Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden - Chinese proverb

Friday, 10 August 2012

Travellers' Salad: Places to Visit

Some rather fetching salad leaves seen at Easton Walled Gardens at the end of June
Holiday time is the ideal time to discover some new gardens, so I thought I'd highlight some of my favourites from both near and far which you might like to include on your itinerary.

Easton Walled Gardens in Lincolnshire was a first for me this year and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. The garden has many good things, but seeing this is a post for the 52 Week Salad Challenge, today I'm highlighting their rather good kitchen garden.

The Organic Garden at Holt Farm in Somerset has become a firm favourite of mine since my first visit last year. Go there for lunch and you get to help yourself to loads of fresh organic salad from the large bowls on offer.

A garden in the rain in February isn't usually the best way to see a garden, but I fell in love with West Dean Gardens when I went there last year. There wasn't any salad on view at the time, but I'm sure there's plenty there now, especially as this is the home of the Totally Tomato Show.

In fact anywhere with a walled kitchen garden is bound to be a good salad bet. The one at Chatsworth a few years ago was a surprise (and delightful) discovery for me and I'm enjoying seeing the one at Tyntesfield come back to life. The National Trust and Garden Visit websites will be able to highlight more if you're holidaying in a different area. Don't forget the NGS too - I've made a couple of great salad garden discoveries when visiting via this scheme.

Garden Organic at Ryton will teach you lots about organic growing techniques as well as showing off salad varieties you might like to try from their Heritage Seed Library.

If you're thinking of going out for a celebratory meal, then a number of top restaurants have their own kitchen gardens to ensure their supplies are seasonal and at their freshest. I've had the good fortune to try the Manor Hotel at Castle Combe for Wiltshire magazine. My friend Threadspider has gone one better: she's also been to Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons.

Just a few ideas for starters. Have you made any salad discoveries on your garden visiting travels?

4 comments:

  1. Lovely list of salad gardens to visit, VP. I must get myself over to West Dean next time I visit my parents in Hampshire, I think it's free for RHS members if we go out of peak season? The other gardens that I need to track down are walled kitchen gardens; there's a fine one at Beaulieu but you have to pay to get in to the Motor Museum before you see the house and gardens!

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  2. Hi Caro,

    I can't remember re West Dean - I hope so, 'cos that means I can get in free too!

    If it's walled kitchen gardens you're after (and I dream of having one of my own), the National Trust has loads to choose from :)

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  3. Now that is a good looking salad bed. Beautiful, though one wonders if anyone gets round to picking from it since it would spoil the look!

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  4. Hi Janet - lovely to hear from you!

    The produce is used in the garden's restaurant, I wonder if they have replacement plants on standby?

    I found a similar bed in Bristol a few weeks ago as part of their Bristol in Bloom efforts. I'm sure it's all been eaten by now...

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