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You are here: > Home > The Gardens > Walled Garden > Kitchen Garden

Kitchen Garden

The vegetable garden or 'potager' was designed by Mrs Susan Cunliffe-Lister as both a decorative and functional addition to the walled garden. The French are very keen on decorative vegetable gardening with their 'jardins potager' and the patterns are very similar to the old Elizabethan gardens. This seemed an ideal way to grow vegetables, herbs and cut flowers for the house.

In designing the potager it was important to ensure that the beds were practical as well as attractive. The beds were kept no wider than 1.5 metres to enable them to be worked from by the paths and were divided into four blocks with four beds in each. These were then divided into four again to enable a four year rotation plan. The idea behind this is to prevent weed cycles and allow the soil to recover after each crop. The beds are dug each winter with a general fertiliser spread in year one, limed in year two and farmyard manure incorporated in years three and four.

Year One: Roots
Year Two: Greens
Year Three: Beans, peas, onions, leeks
Year Four: Salads, marrows, sweet corn, cutting flowers

Runner beans and sweet peas are planted along the edges of the wide paths which provide a cool root run. Herbs are planted in the corners along with standard roses, bay trees, bow pyramids and ballerina apple trees, which give the garden form during winter and spring. Apart from these the rest of the garden starts afresh each spring. We can try out new vegetables and planting plans with different combinations and edgings as long as we follow the overall four year rotation plan. When the early vegetable crops are finished the beds are planted up with wallflower plants for growing on, salad crops and oriental vegetables so there is hardly ever an empty bed and always plenty to eat!


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