||More pictures will be added early-summer
2002; please come back then
Through our Advisory
Service we can offer you the support and
advice you need, in all of the areas below, drawing
on the range of expertise and experience in the Walled
Kitchen Gardens Network. Contact us and tell us what
you need: firstname.lastname@example.org
||How do I research the history of a specific
||You may have to be a bit of a detective, but
there are often many potential leads. Look at
old maps in your local library. They may also
have reference material on the garden, especially
if attached to a house of significance. Try the
local historical society, or county Gardens Trust
they may already have undertaken some research,
or be willing to help. See the links
section for national organisations that can help,
that will have general information but could also
have specific detail of relevance. We may also
have information: contact email@example.com
And don't forget, ask around: local knowledge
is often the most valuable.
||How do I work out the original layout and
||Familiarise yourself by reading more about the
history and practice of walled kitchen gardening
publications). Old maps will indicate
structures and boundaries, and archive material
may include lists or details of what was there.
Look for signs of old structures, such as recesses
for roof flashing, white painted walls, soot blackening
suggesting furnaces or vents, or different types
of brick. Many of the secrets of the walled garden
lie underground, but when excavating take care
not to destroy important features: take it gently!
Try some smaller test digs, or even dowsing to
locate underground pipes or tanks. Please contact
us if you'd like us to assess the historical significance
of features in your walled garden, and advice
||What about freehold, leases or informal agreements?
||Owning the freehold is usually the easiest for
restoring and developing a walled garden. However,
if the garden is not for sale, or you don't have
the funds, a lease/tenancy is the next option.
Clearly you want to avoid a vast capital outlay
on a short-term lease, but you could write in
clauses specifying arrangements for valuations
and compensation in the event of the freeholder
refusing to renew the lease. Depending on the
extent of structures (existing and planned) you
will need to decide between an agricultural tenancy,
a commercial lease or licence arrangement. But
sometimes it's just easier to take on a walled
garden through an informal agreement and let the
project grow slowly, building a good relationship
with the owner as you transform his asset and
making him aware of its potential.
||How do I decide what my objectives are?
||This is the big question, and
it's important you clarify your purpose, and stick
to it. Walled garden projects can become very
expensive, and they are generally complex, especially
if your aims are unclear. There are four main
These choices are potentially conflicting; the
more you try and fulfil, the more complex he project
becomes. Achieving a perfect balance is not easy.
Please contact us if you'd like advice
on deciding what is best for your walled garden
and defining your aims. wner as you transform
his asset and making him aware of its potential.
- educational eg. for children, gardeners,
people with special needs
- productive growing high-quality food
for sale locally, maybe certified organic,
and/or cut flowers and pot plants
- visitor attraction eg. horticultural
and social history, attractive garden
- heritage restoration historically
accurate (you need to decide precisely what
era/date to focus on)
||How do I get help in planning and project
||This is another important area: walled kitchen
gardens require a wide range of expertise and
linking these all together, providing the overview,
is a skilled job in itself. Above all, be realistic
in what you can achieve, and in deciding what
your main purpose is (see above). Please see our
section to see how we can provide support in the
planning and management of your project
||Where can I get funding?
Private owners will find it very difficult getting
funding for a restoration project, unless there
are clear arrangements for public access and a
sharing of control and management of the project.
Funders invariably support charities, voluntary
and community-based organisations. Therefore,
if you own a walled garden you may have to develop
a partnership with other organisations to secure
funding for restoration. The
Heritage Lottery Fund may fund restoration
projects, and there are a number of other government
and other funds that will fund projects that have
other aims but that could be located in the walled
garden and so provide funds for restoration and
THE HISTORIC GARDEN BURSARY SCHEME
Would you like to help you to advance your horticultural career and acquire practical skills and knowledge in these kinds of areas: propagation for historic and botanic gardens, record keeping for plant collections, management of veteran trees or the restoration of walled gardens?
The Historic and Botanic Garden Bursary Scheme enables enthusiastic and committed horticulturalists to increase their horticultural and other technical skills through practically based training placements, in a range of historic and botanic gardens.
Find out more by going to www.hbgbs.org.uk
||How can I generate income?
|| This depends on your main purpose (see above).
Experience so far suggests that you can generate
a reasonable turnover from the sale of produce,
or from visitors, or training activities, enough
maybe to (just) cover revenue costs. But you're
very unlikely to cover the capital costs, particularly
for extensive restoration or rebuilding of structures
such as greenhouses. And you're likely to run
into difficulties if you try and do everything
in a chase for pounds and pennies. The main principle
is to focus on one or two main income streams,
and do them well. Contact us for more advice
on funding and generating income.
||How can I make it a successful visitor attraction?
|| What makes your walled garden unique? You need
to identify this, then look at ways you can make
this uniqueness accessible to people, ie. Ôtell
the story'. Then you need to market it appropriately
there's no point in spending all that money
if you don't tell people about it! Innovation
is important from the start, continually re-inventing
to keep the concept fresh. And then it is all
about attention to detail: keeping the plants
and displays looking pristine, designing good
interpretation, and looking carefully at layout,
flows and zoning. If in doubt go and look at other
visitor attractions, walled gardens and otherwise,
and judge what makes them work.
||Where to buy heritage seeds and plants?
||Recreating an authentic historic
walled kitchen garden will require old varieties
and cultivars. Fortunately there are now a number
of specialised suppliers of plants and seeds,
too numerous to list here. The HDRA Heritage Seed
Library is a good start: www.hdra.org.uk/hsl/
HDRA and some of the other national
organisations linked to the Walled Kitchen Gardens
Network can generally advise their members on
sources of plants and seeds. See also Heritage
Vegetables under publications.
||What about restoring structures and other
||The heritage value of old walled gardens is
slowly becoming recognised, but many of the remaining
examples are have now deteriorated and are in
danger of being lost. Restoring structures is
likely to be your biggest capital expense. Key
questions are which structures to restore as priority,
and to which era, as the remains of historical
treasures often lie beneath more recent additions.
You also need to think of their future use, so
that you can ensure their sustainability. Local
council archaeologists and public sector agencies
such as English Heritage can provide advice, and
we'd be grateful if you'd also contact us so we
can keep abreast of restoration projects, and