A chat with our gardeners

volunteer in grey holding herbs for girls to sniff

It's spring in the kitchen garden at Longshaw. The garden is buzzing at this time of year – time to catch up with the volunteer Kitchen Gardeners as spring is in full swing...

What’s your favourite thing about the Peak District - favourite spots, memories, connections?

I first discovered Longshaw in the early 1970s as a student and fell in love with it. I love being in the countryside so the fact that the Peak District is just a few miles from where I live in Sheffield is great – Linda C

How did you get started as a volunteer? What were the circumstances?

We were already volunteers with the Mudlarks group, who were asked to help with the initial clearance of the garden site. It seemed an interesting project to get involved with from the start, and indeed proved to be – Angela and Mike W

What do you enjoy about the role you are doing?

I enjoy the physical activity, sense of purpose, working with the seasons and plants, chatting to visitors, creativity and problem solving - but the most rewarding aspects of the role are the companionship and support of my fellow volunteers, the humour and the scones – Linda J

cabbages for tea?
cabbage with sign, growing in the kitchen garden at Longshaw
cabbages for tea?

What does your role involve? How does it contribute to the work the NT is doing/bigger picture?

By encouraging people to enjoy the natural environment and to grow their own food, eat local and seasonal produce. – Pauline W

What do you look forward to when you’ve been out in the rain and mist all day?

A hot shower,  a mug of coffee and that “good tired” feeling. - Jo S

What Kitchen Garden highlights can we look forward to this year? 

Look out for poppies to commemorate the end of the First World War, and a new bench for visitors to enjoy – Pauline W

Kitchen garden at Longshaw
Women working in the kitchen garden
Kitchen garden at Longshaw

What would you like the Kitchen Garden to look like in 5 years’ time?

Every year we’ve made improvements and  tried something new, so I’d hope we’d carry on making changes to make the garden an interesting and welcoming place to work or visit – Linda J

What makes the Kitchen Garden a special place?

The walls around it make it a cosy, comforting place, an oasis. It can be noisy and lively when families visit, or peaceful when you are alone. – Angela and Mike W

Explore the delightful kitchen garden this summer
kitchen garden toddler sunshine flowers
Explore the delightful kitchen garden this summer

If this sounds like a place you’d like to be, why not ask us about joining the volunteer kitchen garden team? You can chat to a gardener every Thursday at Longshaw, as well as picking up home-potted plants and tasty treats from the garden. For more information contact peakdistrict@nationaltrust.org.uk .

Download our planting plan here:Longshaw Kitchen Garden planting plan 2018 (PDF / 0.1064453125MB) download