New book: Kitchen Garden Estate

A copy of Kitchen Garden Estate with the vegetable garden of the National Trust’s central office in the background. ©Emile de Bruijn

Helene Gammack, a historic gardens consultant who has worked with the National Trust on a variety of projects, has just published a book called Kitchen Garden Estate, about traditional kitchen garden techniques and how they are relevant to gardeners today.

View of Charlecote Park, Warwickshire, c. 1696, showing the livestock and ponds that contributed to the economic activity on the estate. ©National Trust Images/Derrick E. Witty

The book describes and illustrates traditional methods of the growing of fruit against walls and the raising of vegetables on sloping beds. It explains how fruit, vegetables and herbs were used to produce food, drink and medicine for a large household, and how the various techniques and practices changed over time.

View of Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire, by John Griffier the Elder, c.1690, with fruit trees trained along walls. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Other aspects of kitchen gardens that Helene investigates include the keeping of livestock, chickens, doves and bees. She also shows how fish ponds and deer parks were integrated into the social and economic structures of country house estates.

Francis Popham angling in a garden pond, by Arthur Devis (1711-1787). ©National Trust Images/Angelo Hornak

The book is beautifully illustrated with a variety of photographs as well as reproductions of paintings, prints, books and documents.

View of Clandon Park, Surrey, by Leendert Knyff (1650-1722), including the deer park near the house as well as trained fruit trees. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

With its inclusion of recipes and explanations of traditional gardening methods this is a practical book for the modern gardener as well as a fascinating guide for visitors to historic kitchen gardens.

View of Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire, by Johannes Kip, 1710. Perry, the pear version of cider, is once again being made from the old varieties of pear in the orchard behind the church at Dyrham. ©National Trust Images

Kitchen Garden Estate can be ordered from the National Trust online shop (or via Amazon).

6 Responses to “New book: Kitchen Garden Estate”

  1. style court Says:

    Thanks for sharing this — what a terrific gift for a gardener. The use of repros of old paintings and prints as illustration looks great.

  2. beeskep Says:

    Great! Just ordered it on amazon. Thank you!!

  3. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Thank you both – yes it would make a good gift for the gardener who already has everything.

  4. CherryPie Says:

    It sounds very interesting and reminds me of how much I am enjoying watching the walled garden at Attingham Park develop.

  5. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Have they still got the pigs running around? I enjoyed ‘meeting’ them when I visited a while ago. Attingham’s eighteenth-century bee house is illustrated in the book.

  6. sustylife Says:

    Such an interesting history and becoming more relevant each day as backyard gardening continues to expand! Thank you for sharing!

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