The walled garden was once the main stay of garden design, especially in sections of estates and larger gardens. As a design, there is a pleasing resurgence and one that many people are looking to recreate.
But how can you create a walled garden? What works well in the space?
It is thought that an enclosed garden with high walls was not so much for security from animal or human interference, but was a horticultural solution to common growing problems, mainly weather. There is some suggestion that in some areas of the country, a walled garden was a means of security to a property but today, most are designed to protect the garden from wind and frost.
Most modern walled gardens are built with a decorative purpose in mind although gardens of this kind of old were built with a purpose, mainly to create a mini-microclimate within the space.
In some ways, a walled garden can act like a greenhouse but is open to the elements. The idea is simple: by building tall walls, you are providing shelter from wind and frost, but you are also trapping the suns energy in the material of the wall. There were some early examples of a walled garden that had heated walls to help the plants thrive. If the heat was too much, small sections of the wall could be removed to allow the wind to circulate.
Stone or brick walls will conduct the sun’s heat and thus, plants that wouldn’t normally thrive in our climate are able to do so.
But it can have its drawbacks. Even in the most basic of walled gardens, it is difficult to control the heat and because the air is still, it can become stifling. This means in hot summers, they can be unbearable places to sit and thus, unless you have a more open or exposed section of the garden, you may find your walled garden unusable.
For you and your pets, this is bad news and it is also problematic when dealing with the plants you have in your walled garden too. You may have to add shade and you will certainly need a watering system that allows plants to thrive by remaining well-watered.
But for some plants, this still and hot environment is perfect – and it may be the perfect garden for all seasons for you too.
Protected from wind and frost to a certain degree, you can afford to be a little more tropical in your choice of plants…
The walled garden holds a romance all of its own. Take a trip down yesteryear by reading novels based in the 19th century and you will see that many stately homes and grand houses held their walled gardens in high esteem. They were the place of illicit meetings and romantic love affairs – with well-chosen garden furniture, including hard wearing teak benches, you can create your own garden utopia.
Teak is the ideal wood to use because it is a slow growing wood from the rainforest. It is a wood that can deal with the high temperatures that come with a walled garden, as well as coping with changes in moisture levels too.
With a little effort, you can have a walled garden that is full of romance, scented blooms along with exotic fruits and an abundance of vegetables too. But how would you design your ideal walled garden? What would you include?
Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches – a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.