The Walled Garden

The walled garden is Victorian, built from stone with red brick facing on the internal south and west facing walls. It was neglected due to lack of labour in the 1930’s and from a productive working garden became an overgrown wilderness, with decaying buildings. At the end of the century clearing was started, rebuilding begun, for the garden to produce fruit, vegetables and flowers for the house again. The larger of the two glasshouses has been rebuilt by local skilled labour in 2003 as a replica using parts that could be salvaged from the original. It is now being filled with flowers, fruit and herbs for house use. The main garden has new plantings of apples, plums, pears, cherries, apricots and peaches around the walls, replacing the probable Victorian plantings. The original fig tree is still prolific, and types of fruit not grown by the Victorians, such as kiwi fruit and blueberries have been introduced alongside the more traditional strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, red and white currants. Vegetables are grown according to organic principals in rectangular beds. The varieties are chosen as the best for the requirements of the house, some, such as the Asparagus are new F1 hybrids, others, such as Painted Lady runner beans, would have been known by the original gardeners. The paths follow the original layout between the beds and are all wheelchair accessible. The Victorians had what were called “cutting beds” where flowers were grown for the House. These have been reinstated with a mixture of plants for foliage such as Pittosporum and Viburnum together with perennials such as Paeonia, Dahlia and Gladiolus, and annuals such as Papaver and Centaurea. The walled garden changes substantially with the seasons. It is productive year round. There is even a crop of sunflowers and Amaranthus grown for feeding birds over the winter. The outside of the garden wall facing the house has been planted to provide a scented walk. Tilia and Cercidiphyllum provide large structure, but Viburnum sp and Lonicera sp provide year round perfume interspersed with brief interludes from, among others, Macleya, Primula, Iris and Jasminium. In the spring there are carpets of snowdrops lining the walk from the garden towards the arboretum.