kitchen garden at Natural Surroundings wildflower centre

The Kitchen Garden

An eclectic plantsman’s garden

At 20 metres x 8 metres (160 square metres), this plot is the size of a good-sized back garden (the UK average is around 90 square metres). Like many gardens, it has to do a variety of jobs. We grow some fruit and vegetables, but only in small quantities, as well as cut flowers for the café. Most importantly, however, we love plants and enjoy the challenge of growing a wide variety: edible, decorative and just plain fascinating, so above all our Kitchen Garden is a plantsman’s garden. We like to experiment and try out different things; the greenhouse and raised cold frames in particular allow us to grow many smaller and more delicate plants. The end result is eclectic, but a garden is all about personal taste, about individual likes and dislikes, and does not have to conform to fashion or a strict ‘design’.
Our Kitchen Garden is, of course, wildlife-friendly. It is surrounded by a generous hedge of native species, there are two small ponds (made from old tyres) and the compost bins provide a home for creepy-crawlies. Everything is grown organically, without the use of pesticides, and the variety of plants provides niches for many different creatures.