The Walled Kitchen Garden
The Kitchen Garden wall is said to be the finest and most complete produce garden wall made of chalk cob still in use today for its original purpose. Built very high and roofed with loose tiles to put off intruders, it greatly assists the early ripening of fan-trained fruit trees. The base of flints acts as a damp course and the walls, made of a mixture of chalk and straw ‘puddled’ by oxen or horses, were built up in layers as each dried out.
The ancient walls are bedecked with espaliered pear, nectarine and plum trees. Home to figs and kiwi fruit, asparagus, rhubarb and strawberry beds, cages of white and red raspberries, and with over 32 varieties of apple trees, of which some are no longer available today. The walled garden is also home to a newly planted herb garden, rose arbour, avenue of old apple trees, peony walk, asparagus beds, raised beds, the well border, a wild flower meadow, and in summer, sweetpeas elegantly entwining their way up their bamboo canes.
On the east wall of the garden is an especially notable espalier pear – Uvedale St. Germain – with a span of over fifty feet! We are trying to get it into the Guinness Book of Records for the longest espaliered pear in the country!
The fruit is available in the tea house (apple, walnut and cinnamon cake, beetroot and chocolate cake, courgette cake!). In autumn it is well worth a visit to pick windfalls and sample the many varieties of apple which cannot be found on supermarket shelves.