Prince Charles is a keen gardener and is well known for his environmental stance – with his mantra being: “It is better to work with Nature than against it”. In fact, the Prince of Wales is so keen about greenery, the Royal Gardens at Highgrove have become his personal labour of love for the past three decades as he strives to create the perfect outdoor space.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4, he revealed some ‘tricks of the trade’ – such as ‘take care of trees’, after he cut off the end of his finger banging in stakes, and ‘enjoy yourself’.
He sad: “Before you rush into things, see what you like and don’t like and then get stuck in. For me it’s the most marvellous, therapeutic business. You can get reward from it, but you can also be driven mad by it.”
But Prince Charles also revealed a personal favourite, saying: “I have an absolute passion for delphiniums – and I’ve always had it.
“There’s something about those Edwardian watercolours… To me, gardening is rather like painting. You need to get the paint on – and not muck about.”
Asked about his favourite flower prior to this year’s virtual Chelsea Flower Show, he also revealed his “passion” for the purple bloom, saying: “For me, the magnificent, gloriously apparelled delphinium, with its impeccable bearing and massed in platoons, holds pride of place in my botanical affections.”
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Delphinium comes from the Greek word “delphis,” which means dolphin, and refers to the shape of the flower’s closed buds, which resemble a dolphin’s nose.
The Real Horticultural Society describes the vibrant purple or pink tinged flower as “the ultimate early summer perennial”, with some 300 varieties on offer.
The Prince’s chosen flower symbolises positivity, according to FTD.com.
The website says: “Delphinium meanings include openness to new experiences and overall positivity.
“These beautiful blue flowers evoke feelings of joy, warmth and fun.
“Delphiniums are the perfect flower to gift someone who may be feeling down on life, and to encourage them to broaden their horizons in order to try out new experiences.”
However, there’s another meaning behind the flower which also symbolises encouragement and joy, as well as remembering loved ones who have passed.
While Prince Charles is now married to his long term partner Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, there’s one woman he will always be tied to – Princess Diana.
The Delphinium is also the official birth flower for July – and Princess Diana was born on July 1, 1961.
She also tied the knot with Charles on July 29, 1981 – making the summer month and extremely important date for the pair.
While the couple’s divorce was made official in 1996, the pair were still linked together due to their son’s Prince William and Prince Harry.
In the years since her tragic death, the Royal Family have frequently paid tribute to the Princess of Wales, with sons Harry and William regularly opening up on their struggles since losing their mother.
And while Charles and Diana were divorced at the time of her death, he too has often paid tribute to the woman who stood by his side for several years.
In fact, when the Prince of Wales celebrated his 70th birthday in 2018, Clarence House honoured Diana’s memory, by including her in a sweet montage of pictures.
And on visiting the London Lighthouse, which cares for people suffering from HIV and Aids and where Diana often visited, he made a touching comment about the late Princess’ legacy.
Charles told the crowds: “Coming here has reminded me of all the work that Diana did before she died.”
His moving tribute was welcomed by charity director Grainne Morby, who said: “Prince Charles’s mention of Diana’s work here was a brave acknowledgement well done.
“It is symbolically very significant that Charles is being seen to take on Diana’s legacy.”
So as the Delphinium represents the remembrance of love ones, it seems Prince Charles is keen to echo this endearing message in his day-to-day life.