From garden to café

Visitors enjoying the Kitchen Garden at Packwood

The Fetherston family of Packwood were gentleman farmers who were wealthy enough to farm for pleasure as well as income. Our aim at Packwood has been to re-create what was a vital part of the Fetherston family's self-sufficient home here in the 1700s.

Pretty and practical

In the 1700s kitchen gardens weren’t yet the large-scale operations they would become under the Victorians. These gardens were a combination of beauty and commodity, humble in scale but designed to be enjoyed, not hidden from sight. With immaculate pathways, dipping pools and shady benches to sit and relax the Fetherstons would have enjoyed the sights, sounds and smells of their delightful kitchen garden.

The summer months in Packwood's Kitchen Garden
Packwood's Kitchen Garden flower borders
The summer months in Packwood's Kitchen Garden


Quality over quantity

Kitchen gardens provided abundant resources including less familiar herbs and flowers which grew amongst the vegetables. These herbs and flowers were used as flavourings and dyes, sedatives and disinfectants and also medicine for people and animals alike.

This friendly chap overlooks the strawberry plants
A view of the kitchen garden at packwood
This friendly chap overlooks the strawberry plants


More than just a vegetable plot


Taking our inspiration from a survey of the house carried out in 1723 the team at Packwood took the opportunity to regenerate this forgotten area of Packwood’s gardens. We aim to blend traditional practices of producing fresh, home-grown food which is often used in the Garden Kitchen Café with encouraging biodiversity and experimenting with new exotic plants.

The apples are nearly ready for picking
Apples lining the pathways in the kitchen garden
The apples are nearly ready for picking


Over the last few years the café has used a variety of produce from the garden in lots of delicious recipes. These have included pumpkin cheesecake, blackcurrant coconut slices and rhubarb and almond traybake in the autumn as well as parsnip cake, mulberry cake and plum custard cake in the late summer months. 

Rhubarb picked fresh from the garden goes straight into our traybake
Rhubarb slice
Rhubarb picked fresh from the garden goes straight into our traybake