Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The walled garden

My regular readers will have already read snippets about the walled garden.  In the early 1980's my Dad took early retirement and my parents found a Head Gardener's Cottage in Dorset to rent and we moved from Germany to Dorset.
Below the cottage was an old walled garden that in earlier times had supplied the produce for the manor house. My Dad decided to take this on too! This was some years before the nation started to realise the lost history of walled gardens highlighted through the Victorian Kitchen Garden and  the lost gardens of Heligan.

Our neighbour across the valley made this beautiful picture for us.



The garden was overgrown - it only takes such a short time for nature to take everything back over!


After lots of hard work from mainly my Dad 
 As you can see there were 4 greenhouses, which all needed minor repairs. In the bottom greenhouse we discovered a peach tree -seen in blossom below. It produced pale peaches - I have never tasted one so good since!


The top green house opposite the old potting shed was such a beautiful shape.

Below the top greenhouse was the vine house, which produced an abundant harvest of red and white grapes. We attempted to make our own wine and ate the rest!.


The River Bride flowed through the bottom of the garden. You would often see brown trout swimming in the shallow water or hiding under the bridge. One day my Dad caught an eel which was very long and wriggly!


 We even held the annual village Summer party here rather than the village hall, luckily the weather was fine!

My Dad, like me he couldn't resist eating some of the produce as you pick!
The walled garden was full of fruit bushes, once pruned back into order they produced raspberries, loganberries, gooseberries, blackcurrants, red currants and cultivated blackberries. There was also an apple tree and a huge fig tree. We would sell the surplus produce at the top of the drive.
It was such a beautiful, peaceful setting and the temperature would often be some much warmer than the rest of the garden. It was idyllic place, but quite hard work and I feel priviliged to have had the opportunity to have lived and gardened in such a place.
When we left Garden Cottage other tenants took over and the garden reverted back to a wilder state for a couple of years, but it has once again been restored and is now full of flowers again and open to the public on selected days Littlebredy walled garden, so everyone can enjoy this unique spot.

Welcome and hello to new followers Val and Louise thank you for joining me, I shall enjoy following you too.

Sarah x


25 comments:

  1. What a fantastic garden, love the greenhouses, and imagine being able to just piuck your own figs, peaches and grapes! An absolute credit to your Dad, you must be very proud! xx

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  2. Hi Sarah! Thank you for telling us the story...Loved the pictures..Real nostalga....Happy Wednesday!!

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  3. Thanks for this lovely post. You clearly have happy memories of this Sarah - I still have hopes of fulfilling my dream of a walled garden...

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  4. Hello Sarah:
    What an absolutely fascinating post. As you yourself say, what an idyllic place in which to have lived and what satisfaction your father must have had bringing this old garden back to life.

    We see from the link which you have provided that the garden is open in 2012. Do you plan to revisit or is it best simply to retain the cherished memories?

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    1. Yes we have revisted a few times althogh sometimes it's hard going back because it is never quite the same. It has been beautifully done, I intend to visit again in June and share the pictures with everyone.
      Sarah

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  5. I've always dreamed of having a walled kitchen garden, although I'm not very green fingered! It's a lovely post and how nice that it's now open to the public!

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  6. What a very beautiful place, it must have been wonderful to have spent time in such a special spot. Juliex

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  7. What an amazing place and love the family history. thank you for sharing that with us. Gardens play some amazing roles in history and I do not think people appreciate what garden can do for a person and a community.
    Have a wonderful day.

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  8. What a fantastic story and such a place to live! Oh, I would have been in heaven in a place like that. Suzy x

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  9. What a wonderful place to live. You were very lucky. xx

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  10. What a lovely post about lovely memories. Thankyou for sharing them.
    xxx

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  11. What a great story, and such a lovely garden :D

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  12. For en drømmeplass. De gamle orangeriene er så sjarmerende.
    Så heldig for deg at din far har vert så dyktig.
    Koselige bilder du deler med oss.
    Klem fra Kate

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  13. Hi. Just to let you know that I've selected you for the Sunshine Award. If you want to join in please see my blog, but there is no obligation to take part. Suzy x

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  14. Such beautifull memories of the cottage and the garden Sarah. I enjoyed reading it very much. What a beautiful place it was. I hope your father is still a keen gardener.

    Happy evening!

    Madelief x

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    1. Unfortunately he died a year ago at the age of 92. Anniversaries of deaths are always hard and this post in part was in tribute to him, everyone's comments were so lovely. Thank you to you all. Sarah x

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  15. beautiful place... and great description of everything...
    Thank you so much for sharing... :)
    I will keep following...
    XOXO

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  16. What a wonderful place to have spent some years growing up in, I hope you can get back to see the garden.

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  17. really stunning place- childhood there must have been heaven sent. how lovely that your dad was such a keen gardener and made the place come to life with fruit tree's and pretty gardens ;0)...wonderful father im sure ;0)x...thanks for sharing your home when growing up- its lovely to know its restored and back to how your father would have wished it to be, lovely for others to get so much love from it like you do.
    I have to say while growing up we had plumb and apple tree's and ive never tasted a better plumb and apple pie like my mother and nanny would bake ;0)x

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  18. Stunning and such a labour of love. Congrats to all involved, a legacy of hope for the future. X

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  19. Sarah, i absolutely loved this post! what a fabulous place to live! it was a credit to your dad, thankyou for sharing it with us.

    Leanne x
    www.talesofsimpledays.blogspot.com

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  20. Wow, what amazing memories on a beautiful property. The village dinners must have been so much fun. (I too am the crazy lady who wants to pat people's dogs, especially when we're travelling overseas and I'm away from mine. I need the daily fix!)

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  21. And I'm sorry to read of your father's passing last year. But it seems he might have lived his 92 years wonderfully if that garden is any indication. x

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  22. This is a lovely post, Sarah. I loved reading it. Thank you for sharing your memories and your wonderful old photographs. I hope you don't mind me leaving a comment over a year after you wrote this, but I have just discovered it thanks to your kind comment on my own walled garden post.

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  23. It looks like a fantastic garden to have had and some lovely memories too,

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