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11 of the best royal gardens

By: Tom Oder on July 15, 2013, 1:05 p.m.
Hampton Court Palace

Photo: stusmith_uk/Flickr

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The gardens at Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace that King Henry VIII built for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey about 1514 in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Wolsey fell from favor in 1529, and the palace was passed to the king, who enlarged it. While the royal family has not lived in Hampton Court Palace since the 18th century, the estate, landscape and gardens represent a unique historical and horticultural resource. Special items of interest include the Great Vine, which was planted in 1768 and produces grapes sold on the grounds in season; the symmetrical Privy garden based on a 1702 design; Home Park, 700 acres of deer park with water features that attract a wide range of birds; the Palace Maze begun in 1690; and a series of other gardens including the Rose Garden, the Great Fountain Garden and the Lower Orangery Exotics Garden. The gardens are open year round.