Sep 26th, 2011
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.
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