The Walled Kitchen Garden
The future of walled gardens
With the advent of the supermarket, fresh produce from all over the world is now available to all, and the original purpose of the walled kitchen garden is no longer valid. However there is still plenty of potential for walled gardens today.
In the recent past they have often been used as plant nurseries, but now the increased interest in organic vegetables and fruit presents new opportunities for ‘niche marketing'.
Walled gardens also offer possibilities as heritage sites, for education and horticultural training (for instance Shugborough and Chiswick House Kitchen Garden). More recently they have become an ideal location for the growing practice of horticultural therapy, such as the ‘Gardening Leave' scheme at Auchincruive and Helmsley Walled Garden.
There are also many examples of groups of enthusiasts coming together to renovate a walled garden in order to provide a focus for the local community, as at Allesley Walled Garden and Cowbridge Physic Garden, or as shared allotments such as the Beddgelert Allotments, Craflwyn and a Community Supported Agriculture scheme in the walled garden at Swillington Organic Farm.
These few examples demonstrate that walled enclosures can provide a unique environment for a variety of uses in keeping with their original function. With such imaginative new roles, walled kitchen gardens have a much better chance of surviving in the modern world.