Grow Your Own!

Whether it’s a few herbs in a window box, a humble veg patch or an abundant allotment, using the garden to grow your own food is not only a great way to get outside but cuts your food bills too! Autumn is the traditional time of harvest so it makes for a very busy time with the trug. If you’re looking for inspiration, or just for an interesting day out, we have lots of Kitchen Gardens for you to explore and have listed them below.

There are a few different ways in which homes may choose to grow their food, and these all have historical significance. Vegetable gardens and patches often mirror traditional family farms in their layout; robust rows of root veg and radishes, and are often referred to as Victory Gardens due to their importance during World War II. The ornamental Kitchen Garden, or potager, uses flowers and herbs to make a more aesthetically pleasing place to pick your peppers. A design taken from the grand chateaus of France, these gardens are noted for their striking centrepieces as well as their beautiful, yet highly functional, design.

Of course growing your own fruit and vegetables isn’t just a great use of your land, it also provides you with the most delicious food! We all know home-grown tastes best, and it really is very easy to grow your favourites. As well as the difference in taste that will come from growing your own chemical-free food you’ll also save lots of money!

We’ve listed some of the Kitchen Gardens open for the National Garden Scheme below, from allotments to orchards, potting sheds to potagers you’re bound to find a delightful garden to visit:

Hill Close Gardens, Warwickshire – September 2nd
Restored Grade ll* Victorian leisure gardens comprising of 16 individual hedged gardens, 8 brick summerhouses, herbaceous borders,  and wonderful heritage apple and pear trees.

Riverford Field Kitchen Garden, Devon – Sept 3
Nestled amongst the beautiful rolling fields of an organic farm, The Riverford Field Kitchen Garden is a real delight. Planted up with a varied and unusual range of organic vegetables, herbs and flowers, every inch offers something to smell, touch and taste.

Washbrook Allotments, Leicester – Sept 3
These allotment gardens have been described as a “hidden oasis” off the main Welford Road. There are over 100 whole and half plots growing a wide variety of fruit and vegetables.

Golf Course Allotments, London – Sept 3
This large, long established allotment with over 200 plots, some organic is maintained by the community growing a wide variety of fruit, vegetables and flowers.

Eton Avenue Growers Association, Nottinghamshire – Sept 3
These 2½ acres were taken over in 2009 by a community group and are now a peaceful haven for long term unemployed! This enthusiastic group work hard, and choose which plants to grow to achieve a wildlife friendly spot. Dig for Victory allotment, ponds, tunnels, compost loos, flowers, fruit and vegetables all make for a very interesting day out!

Broadleas House Gardens, Devizes – September 3rd 
A beautiful 6 acre garden of hedges, herbaceous borders, rose arches, bee garden and a fabulous orchard stuffed with good plants.

Sizergh Castle, Cumbria – September 9th
So manye amazing features including collections of Japanese maples, dwarf conifers, hardy ferns, wild flower areas, Kitchen garden and a fruit orchard!

Parsonage House, Essex – September 10th
The potager has an ancient “Newton Wonder” apple tree, standard gooseberries, raspberries and strawberries, as well as lettuce, carrots, beans, and other herbs and vegetables for the kitchen.

The Brooks, Herefordshire – September 10th
This 2.5 acre country garden has a long season of interest. The part-walled enclosed vegetable garden and greenhouse has power provided by wind & solar energy to run lighting and pump water from an underground rainwater tank. The orchard, ornamental perennial and shrub borders, wildlife pond, evolving arboretum cum coppice and meadows, also have stunning views over the Golden Valley and surrounding areas.

11 Brookside, Suffolk – September 10th
There’s many specimen trees to discover as well as an apple espalier bordered greenhouse with kitchen garden, apples and vines.

Gordon Road Allotments, London – September 10th
These allotments comprise a mixture of traditional plots and raised beds for those with physical disabilities and for children from local schools. There’s also a wildlife area and an area set aside for bee hives.

Calke Abbey, Derbyshire – September 16th
With a Georgian orangery, an impressive collection of glasshouses and garden buildings, ice house, grotto and gardeners’ tunnel. There’s also the vegetable garden growing unusual varieties of fruit and vegetables, often on sale to visitors.

Inley Drove Farm, Lincolnshire – September 16th
Unusual shrubs and trees, including fine stand of Black Poplars, vegetable garden, woodland walks and an orchard.

Mere House, Lincolnshire – September 16th
Explore the new cutting garden, vegetable garden and orchard!

Meynell Langley Trials Garden, Derbyshire – September 17th, October 15th
Over 45 varieties of apples are grown in cordon, espalier and step over forms and the October day is given over to a taste testing apple day!

Goltho House, Lincolnshire – September 24th
The garden is laid out with a strong feeling of colour, form and texture in flowers and foliage. The potager, with its brick paths and geometric planting, offers an intimate experience of a wide variety of herbs, vegetables and fruit.

Castell Cwrt, Gwent – October 8th
A 10 acre small holding with fine views overlooking Abergavenny. Lawns with established trees, shrubs and perennial borders and wonderful soft fruit and vegetable gardens.

To see all of our other wonderful gardens open near you, click here.

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