The walled garden at Hughenden

The south facing aspect of Hughenden’s walled garden means less hardy plants thrive here. Set on a gentle slope, the angle is a unique feature of the garden; even in cooler seasons the heat rises up the slope creating a warmer climate and a ‘frost gate’ in the bottom corner allows the cold air to escape.

Living history

The walled garden was vital to support the running of the country estate. Growing a great range of produce, with companion planting to supply the Manor house with flowers through the summer, it has been productive for almost 200 years.

Planting for pleasure

Based on planting found in the Victorian period, the walled garden features fruit trees, vegetable plots and herbaceous borders. There are three active vegetable beds and one resting bed to allow for crop rotation.

The shelter from the walls creates the perfect microclimate that allows our gardeners to grow soft fruit successfully. Trained against the sunniest wall are apricot and fig and in a sheltered corner are pear trees, a quince and an old traditional English damson plum, the Aylesbury prune.

Our small cherry orchard features seven trees and our more extensive apple orchards include 47 varieties of old English apples. In autumn, the trees droop under the weight of the fruit and our garden team is kept busy supporting the heaviest branches with wooden stakes. In winter the trees are pruned to keep their shape and help with production.

Fun in the walled garden

Young gardeners can try their hand at a spot of digging, use mini wheelbarrows and watering cans and learn all about how plants grow in our child-friendly walled garden play spaces. It’s a great place to discover where food comes from or to try out a nature trail and explore the garden.

Experts on hand

Our volunteer gardeners are on hand to offer fascinating insights into the history of the gardens and they’re experts at plant identification too. They have useful tips on planting and great advice on growing your own produce so please do stop and chat. Garden tours are available on weekdays at either 11.30am or 2.15pm, check the garden noticeboard when you visit.

Make your own compost for healthy fruit and veg
Close up of picked vegetables
Make your own compost for healthy fruit and veg

Plants and produce grown at Hughenden by the volunteers and gardeners are available to take home for a donation which helps to fund the conservation work of the Grade 1 listed space. Wooden gifts made by the countryside volunteer teams are on show in the garden garages, all made from materials found on the Hughenden estate.