The exceptional “Kitchen Garden” in London

On the outskirts of London in the Palace of Hampton Court tradition lovers can visit “The Kitchen Garden” or “ornamental garden”, founded in 1689 for the English monarchs of the Dutch origin William III of Orange and Mary II. This plot of land supplied with fresh products the Royal family and courtiers at Hampton Court; 20 gardeners labored there. At the time of the Queen Victoria reign, all royal gardens were combined into one place at Windsor Castle. “The Kitchen Garden” was then, used as the market during many years, before it became a pleasure garden at the beginning of a twenty century.

A wonderful place was chosen for garden. Brick wall of the castle, surrounding the sunny plot of land, was creating its own microclimate. And it also served as an excellent support for trellis fruit trees: peaches, pears, apricots, cherries and plums. Today this garden is divided into six sectors; approximately each has a length of an acre (0.4 hectares). Clean lines are everywhere; the symmetry should be even on the most ordinary landings. There are raised beds, where it turned out that, they came into fashion in the XVIII century. They were used for cultivation of warmth-loving cultures, the meals of which were revered on the Royal table.

Edible and ornamental plants are perfectly combined on this “decorative garden”. Fancy planting perennials, shrubs and dwarf trees, some flowers, a relaxation area in the center — all this is not peculiar to usual gardens. Pathways, which are filled with a mixture of coarse sand, clay and gravel, serve as a year-round decoration of the site. This road surface provides drainage and ease of care. There is the most impressive system of crop rotation in “The Kitchen Garden”. It takes not about 3 or 4 years, but 12 years! A large part of the beds are transplanted each year. It lets leaf and root crops fully use their opportunities.

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