Kingston Lacy Kitchen Garden project

Project
The vision for the restoration of the Kitchen Garden at Kingston Lacy

We are working hard to bring Walter Bankes’ Victorian Kitchen Garden back to life. The pandemic set back our timescale; we have already completed some of the work, but over the next few years aim to transform the Kitchen Garden from its current state, reignite its former elegance and ensure it once again becomes a showcase for horticultural opulence. To achieve this we are looking to raise a total of £498,000 to open up this space for everyone and to conserve the garden for future generations.

The project has been broken down into four phases:

Phase one

We plan to reinstall the former path and hedge network. The new hedges will be privet, lavender and yew and will be planted alongside new herbaceous flower borders to bring these areas of the garden back to life.  

A photo of the former box hedging and flower borders that we will be recreating during the restoration
Box hedging and flower borders in the Kitchen Garden at Kingston Lacy (circa 1950)
A photo of the former box hedging and flower borders that we will be recreating during the restoration
A photo from the archives of the flower borders in the Kitchen Garden at Kingston Lacy
A photo from the archives of the former flower borders in the Kitchen Garden at Kingston Lacy
A photo from the archives of the flower borders in the Kitchen Garden at Kingston Lacy

Phase two

We will be planting a shrub and tree boundary around the perimeter of the Kitchen Garden to recreate what was there in the early 1900s. All the plants used will be native species chosen to improve the biodiversity of the hedgerow and offer an improved habitat for wildlife.

Phase three

In the autumn of 2021 we will be restoring wrought iron gates at the northern side of the Kitchen Garden, followed by the ornamental fencing next year. We will also be planting up herb borders. We will also be planning the vegetable beds for 2022, aiming to plant a mixture of historical and modern produce. We hope this produce will be used in the café at Kingston Lacy so visitors can enjoy food that has come from plot to plate when they stop to refuel.

Phase four

The final phase of the project is to replant the former apple orchards and recreate the apple archway which was present in the 1900s. Visitors to the Kitchen Garden in future years will be able to walk through this archway which will span the width of the garden, following in the footsteps of visitors to the garden in the 1900s. We will be replanting the orchards with historical varieties of apple tree taken from archived planting records. This final phase will also see the restoration of the remaining vegetable beds.

The final plan for the Kitchen Garden project
The final plan for the Kitchen Garden project at Kingston Lacy
The final plan for the Kitchen Garden project

Latest updates

06 Jan 20

Work beings on reinstating the former path network

Contractors have started work resurfacing the paths between the glasshouses, and will then be reinstating the lost path network which once adorned the Kitchen Garden in the 1900's . The work should be completed by the middle of February 2020. Over this period the Kitchen Garden may only be open to the public on weekends so we can complete this next exciting step in the restoration project.

Work taking place to restore the Kitchen Garden at Kingston Lacy

30 May 19

Planting the maize maze

The green shoots of maize are starting to appear in the old allotment area in the Kitchen Garden. This 2 acre site will become a 'maize maze' this summer before we reinstall the former path and hedge network as we progress with phase one of our Kitchen Garden restoration project over the autumn/winter. Come back in the summer holidays to explore the new maize maze – we will be asking for donations on entry, all of which will go towards the Kitchen Garden restoration project.

Get lost in the new maize maze in the Kitchen Garden at Kingston Lacy

19 Apr 19

Clearing the old allotments

Towards the end of April we cleared the old allotment site and cultivated the ground, ready for our new maize maze. This will hopefully be sown in the next few weeks and ready for visitors to use in the summer. Longer term this space will be turned back into vegetable beds as per the original Victorian design.

Clearing the former allotments in the Kitchen Garden at Kingston Lacy, Dorset