mtp

Babington Kitchen Garden

It’s been oooh roughly three and half years since myself and my husband have been away without the children. And while we love the little blighters to pieces we thought it was high time we had a break. So we booked ourselves into Babington Houe for the weekend – a rather nice country house hotel near where we live.

While we were there I took some photos of the gorgeous old walled kitchen garden that they have there.

As you walk in you’re greeted by a row of pyramids that have Sweetpeas growing around them. They are very interesting as apart from the upright canes that hold them together the gardeners have bent smaller, more pliable canes, through each one to make an arch. Putting several of them side by side makes a wonderfully decorative introduction to the garden. It’s a great idea and I might try it next year in my own garden.

I soon realised that there were lots of great ideas in this kitchen garden that I could steal borrow. Take this little patch of Thyme that has been planted in a block and left to grow into each other. It makes a lovely, undulating and visually interesting herb bed.

I also liked how there were impromptu seating areas everywhere. Kitchen gardens can be very work-a-day and often there is no invitation to sit down. I can imagine sitting underneath this climbing rose with my latte and good book – after all the work is done, you understand!

I was heartened to see some winter Lettuce doing very well in the garden. Mine is somewhat smaller but I’m hoping the forthcoming good weather will help it attain this size before the cold weather sets in. The mesh, I think is more to keep the bunnies out than to protect them from weather. I’m sure I saw a cotton tail disappear behind an espalier.

While some of the planting is evidently new, others were maybe as old as the walls themselves. The garden was filled with espalier Apples and Pears. They didn’t, as in some kitchen gardens, relegate them to the wall either. Most of the older trees where in the middle of the garden and used to mark out pathways or edge the beds.

The sheer numbers of Apples was clearly proving too much, even for a busy hotel. And many of the trees where happily feeding the wasps.

But it’s the wall that gives the kitchen garden its soul. Its deep orange hue gives the garden an almost Mediterranean feel and once within its confines you can feel the temperature climb up a notch or two and the wind disappears. For me there is nothing that compares to the tranquility of a walled kitchen garden.

It’s so nice too to see an old garden being so well looked after.

13 Responses to “Babington Kitchen Garden”

  1. Chiot's runon 26 Sep 2011 at 11:27 am

    This is quite lovely, I always love getting a peek inside a beautiful kitchen garden, especially somewhere I’ll probably never be able to visit. Thanks so much for the view!

    I especially love the pea supports, that’s definitely something I can incorporate into my pottager as I have a prolific supply of tiny saplings.

  2. Erin @ she cooks, she gardenson 26 Sep 2011 at 11:42 am

    What a lovely garden! The canes are a great idea, might have to give them a go myself too.

  3. Gwenon 26 Sep 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Lovely pictures and descriptions! I really like the cane idea for the peas, too. I’m putting my peas up against a slatted fence this year, but if we ever move I’ll remember that! :)

  4. Carolynon 26 Sep 2011 at 1:01 pm

    It was the canes that caught my eye too! I think anything that gives a garden a bit of height is welcome and these have that lovely added twist. I can’t quite see how it’s done though – do you have any pics of just the canes? Also love the thyme bed, it resembles those lovely puffy gardens in Provence that I keep seeing in Gardens Illustrated. I wish I had the space to copy the idea!

  5. Juleson 26 Sep 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Ooo I love a good walled garden! The thyme planting is really novel – looks like a field of mini hills.

  6. Chrison 26 Sep 2011 at 2:40 pm

    I’d love a sheltered walled garden. Everything just looks so neat, even when it’s untidy!

    Lovely pics…

  7. Sally - My Custard Pieon 27 Sep 2011 at 4:49 am

    It’s a gorgeous spot isn’t it? I didn’t manage to look around the kitchen garden when I visited so thanks for the tour. The lovely old brick wall is a beautiful back drop.

  8. Gwenon 27 Sep 2011 at 5:45 am

    @Carolyn

    It looks like they’ve tied the cane pieces on in the middle of the cane (to each pole of the teepee) and then bent the cane’s top and bottom towards the neighboring cane on the next pole, tying at the top and the bottom.

    That’s how I’d imagine it to be done, anyway!

  9. Lauraon 27 Sep 2011 at 11:59 am

    Your post made me SO homesick for England!!! Hubby and I used to visit many of the National Trust places during the year – we never got to Babington tho. LOVED the kitchen garden. Not sure about the wasps tho…..
    Hope you had a wonderful break!
    xxx

  10. Daveon 28 Sep 2011 at 1:35 am

    Looks beautiful. It’s still fairly warm here in southeastern United States (Virginia) so it makes me jealous to see apples and fall lettuce! Thanks for sharing the great photos.

  11. Matronon 01 Oct 2011 at 6:12 am

    I just adore visiting walled kitchen gardens. I suppose a bit of it comes from reading A Secret Garden when I was a child. Thanks for letting us visit with you.

  12. Sueon 07 Oct 2011 at 3:05 pm

    I love the bean supports, so elegant.

    And I adore walled kitchen gardens. There’s a wonderful one at Penpont near Brecon Wales. We camped in the rose garden there which sits next to it. I highly recommend it as a campsite in the most stunning setting.

  13. Roy Gembuildon 14 Oct 2011 at 4:07 pm

    I’ve been look at their website too. The views are amazing, the gardens, everything. Right I’m sold! To Somerset it is for a tiny winter break.