The young Prince of Wales in the garden he created at HighgroveCredit:Getty Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. In an interview broadcast on Wednesday night, he said he was particularly concerned about pests being brought into the country by gardeners returning from their holidays, packing plants in their suitcases without thinking through the repercussions.Asked how he came to love the landscape, he said: “I suspect it was probably partly to do with my grandmother’s wonderful garden at Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park where I spent a lot of my childhood. I remember being absolutely riveted as a child wandering about looking at all the plants.“It was a wonderful woodland garden with masses of azaleas and rhododendrons. The smell and everything had a profound effect on me. “Then you want to do things when you get older. And really it’s only when you have something of your own that you become particularly keen.“We had as children, my sister and I, a little plot at the back of Buckingham Palace garden where we grew vegetables and things.”In 2009, it was reported that the Queen was introducing a vegetable patch to the palace grounds for the first time since the Second World War, with the young Prince and Princess gardening quite unnoticed by the public through their childhood.On the threats pests and diseases bring to British countryside, the Prince said he remembered the “totally devastating” effects of Dutch Elm disease years ago. “Now of course we’re faced by a multitude of threats of every kind of disease,” he said. “The biggest fear is we end up with a wasteland here.“Having seen more and more of these pests, particularly from the Far East, coming here. There’s all these caterpillars and strange things, all with extraordinary names… One thing after another.“People love the ancient oaks in his country. There are magical remnants of some of these forests. “We are a nation of gardeners as well. But somehow people don’t quite realise yet.“The difficulty I think is nurseries really are the ones that need to act quicker in terms of quarantining. I only get my trees now from a nursery which does proper quarantine, but it’s one of a minority. “Which is madness if you think about it because we should be taking a very urgent emergency approach to this. We haven’t got any time to waste.”Saying he had been impressed by a visit to meet the “marvellous” border force at Heathrow Airport earlier this year, finding them “overwhelmed by endless stuff that’s brought in by people in their baggage”.“I don’t think people realise how dangerous it is,” he said.Taking threats seriously now, the Prince said, “will make a big difference hopefully to our future and our grandchildren, who we hope will be able to share the magic of the British landscape”. Prince Charles encourages Prince Harry in the Highgrove gardenCredit:Tim Graham A young Prince Charles with his family at WindsorCredit:PA The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall admire vegetable produce at Alexandra PalaceCredit:Getty The Prince of Wales has disclosed how the Queen helped inspire his lifelong mission to save the planet, giving him a small, hidden Buckingham Palace plot to grow vegetables as a little boy.The Prince said he and his sister, Princess Anne, had been tasked with cultivating their own plants in the Buckingham Palace garden, leaving him “particularly keen”.Saying he had also been “absolutely riveted” by his grandmother’s garden at Royal Lodge in Windsor, the Prince told Gardeners’ World viewers that his formative years had inspired him to fight the “multiple threats” now facing the British countryside.In an interview about pests and diseases affecting the country “magical” landscape, the Prince said he was so concerned about the rising number of threats that his “biggest fear is [that] we end up with a wasteland”.The Prince was interviewed by BBC presenter Adam Frost at Highgrove, his Gloucestershire residence.