I live in the country with enough space in my garden for an area dedicated to the production of food; about fifteen years ago I enclosed the vegetable patch with hedges and fences which immediately lifted its status to “Kitchen Garden.”
I use the raised bed system where each bed is four feet wide so that once the initial deep digging is finished you do not need to walk on the soil again because you stand on narrow paths between the beds to carry out all the cultivations and harvesting. Now that there are only two of us living here, planting short rows of the different crops about once a fortnight means that, in theory at least, there is always something to pick for about seven months of the year. Sadly, theory is just that and the rabbits, deer, moles and all the other creatures who live in my garden regard this place as either their larder, playground or underground highway route; oh how I long for a walled vegetable and fruit garden which would keep out everything that did not have wings. Like many other passionate gardeners I visit private gardens that open under the National Gardens Scheme; I choose places that have walled kitchen gardens where fruit and vegetables are still grown in at least part of the space and I stand in them and dream about having one of my own. It will never happen of course because I would need to win the Lottery to pay for it and the Local Council would refuse planning permission.
The first rewrite of my novel is underway and I am at the point where the main female character Ellie struggles with her desire for a walled garden when faced with an important decision about her life. I’m not sure I would make the same choice as her, but then I know what happens next.
If you have never visited any NGS gardens I recommend that you try one in your local area; you can buy a copy of the “Yellow Book” which lists all the openings or visit the website and search online for free.
Oh, I love this. One of my favorite parts of writing Greening of a Heart was the research on kitchen gardens in England. I share your dream of enclosure with brick walls. Enclosure in any garden seems so important to me. I had to meditate my way to a place of knowing that I can find enclosure within and though kitchen gardens NEED those brick walls, my inner life can manage without them. Wish I could see your garden. Maybe you will add photos of it this summer in production to your new blogging habit.
I could feel your passion about this subject when I read your K post for the #a2z. I will post some photos later in the year if my garden recovers sufficiently from the floods and frosts that have ravaged it over the last few months. Some days I feel the need to be in wild, wide open spaces and on others I like to be cosseted in a warm enclosure; they feed different parts of my psyche.
As you’ve seen from my blog I love gardens of all sorts and I have some food plants in my townhouse garden. I have problems with possums rather than moles etc…wasn’t too impressed when they climbed the cat ladder to get to the upstairs balcony and demolish my healthy tomato bushes!! We have six months of Open Gardens coming up and I am really looking forward to it. You’ll see some photos in the coming months if you visit my TT blog
Pauleen at Tropical Territory
A to Z 2013
I shall definitely keep visiting Tropical Territory and hope to post some photos of the National Gardens Scheme gardens that I visit during the summer.