Prince Charles throws open garden for green festival

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Prince Charles was to open the grounds of his London home to the public Wednesday for a garden party aiming to promote sustainability with a mix of weird and wonderful exhibits and displays.

"A Garden Party To Make A Difference" will see the prince's gardens at Clarence House plus the grounds of two neighbouring mansions opened up for rare public visits until September 19.

The aim of the event is to highlight one of Charles's pet causes -- how individuals can take action to create a more sustainable future.

For his part, the heir to the throne says he is already recycling bath water by using it on the gardens and turning old curtain material into "fashionable bags."

"Looking after our small, fragile and stressed planet is not about doom and gloom, sitting in the dark or not having nice things," he wrote in The Daily Telegraph in July. "It is possible to have fun on the way."

Highlights of the event include a parade of eco-cars down The Mall in London on September 12 as well as an earth pavillion made with mud tiles.

Charles's concern for environmental causes has sometimes got him into trouble with commentators who accuse him of using his influence to advance faddish beliefs.

Earlier this week, he took the biofuel-powered, nine-carriage royal train on a tour of Britain to promote his message at a cost of 50,000 pounds (60,000 euros, 77,000 dollars).

© 2010 AFP

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