Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a courtyard garden. Which edibles will tolerate less than ideal growing conditions. Discovering how veggies can grow in partial shade.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Visit to Veggie Heaven

I made a trip today to West Dean Gardens near Chichester, Sussex. Here you will find the most amazing series of walled gardens, including this walled vegetable garden.
A dazzling display of late Autumn colour and regimental tidiness. Highly recommended for a day out if you are down that way.
Fruit trees in the walled fruit garden have been trained in amazing shapes.
Just look at the height of these ordinary tomatoes just grown in a pot in the greenhouse. Must be up to 15ft tall.
West Dean is host to the famous "Totally Tomato Show" and the "Chilli Fiesta" each year so there are just so many varieties of tomatoes and chillis to choose from.

I particularly liked this chilli named "Whippet's Tail".. I think I might start collecting veggies which are named after dogs. I know of "Dog Bean" does anyone know of any others I might look out for?
More Chillis. Thousands of varieties in the greenhouse left over from their "Chilli Fiesa"

The famous "Friars Hat" chilli.
And just next door to West Dean is a must-see attraction the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum is a collection of preserved, re-located and restored ancient rural buildings. Many are from the 15th century and onwards. Barns, cottages, sawmills, blacksmiths, lovingly restored. If you have a foreign visitor to England, and you want to entertain them, I can think of no better place. To my friend Debbie... I say "This is on your list!"
A 15th Century country cottage... what the Americans might call "Really Old!!"


At 7:56 PM, Anonymous easygardener said...

It is a lovely garden though I haven't visited for a few years. I must try to make it next year as your pics remind me how good it is.
Those veggie beds look almost too good to be true - pristine - not like mine!

At 9:57 PM, Blogger Daphne said...

Wow now that is what I call a veggie garden. It looks more like an ornamental garden then a veggie garden. Very nice.

At 1:38 AM, Anonymous Kathryn/ said...

I so appreciate your taking us on your vege journey!
It's fascinating to think where some of those tomatoes originated. And even more fascinating to think of the history of those old beautifully restored buildings!
Thank you!

At 3:28 AM, Blogger kathy said...

Wonderful photos! I love the walled vegetable garden. Great rows. Thanks for the post - it gives me ideas for my garden next year.

At 8:58 AM, Blogger Vegetable Heaven said...

Oh I wish I could grow vegetables as tidily as this!

At 9:19 AM, Blogger dinzie said...

Wow what a place .. .Great pictures.. I'd not heard of Friars hat Chilies .. They look super hot !! :O)


At 9:21 PM, Anonymous Soilman said...

What a great place. That military-precision row thing always makes me feel gutted. I can never keep my plot that perfect.

At 3:00 AM, Blogger Dan said...

Thanks for sharing! Your blog is like a big show and tell that keeps getting better.

Interesting chili's, I will have to look up those Friars Hat ones.

At 2:08 PM, Blogger Magic Cochin said...

I've wanted to visit west Dean for years - now I want to go even more!!!!!

I may just have to sign up for one of the printmaking courses at the college ;)


At 4:02 PM, Blogger lilymarlene said...

I love the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. I've been twice, but the last time was about 15 years I really must go again sometime.
I remember being very impressed seeing that one of the construction team was a woman. Fit as a fiddle and all over the rooves like a cat.....

At 4:03 PM, Blogger lilymarlene said...

And did you see the plumbing exhibition? I was fascinated by the way they used to make pipes.

At 5:36 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

I remember visiting a tomato grower and he grew tomatoes up a wire which was fixed to the top of the greenhouse When they reached the top he unhooked the wire and laid it along the ground and then trained the tomato plant to climb another wire. The tomato plants were well over 15 feet long/tall. I believe that you can grow sweet peas in a simalar way.

At 11:42 AM, Blogger tina said...

15th Century? Yup really old-at least compared to our little country. I am wondering how anyone can have a veggie garden that looks so darned pretty? Mine is always a bit floppy and overrun. On another note above, I had NO idea there were so many tomato varieties. And your catalogs too. Wow. I like that lemon and pineapple tomato best. I am partial to the different colored tomatoes here.


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