Baddesley's new vegetable garden
The National Trust created a vegetable garden at Baddesley in 2004 before any major historical research was done into the garden's history. The land it occupied was sloping and badly drained. It was not ideally suited to vegetable growing and became unsafe due to waterlogging. Consequently, over winter it had to be closed to the public for safety reasons and winter vegetable production was not possible.
Over the wnter of 2017-18 we moved it to an area then 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 was moved to an historic route and additional paths put in to allow visitor access throughout the year. The area around the glasshouses was made into cut flower borders. The new vegetable garden reflects the needs of the current estate, and we use the best cropping fruit and veg, which you can enjoy in our Barn Restaurant!
We use natural sustainable materials and are chemical free, using companion planting and flowering herbs to bring in pollinators and provide food for insects. The whole vegetable garden is hedged with a mixed native hedge to blend with the existing hedge line and provide another habitat and food source for local wildlife.
It was a hard decision to make as the old vegetable garden was much loved in the summer and a lot of hard work went into it but we think that the re-creation has brought a somewhat disjointed area together and adds another historically accurate level to the story of the productive estate that we tell in the gardens.
Work was completed on time, despite the inclement weather we had to contend with, and we had a good harvest of new veggies!