This Victorian walled garden sits peacefully in the East Lothian countryside, surrounded by woodland and gardens. When I first visited, the space felt like a blank canvas. A slightly awkward slope laid to lawn meant a bit of thought had to go into creating a practical kitchen garden which would be easy to work in whilst looking amazing. The north wall of the garden was built from a combination of brick and natural sandstone and was in a poor condition. Extensive work was carried out by Dan MacCaulay to the walls to restore them without making them look as if they were brand new. Dan worked his magic with beautiful results.
The clients had an enthusiastic wishlist for the space where they wanted to grow fruit and vegetables in raised beds as well as espaliered fruit trees on the brick walls. They loved the idea of a cedar greenhouse with a water butt for harvesting rainwater. And they were very excited by the idea of a traditional fruiting hedgerow to hide the badger and rabbit-proof fence.
The solution to the awkward slope was to fashion the raised beds out of woven rebar which allowed us to mould the shape of each bed to the space. Paths in between were created using Cedec pathway gravel and each bed has its own water supply for ease of watering.
A good sized cedar greenhouse was built and installed by Woodpecker Joinery and as soon as it was installed the clients filled it with tomato plants which grew like triffids. Automatic roof vents keep the temperatures down in the summer and cedar staging gives plenty of space for seeds and plants. Cedar greenhouses are particularly enjoyable to work in due to the warm tones of the cedar and the beautiful fragrance.
A working area immediately outside the greenhouse was designed with a sweepable surface made from Dutch pavers to match the brick wall and a stylish potting bench frames the space on two sides. A Belfast sink allows for pot washing and shelving gives space for irrigation kit, tools and bags of compost.
Inevitably for a walled garden, there are gates! On the north and east walls I opted for a design which whimsically uses garden forks in the top half of an otherwise solid gate. I first saw this design in a garden near Duns in the Scottish borders and subsequently at Broadwoodside near Gifford. Detailing on the gates through the fruiting hedge gives a nod to the woven rebar raised beds. These gates gently close on a spring so that Peter Rabbit and friends are not able to sneak in through a gate left open by accident…