Restoring the Kitchen Garden

In the late 18th century, the walled garden provided the house and estate with vegetables and herbs and even tropical fruits from the greenhouses. We're currently working to restore the garden to it's 1930s arrangement.

History of the Walled Garden

Created in the late 18th century, the walled garden was an integral part of this working Irish estate. It was improved significantly in 1869 when the 4th Earl of Enniskillen married Charlotte Baird, a wealthy heiress from Dumfriesshire. She invested much into the development of the garden, providing many of its main features including the entrance bridge, pergola, Rose Garden and greenhouses. The garden remained in production up until the 1940s, having up to 12 full time gardeners at its peak.

Work so far

The upper part of the garden, known as the Rose Garden, has already been restored, and the remaining 2 acres, known as the Kitchen Garden is currently undergoing a project to return it to the 1930s arrangement.

So far, the original pathways have been restored and herbaceous borders planted containing a wide variety of plants, including achillea, asters, bergamot, marigold, cosmos and many summer flowering bulbs. These can also provide cut flowers for use in the house.

Two large fruit and vegetable plots have been brought into cultivation and are used to grow common vegetables and Victorian favourites such as sea kale. Each year new and unusual vegetables are grown - most recently tree spinach, callaloo and mooli radish. The plots are edged with calendula and other flowers to attract beneficial insects. 110 meters of espalliers have been installed to support native Irish apples.

Pick up some of our vegetables grown on the estate in the Kitchen Garden shop
The gardener holds some homegrown squash in the Kitchen Garden at Florence Court

Future plans

Plans are in place to add further vegetable plots until the whole garden is under cultivation and fully reflects its purpose as an integral part of an Irish working estate. The greenhouses were dismantled after WWII and ideally the project will involve their restoration. A further two plots have been dug, which means more and more vegetables can be grown each year. These vegetables are used in our tea-room and sold in the garden shop.

Help us out

Visitors are always welcome to the garden and guided tours can be arranged. Lead Gardener for the project David Corscadden is helped by a fantastic team of volunteers. Volunteers are always needed and welcomed! If you are interested in gardening from pricking out seedlings to digging and weeding, email us at: florencecourt@nationaltrust.org.uk