Gardening Within Walls

Discover the beautiful walled haven at Picton, and the exciting new plans to restore these gardens

By Picton Castle & Gardens

The Walled Garden in JulyPicton Castle & Gardens

The Unique Beauty of a Walled Garden

Walled Gardens are unique in their atmosphere and microclimate. On entering, be it through elaborate Victorian gates or a small wooden door, it is as if the rest of the world is suddenly quietened.

The place you have entered feels shrouded in romance and privilege.

The walled gardensPicton Castle & Gardens

Within garden walls bird song seems amplified, the noise from outside partially excluded and the scent of flowers lingers. Few individuals today can afford anything like the expense borne in previous centuries.

The grounds and gardens of PictonPicton Castle & Gardens

During the 19th century walled gardens became the essential luxury for any country gentleman. They served to supply essential fruit and vegetables to the household and to impress visiting guests with exotic fruits and flowers. 

Lily in Walled GardenPicton Castle & Gardens

They became their most elaborate during the middle of the century and often included vast ranges of greenhouses to force early production and increase the range of crops and flowers that could be grown.

The walled gardens in sunshinePicton Castle & Gardens

Walls provide a few degrees of protection from wind and frost. The soil temperature at the base of brick walls is also increased as they have the capacity to absorb and retain heat from the sun. 

Walls act as night store heaters for tender or heat loving plants growing on the south faces. Figs and peaches were frequently grown this way. During the winter months additional heat was often supplied through flues built into the wall and heated by fires.

The grounds and gardens of PictonPicton Castle & Gardens

Here at Picton Castle the Walled Garden was built in around 1820. The greenhouses and adjoining buildings to the north (gardener’s office, fruit store, potting shed, bothy and accommodation) were built around 1860 utilising the existing walls.

The greenhouses were heated by a coal fired boiler connected to four inch diameter cast iron hot water pipes. The entrance is a wonderful example of exuberant Victorian building. Heavy gates and railing attached to bulky gateposts topped with pineapple finials. 

The grounds and gardens of PictonPicton Castle & Gardens

Like in so many old estates, Picton’s walled garden lost a lot of its grandeur in the 20th Century.  All that remained of the greenhouses were the brick foundations, the bothy buildings were unsafe and the ferneries were overgrown.

The grounds and gardens of PictonPicton Castle & Gardens

The Garden is currently undergoing an extensive restoration project to bring the gardens back to their former glory.

Once complete there will be a large glasshouse in the foot print of the old foundations, a classroom, restored ferneries and exhibition spaces. The restored gardens will create an immersive experience for visitors about our historic gardens and provide a space for conservation, training and education. 

Credits: Story

Roddy Milne and Kate Barrett 

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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