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Interview with: Hampton Court Palace Gardens

We chat to the man responsible for some of the most beautiful greenery in England at Hampton Court Palace Gardens

Hampton Court Palace Gardens are some of the most beautiful in England so we wanted to go behind-the-scenes and speak to someone responsible for making them such an attraction. To give you an idea of how big they are, the park covers 750 acres and the formal gardens 60 acres... So there’s plenty to see! Read our interview with Graham Dillamore, the Gardens Operations Manager. He’s worked at the gardens for 26 years so knows them like the back of his hand! London Pass: What inspired you to work in Hampton Court Gardens? Graham: Lots of things but I have a personal interest in the conservation of historic Gardens and Landscapes and this is probably the best example of a historic Landscape with 300+ years of Garden history all in one place. London Pass: What time of year is your favourite? Graham: I love them all, but on bright Winter mornings the ‘bones’ of the Garden, the geometry and formality of the planting, seem to be in perfect harmony with the architecture. You don’t need bright blooming flowers to make a garden beautiful. London Pass: What do you think most attracts tourists and visitors to come to Hampton Court? Graham: Obviously it’s the Gardens, what else could they possibly want to see! London Pass: Have you completed the maze? Graham: Yes, lots of times but having to guide the Olympic torch in 2012 was terrifying, imagine getting that wrong! London Pass: How easy is it to maintain the gardens at Hampton Court? Graham: It’s more than just maintenance, that’s the easy bit; or rather we make that bit look easy thanks to a dedicated team. The tricky bit is keeping it all looking fantastic, repairing without anyone noticing, developing new areas, growing unusual exotics and keeping a balance between ecology and horticultural excellence. London Pass: What’s been the funniest question you’ve ever been asked by a visitor to the gardens? Graham: There have been many but I was once asked, where do we go to see the Lions? London Pass: If you weren’t working in these gardens, where would you be working? Graham: Probably in another Garden somewhere or maybe in a Garage fixing cars, who knows? Actually, when I was 16 a careers teacher told me that Gardening was unlikely to give me any long term prospects and I should consider a career in manufacturing as this was the future! Watch the video of Hampton Court Palace Gardens to see why we love them so much!

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