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Plas Newton walled garden

Pgds 20090510 133616 Pnwalledgardencomp


Most of the walled garden is lost and no longer in use. However the walls, greenhouses, potting sheds and tool sheds are still standing. The fruit, vegetable and flower plants still there are used and there are climbing plants on the walls.

Continue your virtual walk with Bill Morgan (son of deceased Head Gardener William Morgan) as he enters the walled garden... (see accompanying image of marked up walled garden plan)

"We had better go into the walled garden via the tradesmans entrance (certainly not through the Pergola Archway- that would never do !). If my Mother has suggested that I go and tell Father that his meal is on the table then on no account must I run up the drive and past the front door and certainly not across the putting green. Rather I had to take the well trodden track through the Plantation which gave me vital cover.

We have passed the hay barn and the farm implements on the right and have crossed the small farmyard with its loose boxes and shippons. These are needed to cope with a working cart-horse and three red-poll cattle who supply the dairy needs of the house.

Immediately before the entrance door, on the left are rain water buts, one of the boiler rooms, housing for the lawnmowers, wheelbarrows etc and shelving for the storage of plant pots, trays and vases all of which have been cleaned and sized.

Through the door immediately on our left, my favourite, the potting shed. But be careful how you go. On your right is a concealed well capped by two trap doors and this, of course, provides water not only for the cans but also to fill water buts fitted on trolleys. I can still recollect the smell of the soil, the fertilisers and the paraffin stove. All the garden tools can be seen - cleaned and hanging on brackets on the wall. The work benches, the sieves for preparing soil and the prize certificates are all displayed on the walls.

Venturing outside again, every path is edged with trimmed privet hedges, about one foot high, on each side. Setting off- immediately on the right we have a large greenhouse. The first section of this houses the vine which produces bunches and bunches of black grapes. The second section has staging and tiered shelving displaying Geraniums and trailing pot plants.

We pass the Herb Garden to the adjoining large Greenhouse which mainly houses White Arum Lilies, Ferns, Cineraries, Gloxinias, Calceolarias and other rather exotic pot plants.

On the corner of the Herb Garden is a small patch of Clover with variegated leaves and it was not unusual to find a four leaf clover there. I think it must have come over from Ireland.

Move back to the Centre path and look right down to the bottom of the garden to admire two enormous herbaceous borders. A fantastic show of colour. Let's plant them out - in layers, rising up from front to back-Salvias, Dianthus, Pinks etc then Phlox, Lupins, Delphiniums, Daisies, Gypsophlialia and so on - not forgetting the Red-Hot Pokers at the back. Then the Buddleiu..for the butterflies, Forthsythia, Clematis - it is endless. On the right hand border - mind how you tread - Decorative Dahlias. These have to be staked out especially those super Pom Pom dahlias in huge clumps. Pick yourself an armful. It will be difficult to tell where you have picked from.

On the wall on the right, running nearly the whole length of the garden you'll see the fruit trained on wire - Peaches, Necturines, Apples, Pears etc. Roller blinds (made from tarpaulines) are fixed at the top of the wires and are pulled down in the Winter to give some protection from the frost.

Soft fruit and vegetables for salads etc are in a long border. In the growing season these are covered with string netting to give some protection from the birds. When the Blackbirds and Thrushes got caught up in the netting one would have to climb in and catch them and release them. General vegetables and fruit trees will lead us round the outside of the garden and bring us back to the entrance to the Pergola. Then we proceed on round to the outdoor pot plants which are set out in front of the Potting-Shed.

Leaving what I think is the best part to last we must visit the two greenhouses. The largest one is displaying Chrysanthemums (of all sorts of varieties especially the Japanese Incurves) which usually ended up in the shows. Probably six Japanese Incurves, all staked out, to around three to four foot wide, would be sufficient to fill the whole of Doran's furniture van when transporting them to a show. There are pot plants for the house and new potatoes grown in order to be ready for Christmas Lunch. The smaller Greenhouse, (the tomato house as it was known) is well staked together with the usual Marrows, Cucumbers and the like.

The second boiler house is at the head of these greenhouses..The heating is provided by coke ovens to heat fairly wide pipework around the greenhouses. And finally the Cold Frames providing over-winter protection for some species and for cuttings and graftings for the new season .

Next we see the soft fruit. What a variety of raspberries, gooseberries, blackcurrants, red currants, loganberries (purplish-red - not unlike a raspberry) and blueberries. Oh - blue berry tarts - what a delight. Then we have the salads. There are lettuce, radish, spring onions. beetroot. What else would there be? Then we have the Kitchen vegetables. There is something for all the year round - cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, leek and those big onions. What about those runner beans, broad-beans, peas and Horseradish. It's all here.

Try to imagine the seedlists which had to be prepared and fitted within the outdoor budget. I can recall one of the suppliers - McHatties - who ran that splendid Garden Shop in Werburgh Street. Do you remember? They were down by what used to be the back entrance into Woolworths when their main entrance was opposite the Grosvenor Hotel. The Manager and the Staff wore Green gardening aprons."

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts


Hugh Thomas

White Gables Plas Newton Lane Chester


Early 20th Century (1901-1932)

Key Information




Early 20th Century (1901-1932)


Part: standing remains



Civil Parish