Skip to content

Our work in the garden at Knightshayes

Woman carrying rainbow chard harvest at Knightshayes
Harvesting rainbow chard at Knightshayes | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

In the one-hectare (2.5 acre) Victorian walled kitchen garden at Knightshayes are a vast collection of heritage seeds, including 102 varieties of heritage tomatoes. The garden team aim to work in the spirit of the Victorians, embracing innovation and new varieties whilst still looking to preserve our vegetable-growing history.

Maintaining Knightshayes's kitchen garden

The kitchen garden is a large-scale, productive and organically cultivated garden. As such, it takes the dedication of a strong team of staff and volunteers to keep it thriving.

Kitchen gardeners enjoy working with a large team of enthusiastic volunteers. You’ll see the team out in the garden throughout the year, so say hello.

Harvesting homegrown produce

Unusually for a restored garden, all the produce grown is harvested and used. Despite its ornamental presentation, it’s a working kitchen garden and the fruit and vegetables grown supply the local Pannier Market in Tiverton for around seven months of the year.

Loofahs on their vines in the walled garden at Knightshayes
Loofahs in the walled garden at Knightshayes | © National Trust Images/Liz Abdey

Growing our own loofahs

From May to October head to the kitchen garden to see the crop of loofahs growing under shelter, ready to be harvested at the start of November.

First grown in 2019, this successful crop has helped reduce the use of plastic sponges across Knightshayes and are easy to grow at home as long as you have a greenhouse or poly-tunnel to ensure the fruits ripen fully.

Thank you

With your ongoing support, we're able to continue our vital conservation work. Thank you for helping to protect these special places.

The exterior of the house at Knightshayes with the garden in front

Discover more at Knightshayes

Find out when Knightshayes is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

You might also be interested in

A family walking along a path in a wood with lush green planting

Visiting the garden at Knightshayes 

Step into the formal and woodland garden at Knightshayes in Tiverton, Devon, which is divided into eight separate areas plus a walled kitchen garden.

The library at Knightshayes with bookshelves wrapping round the walls, gold wallpaper and sofas.

Things to see and do inside Knightshayes house 

Discover the ground floor of house at National Trust’s Knightshayes. See the details behind architect William Burges's gothic façade and a portrait that may be by Rembrandt. From Monday 15 April the first floor of the house will also reopen for a peek into the private spaces of the Heathcoat-Amory family.

A path cuts through the forest on the Douglas fir walk at Knightshayes, Devon

Exploring the estate at Knightshayes 

There are acres of parkland to discover at Knightshayes. It's a great place for the whole family to explore with room to roam with plenty of hidden corners to discover.

Afternoon tea with fruit scones, clotted cream and jam in the restaurant at Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent

Eating and shopping at Knightshayes 

Grab a bite to eat and drink in the Stables Café, or browse the range of goods in our shop. You'll find all the details here.

A man looking down the guard around a tree sapling, in a landscape dotted with other newly planted trees

Our cause 

We believe that nature, beauty and history are for everyone. That’s why we’re supporting wildlife, protecting historic sites and more. Find out about our work.

A group of people walking along a grassy path through an avenue of trees in full leaf

For everyone, for ever: our strategy to 2025 

Read about our strategy 'For everyone, for ever' here at the National Trust, which will take the organisation through to 2025.