Can anyone help?

Can anyone help with this enquiry, which comes from Andrew Derrick, Director of The Architectural History Practice Ltd.?
If so, please reply to andrew.derrick@architecturalhistory.co.uk who is preparing a Conservation Management Plan for the kitchen garden at Holkham:

The six-acre walled garden at Holkham, built in the 1780s, is surrounded by a kidney-shaped ha-ha with brick retaining walls, dug/built at the same time. OS map attached.
This all seems a bit belt and braces – after all, the walls themselves offered protection from deer etc.
There were fruit trees and other saplings outside the walls which would have also needed protection, but surely this doesn’t explain such a massive undertaking.
It looks like conspicuous consumption and one-upmanship on the Earl of Leicester’s part.


September and October musings

Gardening Volunteer at Tatton Park Walled Kitchen Garden, Knutsford, Cheshire

Dodging the occasional shower the Tuesday Team was let loose on the apple cordons and espaliers following a brief explanatory tutorial by the Gaffer. The transformation of the trees back to neatness was like a time-lapse film, and was greatly enjoyed by the Team as it was a standing-up job with opportunity for cheery banter, which made a great change from several weeks of being on their knees weeding in the Kitchen Garden. Visitors strolling round the Orchard were fascinated by the intense activity of the happy ‘pruners’ and asked lots of questions.
In the Kitchen Garden apple trees are trained over arches, making short tunnels over each of the four paths where they meet in the middle. The following week four of us spent the day pruning these apple trees back to the column arches; the top growth over the arches needs a ladder, so the gardeners will take this job in hand. The rest of the Team were weeding, picking, planting, sowing winter lettuce, etc.
The Orchard Lawn was covered in windfalls, attended by wasps, flies, ladybirds and butterflies. Two of us spent the day, with litter pickers (‘cos we’re too old to keep touching our toes ☺) picking up the fallen fruit, sorting into good, not too bad and rotten. Hopefully the not too bad ones will go to the pigs at the Home Farm; the good ones will be used by the volunteers in a variety of culinary ways. In the loft above the garden office is a small lonely apple press which hopefully could be used to make apple juice, and if the juice is allowed to mature with a bit of added sugar, cider.
Autumn mists and cooler mornings herald our annual Apple Tasting Day on the first Sunday in October. The varieties grown at Tatton are historic and not available in your local greengrocer. Lots of interest and enjoyable tasting by visitors.
More windfalls to be gathered; I spent the day pruning out this year’s fruited canes/vines from the six Marionberries (raspberry/blackberry/tayberry cross). The next job was to thin out the canes/vines and tie in the remaining to fruit next year. The ‘cavalry’ came in the form of other team members, who cleared up the pruned-out canes and the fallen leaves from the vines. Another job ticked off the list.
All too soon the magnificent pumpkins were gathered in from the Kitchen Garden and proudly displayed along the garden entrance corridor, together with Halloween decorations to delight the many children on a half-term holiday visit to the Gardens. The Halloween theme continued through the Gardens and shrieks of delight could be heard as yet another ‘ghost’ was added to the count.
Early morning mist decorates spiders webs with jewelled beads, and the sheep and deer appear appropriately as ghostly figures.
The season marches on and soon it will be Bonfire Night, with woodsmoke curling over the Kitchen Garden from the wood beyond, where wood ash is steadily increasing in volume, soon to be spread round the productive fruit garden, to be washed in by winter rains.

Walled Garden For Rent

Situated in North Ayrshire, walled garden in need of restoration.
Approximately 1.5 acres. Wall intact, 1 door and 1 x 12’ gate (made for tractor access.)
Has 18-20 young assorted fruit trees – apple, plum pear etc. A few blackcurrant bushes and raspberry canes but presently a bit overgrown!
Site not suitable for allotments.
Phone 01475 673305 for further details


Gardening Volunteer at Tatton Park Walled Kitchen Garden, Knutsford, Cheshire

Day 1: Scorchio! Day 2: Delugio! With an amazing ‘electric lightning in the clouds’ show late evening. Pity the Show Garden builders digging in round the Tatton Clump, for the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show, held in the Park on a 25 acre site later this month. The weather seems to be hot one day and wet the next. It seems to suit the wild orchids by the roadside, and the convolvulus sprawling over the hedges.
Pear-rust patrolling continues, the infected leaves are becoming harder to find. The espaliered pear trees have had their new growth pruned back to five leaves by two of us working a ‘buddy system’ either side of the espaliers, the aim being to let in air and light, and encourage the trees to concentrate on developing their fruit, rather than growing new wood. The apple espaliers will require the same treatment, with both apple and pear espalier new growth being further reduced down to two leaves later in the season, before harvest. Corvid-disturbed mulch from under the espalier trees was swept from the paths back to the beds round the Orchard.
The Parkland is a hive of busyness with exhibitors finalising their displays for the Annual Flower Show. So much preparation, a few hectic days, and then it is all over and time to remove all signs of the show, followed by contractors to repair, renovate, reseed and return the Parkland back to as before – in pouring rain, of course.
Soft fruit continues to be harvested, as well as saladings, leafy veg, peas and beans for use in the restaurant, cottage café and for sale in the garden shop. Small wasps are busy harvesting pollen from a flowering fennel plant and bees are busy on the marjoram.
I had been concentrating so much on the many pear espaliers that the fact there are three rows of standard pear trees in the Orchard Lawn slipped my mind. Three of us patrolled these trees and soon picked off the pear rust-affected leaves before the rust made a break for freedom. Half the Team blitzed the weeds in the soft fruit area of the Orchard, the other half blitzed the weeds ‘providing a green mulch’ around the leeks and fennel. None of the team believed the theory ploy of ‘green mulch’ but agreed that the weeds were very prolific this year, the weather being ideal for their bid to take over our world of the Kitchen Garden and Orchard.
Wasps are mining into the pears, where birds have first pecked at the fruit; yellow black-spotted ladybirds are also joining in the feast.
St Bartholomew’s Day (24 August) is said by country folk to herald the changing of the seasons, and the mornings are certainly cooler.
The Flower Show area has been renovated and reclaimed by the deer and sheep.
In the coming weeks two of us will be concentrating on pruning the espaliered apple trees. Being trained on a wire ‘fence’ the espaliers can be accessed from front and back, so two of us can work as a team on each tree, making sure we sterilise our secateurs between each tree, to prevent unwanted possible cross infection.
The last Bank Holiday approaches, and the Gardens and Parkland will be busy with visitors. This year a wild flower cutting mix has been sown either side of the Pergola Walk leading to Charlotte’s Garden, and is the first thing visitors see. It certainly seems to give much pleasure and definitely has the ‘wow’ factor.

Wild Beekeeping

A new link on our website gives an interesting take on beekeeping, see “Hand in hand with nature” below, right.

“The Professional Gardeners’ Trust provides professional gardeners with the opportunity to learn skills and gain qualifications by funding part-time training courses and short-term work placements. ” See the website at http://www.pgtrust.org

Any help for Joanna?

Joanna Crosby
I would like to attend the conference but I don’t drive. I can get to Worcester by train but if there’s a possibility of a lift share for all or part of the journey that would be great. I live in Cambridge.

Many thanks Joanna Crosby joannarc1@yahoo.co.uk


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