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The gardeners who worked on Estates years ago


can teach us all something.
I have ‘Tales from the country estates’ by John Bailey
from the library.
The chapter about Knebworth House Page 96 has a
photograph of the Herb Garden there, designed by Gertrude Jekyll.
It is interesting because the Herbs are allowed to grow to their full size in beds surrounded by bricks mortared in
with the ends touching, making a dry maintenance free
pathway for the herb gatherer.
A keen fresh Herb cook who doesnt have time for gardening could do this effectively in a modern garden.
The plants grow so close together, there is no room for weeds to accumulate.

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Oh I read this book a few years ago. it was wonderful to see what used to be done when they had an army of gardeners at their disposal.

25 Jun, 2017


There were 38 gardeners at Chatsworth, but it was a huge acreage of land to work.
My thinking is that this 'Herb Garden' idea can be adapted to a small back garden by someone whose only interest is cooking. James Wong has done it in the rear of his flat.
The plants must be there for years to become 3 feet tall.
I planted Rosemary and Mint in tubs on my balcony but they are still quite small.

26 Jun, 2017


I have herbs in pots outside the kitchen door. My grandmother used to have herbs as hedges! As children we were encouraged to rub sage leaves into our gums. Maybe that's why I still have my own teeth!!

Visits to NT properties drive home the fact that it took an army of gardeners to keep them looking good. WW1 took a toll on these under gardeners.

27 Jun, 2017


I had a rosemary "tree" back at my old place. It lived in a raised border that the wall was about waist high. The top of the plant was I guess at least a foot over my head, so well over 6 feet from the ground. Must've been 4 or 5 feet of growth from the little twiglet thing that I started with, and I guess perhaps a decade of growing it. The trunk was literally a trunk, too thick to cut through, even the branches were a challenge for me. I used to trim it up each year and give a load of branches to my Portuguese neighbour, who loved to lay them on top of the cooker after cooking, to cleanse the cooking smells from the air. I brought a jarful of dried rosemary with me from that plant when I moved, that I am still using. I thought the plant was so pretty each year when it was flowering too :)

I have 2 library books out at the moment, both are novels but based around gardening on big estates - one is Earthly Joys by Philippa Gregory, and the other is Gardener to the King by Frederic Richaud.

My granny used to have a lovely herb border around a little lawn that was in the half of her garden nearest to the house. I have memories of both my mother and her showing me the plants in it when I was a child.

At the moment I only have some spearmint in a pot outside, and 2 pots of basil in the kitchen. I ate so much of the first one that I couldn't cut any more without letting it grow some more first, so I had to get a second one so that I can alternate using them :D

I really enjoy plants that have scent/flavour :)

27 Sep, 2017


Thank you everyone for such interesting information.

27 Sep, 2017

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