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How to Restore a (Rather Large) Kitchen Garden

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How to Restore a (Rather Large) Kitchen Garden

Kendra Wilson July 31, 2012

The walls around the kitchen garden at Holkham Hall in Norfolk are big, and tall, and really very long. They enclose six and a half acres, once intensely productive but abandoned by the mid 20th century. The walls survived as the garden crumbled. Happily, a restoration project is underway.

Head gardeners these days require a lot of imagination and a new kind of energy. There is no call for homegrown asparagus in November, and a heated glasshouse for raising melons would be a kind of madness. Like many head gardeners, Tim Marshall at Holkham has a tiny staff and as many volunteers as he can get.

Photographs by Kendra Wilson.

Above: The vinery, or glasshouse, at Holkham Hall has been restored with the backing of English Heritage.

Above: Acres and acres of brick at Holkham Hall in Norfolk, a county heaving with vast country estates.

Above: Peaches are trained against the warm whitewashed wall of the peach house, part of the vinery.

Above: Before. Part of the vinery, as was.

Above: The restored fig house, with delightful lead sink and typical metal grid floors for drainage.

Above: The vastness of the glasshouses, bisected by a door to the park. A vinery faced south or west and typically it leaned against one of the garden walls.

Above: Architectural details, underneath glass. It was a fantastically efficient system: ventilation was key, and panes of glass were fitted like roof tiles, for ease of replacement.

Above: The buildings in the walled kitchen garden are being restored to a new kind of glory, as opposed to their former glory. For a story about another unusual English garden, see "A Pop-Up Roof Garden in London."

N.B.: See 426 more inspirational images of gardens and landscapes in our Gallery of rooms and spaces.

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