The Wildflower Meadow is a haven for wildlife and an untamed beauty, dotted with oak, chestnut, poplar and beech trees. Developed by Miriam Rothschild in 1982 with a 32-species seed mix, more seed-rich green hay is added each year to introduce new species.
The meadow is managed as a traditional hay meadow. It is cut in summer for hay and in autumn is grazed by sheep which help to tread seeds back into the ground. Yellow rattle keeps grasses cropped and more than seven types of orchid thrive in the soil. Spring is a highlight when the ‘Lent Lily’ and ‘Ice Follies’ daffodils appear.
A pathway lined with fastigiate hornbeams runs across the meadow. This leads to an area planted with Japanese maple and copper beech trees which create a ribbon of red in autumn. Beyond lies the Kitchen Garden, where heritage varieties of fruit and vegetables are grown in plots shaped in the crosses of Saint George and Saint Andrew.
The Wild Flower Meadow at Highgrove was named as the first of 60 Coronation Meadows in a project initiated by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2012 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of HM The Queen’s coronation. The meadow now contains more than 70 varieties of plants, making it particularly species-rich.