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Highgrove House's garden still makes Prince Charles tick more than a quarter of a century later

Despite the weather, there were still crowds of people being guided around the Prince of Wales’ gardens at Highgrove today.

As the rain bounced off their umbrellas, they were shown the wild flower meadows, the organic kitchen garden, various topiary designs and Prince William and Harry’s old tree house (more likely to be used by George and Charlotte these days).

Despite the weather, there were still crowds of people being guided around the Prince of Wales’ gardens at Highgrove today. Credit: PA

In the 25 years since it opened to the public, visitors have flocked to these gardens to admire them but also to copy the organic principals which has underpinned everything Prince Charles has done here.

In fact the 40,000 people who come here each year now help fund the Prince of Wales’ Charitable Fund – which gives grants to a number of small charities.

Around 40,000 people visit the gardens each year. Credit: PA

£7 million has been raised so far from Highgrove.

The Prince bought the house here in 1980 at a time when organic gardening was mocked rather than worshipped.

What a difference a quarter of a century makes.

Now in the gift shop, books on gardening without pesticides fly off the shelves and you can buy packets of wild flower seeds to scatter on your own patch of land, large or small.

"The garden doesn’t stop growing", says Debs Goodenough, who has been the Prince’s Head Gardener here for more than a decade.

"And his ideas are still flowing", she adds talking about "the boss".

Ms Goodenough adds: "His Royal Highness is still passionate about the garden".

And when she tells you about their conversations about the chemical-free slug traps or the exact colour scheme for the sweet peas, you begin to wonder where the Heir to the Throne finds the time.

But just as many people remark about the Prince of Wales, the Head Gardener says "he is a workaholic".

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Visitors here start their tour with a video message from the Prince himself, where he talks about the vision he had for these grounds nearly 40 years ago.

There are 15 acres (all organic), 200 chickens roam under the assortment of fruit trees and the water features each have a willow ramp in them so any wildlife which falls in can climb out.

Prince Charles was described as a 'workaholic' by the head gardener of Highgrove House. Credit: PA

There is even a system of reed beds so all the waste water from the house and visitor centre loos and kitchens runs into a bark filled pit filtered by reed and willow beds.

Tucked away in a corner close to the main house is a Balsam Poplar tree which Prince George planted with granddad in 2015 when he was just one year old.

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Prince Charles hopes everyone who comes here will take some inspiration for their own gardens but he’s wants to pass on his love for nature and his respect for the environment to his grandchildren.

And as for the rain today?

‘It makes for a happy Prince!’, we were told.

If you ever need to find a place to understand what makes Prince Charles tick – you’ll find few better places to start.