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New garden

we have inherited a walled garden, about half an acre, which is laid to lawn at the moment. We would like to make it a productive kitchen garden, but don't have much of a clue!
it is south facing, divided into three almost equal parts by box hedging. Any thoughts welcomed!
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  • FlinsterFlinster Posts: 883
    Wow is my first thought! All I would say is plan, plan and plan some more. Think about what you’d like to grow... veg yes, but maybe cut flowers, a pond, bees, chickens, whatever your plan and plot it all out. How exciting! There are lots of experts around on here who will give lots of great advice... good luck!!!
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,574
    Ooh, that sounds gorgeous, I have always dreamed of a walled vegetable garden, instead I have an exposed terrace veg patch and are constantly battling the elements and my rubbish soil!

    Could you post a few pics of the space?

    There is is so much you could do and grow especially being south-facing (depending on your location, climate, soil, availability of water).

    First do lots of reading on kitchen gardens, walled gardens etc to get inspiration and help you formulate a plan. Visit some walled gardens near you, community growing schemes, local allotments...

    Decide what you want to grow and more importantly eat.

    Do you want it to be purely productive or do you want to grow a mix of fruit, vegetables, herbs, flowers etc?

    Consider the benefits/drawbacks of raised beds, no dig etc., as opposed to in the ground growing.

    Be realistic about what you can achieve and how much time you can allocate to it - no point creating a huge plot that you haven’t the time or energy to look after

    Do a bit of digging to find out what your soil is like - unless there is lovely deep loam underneath that grass you will probably have to improve it with loads of organic matter to grow fruit and veg. Do a PH test using a cheap kit available from most garden centres and diy stores. 

    Spend time gaining inspiration and building up your knowledge of your plot before committing to anything.

    Adjust your wishlist of what you want/can relalistically grow in your location, climate, aspect, soil etc.

    Having measured the space, start sketching out a rough plan..south facing walls for espaliered fruit trees, veg beds, herbs, where to put a small greenhouse, compost heaps etc. 

    Have fun!


  • FireFire LondonPosts: 13,910
    Good advice above. Also lots of visit this summer to walled veg gardens, if you can. There are lots about.
  • MrswalkletMrswalklet Posts: 6
    Thanks for the advice. The garden is divided into 3, around 100' x 100' each. We have photos from the mid 80's (we think) of it being used as a kitchen garden and the soil is still pretty nice. The dividers are box hedge, but look a bit ropey ?blight?
    also, forgot to mention we're in the North of Scotland, so that might limit things a bit!
    i think our initial ideas of just getting in there have been tempered! We might just keep on mowing the lawns in the short term, whilst we look around to see what other gardens look like! Also, there are a few fruit trees around the walls, so we'd better wait to see what they are!
    sorry to sound dithery, but it's a bit daunting!
  • JellyfireJellyfire SuffolkPosts: 968
    That looks a lovely space. If its a bit daunting then by far the best thing to do is just wait. Cut the grass, enjoy the space, and gather some ideas. There would be no point digging it all over to then discover that you dont have the time/inclination to tackle it all. Once youve got a firm plan in mind I'd then start with one manageable area, and tackle it in small stages to get it how you would like it, it'll take a few years, but its better than being overwhelmed. You'll also get an idea of what is already in there as the summer progresses and you will find out what you want to keep. Exciting though!
  • The_herpetologistThe_herpetologist West YorksPosts: 481
    OMG, it’s a gardener’s dream!! So much potential! Great advice above; get a sense of the overall ‘plan’, split it up into segments and takle each segment at a time. This would be much better than trying to tackle it all at once. You must be so excited though; I ran out of space years ago...the ideas keep coming, but the space is not there in my garden to make the ideas a reality. You will never have that problem. Enjoy! (And please post pics of your progress!)
  • Joyce21Joyce21 Posts: 15,489
    It might be worth paying a visit to the Castle of Mey to see what is growing there if it's reasonably near you.
    SW Scotland
  • MrswalkletMrswalklet Posts: 6
    Castle of Mey is not too far, so will be going there. Also Gordon Castle has a walled garden, but it's absolutely huge and they seem to completely clear it in the winter. We went last month and it was a desert! I'd like to have something happening all year round.
    were never moving again, it's too stressful, so we have the rest of our lives for this one!
    Thank you all for the encouragement!
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,574
    Wow, lovely, but that’s some size kitchen garden, no wonder you are daunted! Slowly slowly...

    You could post pics on a new thread of the individual fruit trees for identification, with close-ups of the leaves and find out roughly what you have got, but it might be fun to wait and be surprised...
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