Garden features at Llanerchaeron

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The walled garden played an important part in making Llanerchaeron self sufficient. Today, it remains a working kitchen garden which produces organic fruit and vegetables.

In the garden we can find evidence of the flued walls, hot beds and the glasshouses. These were used to lengthen the seasonality of the produce, ensuring the house had enough fresh produce throughout the year.

The flued walls

These heated walls were a common feature in the large gardens of the 18th and 19th centuries. But not many of their chimneys remain. Here at Llanerchaeron you can see a complete example of the flued wall and its chimneys along the south-facing wall.

These flued walls were heated by running smoke from open fires through the walls. This system was used to grow fruit such as greengages, plums and apples. They would protect the fruit from frost and encouraged the shoots and fruit to ripen, extending the season.

Today we can still grow the same fruit against these walls with success and without lighting the fires.

The hotbeds

Heated by fermenting horse manure or tanning bark, these were used by the Victorian gardeners to grow exotic fruit such as pineapples and melons. More importantly, they we're used to grow any produce out of season, such as cucumbers and strawberries. This meant that the kitchen could cook all kinds of produce throughout the year. Unlike today, where we source our produce from all over the world, the Victorians found a way of growing these themselves.

Now we've been doing some experiments ourselves to see what we can grow in our own changing climate at Llanerchaeron. Next time you're visiting keep an eye out to see what's new.

Glasshouses

The restored glasshouses that you see today at Llanerchaeron were built between 1839 and 1859.  The oldest is a Bolton and Paul glasshouse. The other is the Fern House and the third, which was built between these two, was the vinery. This one was heated by a series of hot-water pipes and was used to grow grapes.

What you'll also see is the remains of a 1950s concrete glasshouse.

The dipping ponds

These are no more than a practical feature. Running a pipe from the lake to a pond in the garden meant that the gardeners didn't have to carry water over from the lake to water the garden.

Today they're used by us in the same way, and are a nice ornamental feature in the garden.