The Mulberry Garden
One of the highlights of a visit to Bateman's is the Mulberry Garden, which in the summer and through to the Autumn are a riot of colour, chosen for their decorative floral value, blooming merrily alongside vegetables, herbs and salads.
Originally a cattle yard, the Mulberry Garden was laid out by Kipling in an arrangement of box-bordered beds, possibly in a kitchen garden style but certainly with a mixture of perennial and annual flowers as well. During the 1970s this garden was redesigned by Graham Stuart Thomas (National Trust garden adviser and author) as a mixed herbaceous and shrub area.
The garden is now reviving a design closer to Kipling’s original style of planting, creating a potager-style garden using structurally interesting plants as well as plants for cut flower and culinary use within the tea-room.
The Black Mulberry tree (which can be seen in the centre of the lawn) is a replacement of Kipling’s original tree.
" Being a walled garden, this space would’ve been perfect for growing a wide range of produce for the family and household but we do know that it also contained more ornamental elements. This has given us an opportunity to experiment with all sorts of planting combinations; this year you’ll find giant sunflowers growing amongst sweetcorns, tomatoes and purple mangetout racing Morning Glory to the top of rustic obelisks and a mixture of salad leaves, some of which will be picked for freshly made salads in our tea-room and some left to flower into curly green spires and leafy burgundy columns. The most exciting thing is that every year the planting will be different."
There are several varieties of Clematis adorning the warm south and west facing walls including C.’Perle d’Azur, C. ‘Abundance’ and the highly fragrant C. montana ‘Grandiflora’.
The paths here and elsewhere in the garden are interspersed with millstones; either solid millstone grits from Yorkshire or French burrs made from several pieces held together with iron bands. The metal gate in the Mulberry garden was designed with stylised ‘RK’ lettering.