Lord Howick
Gardens Illustrated|September 2017

Searching for wild tree species to include in the arboretum at his ancestral home, has taken Charlie Howick on adventures around the world

Caroline Beck

Lord Charles Howick’s introduction to gardening wasn’t promising. “As children, we were told to cut the daffodils in the spring to sell at the gate. It was a terrible bore.” As he approaches his 80th birthday, Charlie Howick, as he prefers to be known, is internationally respected as the creator of an extraordinary arboretum at his ancestral home, just half a mile from the sea in Alnwick, Northumberland. Inside a broad shelter belt of Scots pine, oak and beech, thousands of wild trees thrive, all grown from seeds gathered from across continents, making Howick one of the largest private collections of wild-origin plants in the country. To walk there at any time of the year is astonishing, but in autumn when colours flare under wide Northumbrian skies, it’s transporting.

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