18th century water cisterns retrieved from the palace. Today, the garden continues the tradition of rotational flower displays in the spring and summer. Plants displaying vibrant colours are at their best from April to October when the garden is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. In the spring, tulips, wallflowers and pansies bloom, while geraniums, cannas, begonias and many other varieties provide summer colour.
An arched arbour of red-twigged lime known as the CRADLE WALK surrounds the sunken garden. The trees have been coppiced, meaning that they have been cut back to the ground. This preserves the original tree stock and allows new stems to be trained over the framework of the bower. The walkway has been surfaced with a type of resin bonded material. In addition, the steps have been preserved, but covered, to allow easy wheelchair access around the garden.
The garden also contains the ORANGERY where, in winter months, Queen Anne’s (1665-1714) orange trees were protected from the cold. The Orangery was once the setting for Queen Anne’s sophisticated court entertainment and its soaring ceiling and classical 18th century architecture is a magnificent backdrop for the restaurant’s simple menu of delicious English dishes.
Kensington Palace is the official residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Catherine, and their children, Prince George and a Princess (yet to be named) born at St. Mary’s Hospital, London, on 2nd May, 2015 (yesterday).