Georgia Somerset, Duchess of Beaufort

Episode 19,   May 03, 05:52 PM

Today Bunny Guinness is in the gardens of Badminton House, with Her Grace, The Duchess of Beaufort. In this episode Bunny talks to Georgia, Duchess of Beaufort, about the gardens. Hear about the stunning tulip planting Georgia has been in charge of, to give the garden more spring appeal.

Georgia Somerset, Duchess of Beaufort, married Henry Somerset, 12th Duke of Beaufort in 2018. Georgia is the grand daughter of the novelist Anthony Powell, she studied classics at Oxford University, before becoming a columnist and obituarist for The Daily Telegraph. 

Georgia, a keen gardener, is cataloguing the plants in the amazing gardens of Badminton House. There are many as Mary, Duchess of Beaufort, was one of Britain’s earliest distinguished women gardeners. Mary got into horticulture as she was trying to find a plant to ease her melancholy. She then began seriously collecting plants from many countries in the 1690’s, introducing more than 1500 plants, including Pelargonium zonale. Mary Somerset commissioned Everad Kickius to illustrate her choice exotics, and these are in her two volume florilegium which is still in the library at Badminton. Georgia is arranging for high quality prints to be made of a selection of these, so that they can be more widely appreciated. 

These fine gardens have been enhanced by a range of designers, including Charles Bridgeman, Capability Brown, Russell Page, and François Goffinet. Georgia’s husband’s mother, Caroline, was a keen and knowledgeable gardener, as is his step mother, Miranda, both who have put their stamp on the stunning gardens. 

In addition, the Badminton Estate are now working with the Royal Horticultural Society to create a new flower show in the historic grounds of the house in 2026, alternating with RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival which will become a biennial event in two years. 

To see what the garden looks like, Bunny Guinness’s YouTube ‘How the new Duchess of Beaufort is shining a light on the gardens of Badminton House.’ Is up now… 

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