Baddesley's new vegetable garden
The existing vegetable garden was created by the National Trust in 2004 in a location that was previously part of the estate farmland before any major historical research was done into the garden's history. The land it occupies is sloping and badly drained. It is not ideally suited to vegetable growing and becomes unsafe due to waterlogging. Consequently, over winter it has to be closed to the public for safety reasons and winter vegetable production is not possible.
This spring we will be moving it to the area currently known as Undine, reinstating this space to its original use. On the 1848 tithe plan this area was described as a ‘nursery garden’, a space used for raising seedlings and young plants for the main kitchen garden in the walled garden beyond. In the late 1940s the Ferrers-Walkers switched their main vegetable garden to this ‘nursery’ area which was then abandoned in the 1970s.
The path running from the walled garden will be moved to an historic route and additional paths put in to allow visitor access throughout the year. The area around the glasshouses will be made into cut flower borders. The new vegetable garden will reflect the needs of the current estate, and we will use the best cropping fruit and veg, which you can enjoy in our Barn Restaurant!
We will use natural sustainable materials and will be chemical free, using companion planting and flowering herbs to bring in pollinators and provide food for insects. The whole vegetable garden will be hedged with a mixed native hedge to blend with the existing hedge line and provide another habitat and food source for local wildlife.
It has been a hard decision to make as the current vegetable garden is much loved in the summer and a lot of hard work has gone into it but we hope that the re-creation will bring what is currently somewhat of a disjointed area together and add another historically accurate level to the story of the productive estate that we tell in the gardens.
Work is well under way, and despite the inclement weather we've had this spring, we hope to be planting new veggies to harvest later in the year!