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


3rd -4th OCTOBER 2105

Arrivals commence at 9.30 on SATURDAY, 3RD OCTOBER with registration, refreshments and welcome in the entrance hall of newly restored Croome Court. At 10.00 we go through to the beautiful Long Gallery where Susan Campbell will give an introduction to the weekend, followed at 10.30 by our first speaker.

Lunch and refreshments are included on both days, as well as access to Croome Park itself. Lunches will be in the walled garden with our hosts Karen and Chris Cronin.

Tours of the walled garden with the Cronins will take place on both days after lunch and each day will finish with tea and open discussions, ending 4.30-5.00.

SUNDAY 4TH OCTOBER will start with the first speaker at 10.00. Please note that speakers who are booked for both days will give a different talk each day.

Michael Smith, Property Manager, and Amy Forster-Smith, House Manager at Croome Court, will give their first talks about their work at Croome.
Karen and Chris Cronin will talk about their experiences as owners and restorers of the Walled Kitchen Garden at Croome.
John Lawson, glasshouse designer (Alitex), talks about new glasshouse technology.
Tim Phillips, a wine maker, will give his first talk about his walled kitchen garden and the vineyard he has made there.
Stephen Barstow, author of ‘Round the World in 80 Plants’ will give his first talk about his global discoveries and the amazing vegetables, old and new, which he grows in his garden in Norway. on SATURDAY AFTERNOON.

Michael Smith, Property Manager, and Amy Forster-Smith, House Manager at Croome Court, will give their second talks about their work at Croome.
Julian and Theo Stanning will talk about the creation of their own, brand new walled kitchen garden on the Solway Firth.
Stephen Barstow, author of ‘Round the World in 80 Plants’ will give his second talk on his global discoveries and the amazing vegetables, old and new, which he grows in his garden in Norway, on SUNDAY MORNING.
Tim Phillips, a wine maker, will give his second talk about his walled kitchen garden and the vineyard he has made there.

Attendees are welcome to speak about their own experiences with relevance to the themes of this Forum where time permits.

There is plenty of information about the Walled Garden and the National Trust at Croome Court on the following websites:

*** Click on the form below for a printable version.



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

After the sunniest April on record, May begins with high winds and heavy rain. After 11 years of volunteering, the special needs married couple, Kathryn and Stephen, are moving down to Gloucestershire to be nearer family, and hopefully to find another National Trust property to continue their good work. The Tuesday Team put on a farewell buffet at lunchtime, and afterwards the weather picked up so some work in the Kitchen Garden was achieved, mainly placing peasticks along the rows, and the inevitable weeding. It is interesting the different weeds we get, presumably brought in by the copious amounts of manure we acquire from the Tattondale Home Farm. The hedgerows are mainly frothy white with May blossom (Hawthorn), cow parsley, wood anemone, oxeye daisy, bluebells, field buttercup. Welcome “Weeds” in our own garden at the moment are English bluebells, white valerian and sweet woodruff. As for the wildlife: The two baby female blackbirds are now independent, their mum is building another nest. One evening I became aware of a sound like a steam engine, huffing and puffing. It turned out to be two hedgehogs a-courting, before enjoying special hedgehog nibbles for supper. I have found two hedgehog nests (one in the back garden, one in the front), completely ignoring the three custom-made houses in the back garden, which probably provide winter hibernation for the frogs and pretty wood mice, the latter doing a good job of clearing up spilt birdseed. We also had a wren and a robin roosting in our covered passageway over winter, and currently bumblebee nests in nooks and crannies and black ants in the Siberian Iris, plus wood mice nests somewhere in the garden. I regularly see from two to five buzzards circling overhead – did they follow us home from Tatton? I often wonder – If all this is happening in our very small garden, what an abundance of all kinds of wildlife there must be in the 50 acres of formal garden and 1,000 acres of wilder parkland here at Tatton, besides the two herds of deer and sheep – all four legged lawnmowers?
It has been very windy but sunny after torrential rain. We three pricked out more flowers for the formal gardens, and sowed more flower seeds together with some poisonous seeds (taking proper precautions wearing gloves) of Ricinus communis or castor oil plant, and also Angel’s Trumpets or Datura, a first for me. I shall not be having a nap under the hopefully resultant ‘tree’ as its flowers can cause hallucinations. The Gardens are busy with half term visitors and overseas visitors.
01 June is the meteorological start of summer; however, the weather had other ideas. We potted on more flowers for the formal gardens and American garden; planting of bedding plants is traditionally done early June. Bean poles are precision marching across one of the quarters in the Kitchen Garden, and a battalion of leeks has been pricked out, together with climbing beans and winter cabbages.
National Trust Volunteer Awards are presented in June. One lady received her 25 year Award (what an achievement!) and framed Citation from George (the former Mayor of Cheshire East and Japanese Garden Guide) as disappointingly for everyone no-one from the National Trust attended to show appreciation.
Sunny weather finds me out of the glasshouses and into the Orchard, where I tied in the raspberries and next year’s fruiting vines of the Marionberry (Loganberry cross).
The next task is to pick off the Pear Rust-affected leaves (which will take several weeks) and tie in the new growth on the espaliered fruit trees.
The two Fig Houses in the Kitchen Garden are undergoing restoration, which will take 12-16 weeks, so we are unable to use them for growing figs and tomatoes for the time being. The Herb Bed outside has been ‘squashed’ under the scaffolding poles.
Wild roses and ox-eye daisies continue the beauty of the hedgerows in the lanes.
I’ll leave you with a quote (author unknown) to think about: “Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds: The harvest can be either flowers or weeds.”


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