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  • mm Yeah.

  • Hello and welcome to garden through history.

  • My name is hazel Gardner.

  • I'm a floor designer and keen horticulturists in this series.

  • I'll be visiting some of the most fascinating english heritage sites around the country.

  • I'll be meeting the teams that help maintain them, learning about the history and finding out how they keep these gardens as original to their designs as possible.

  • I'll also be sharing with you the top tips and historical gardening techniques that I'm going to learn whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting out.

  • There'll be something inspiring for you to use at home.

  • Coming up in this episode, I visit Kenworth Castle in Warwickshire which is home to a stunning elizabethan garden full of eye catching blooms.

  • Before I talked to the team about how the garden is maintained today.

  • I need to discover how it was created, destroyed and eventually restored for that.

  • I'm chatting to john Watkins.

  • Hi john hi.

  • He's a lovely to see you.

  • Welcome to kennel worth.

  • So we are standing in the incredible killer birth castle.

  • Can you tell me about why and when this castle came to be so it's in the 12th century that Geoffrey de Clinton established the castle here.

  • Built it on a mount where two roads met sort of important geographical site in the in the middle and and it continued to be an important royal site.

  • It was king john that developed the defenses here.

  • He built the walls around the castle and also developed the mere, which is a large lake that provided it with major defenses on one side and also made it a very attractive castle to live in as well.

  • The l of Leicester was given this by Queen Elizabeth the first because it was actually his father that had first been given kennel worth castle.

  • And he didn't hope for very long because mary the first had him executed for supporting lady jane grey robert Dudley as he was initially known, was the first person that Elizabeth the first gave a post to.

  • They've been childhood friends if you imagine you're a young female queen who do you make your first appointments to the people you trust?

  • So she made him master of the horse by making him master of the horse.

  • It meant that he had to be at her back and call all the time because he was responsible for all her transport.

  • She made him all of Leicester and also gave him back the family castle, which was Kenworth Castle.

  • And it was various posts that Elizabeth had given him that allowed him to have the money to do what he did here at Kenilworth Castle, which was quite major.

  • So Elizabeth's final visit here was for 19 days.

  • Can you tell me what exactly happened during that visit and why?

  • The garden played such an important role Elizabeth visited a number of times and in a way I was think it's Elizabeth visiting to see how her investment is coming on because it was sort of in a way, her money that was paying for it.

  • So she, the major developments on the whole castle modernizing it, there's a whole new wing.

  • But her visit in 1575, 19 days was part of her tours around the country to sort of set the picture.

  • If you just imagine it's all of those people, it's all of their staff and their staff will be the people to look after them people to look after their horses.

  • You realize how this made the garden very special because it's the one place where it was a private garden for uh Lester and his guest and the key guest here was was the queen.

  • So it had been the top notch of the top notch that have come in here.

  • Yeah, There's a man called Robert Lang.

  • Um, he had the job of plumping up the cushions for privy castle meetings.

  • He had previously been a mercer, mercer, somebody buys and sells cloth.

  • He wrote up a whole visit for 19 days as a letter to another mercer of that allowed us to know about the garden.

  • Now, this letter is really useful.

  • First of all, it describes the structure of the garden describes a garden that is divided into four quarters with a fountain at the center with an obelisk in the middle of each quarter and it describes paths.

  • It even describes what the gravel is like on the part, but what is actually even more special, it tells us it's even much better than a plan.

  • It tells us what it's like to be in the garden.

  • And if you got a moment, I'll read you a bit of language because it brings it all to life.

  • A garden then so appointed as we're in a loft upon sweet shadowed walk of terrace in heat of summer, to feel the pleasant whisking wind about or delectable coolness of the fountain spring beneath to taste of delicious strawberries, cherries and other fruits eaten from their stalks, to smell such fragrance c of sweet odors, breathing from the plants, herbs and flowers, to hear such natural melodious music and tunes of birds to Hugh an eye for mirth.

  • Summers, springs and streams.

  • Then the woods, the waters for both pool and chase were hard at hand in sight.

  • The deer and the people and that out of the east arbor and the base of the court also in hand, and view the fruit trees, plants, the herbs, the flowers, the changing colors, the birds fluttering the fountain streaming, the fish swimming all in such delectable variety, order and dignity, whereby at one moment in one place at hand, without travail so full fruition of so many God's blessings.

  • So I think that really gives a feel of what it was like to be in the garden in 1575, it's been fascinating to learn about this garden.

  • There really is something for every sense.

  • It's just absolutely stunning.

  • Thank you so much, John, it's my pleasure recapturing the stunning look at the gardens was a difficult task, not least of all because of the limited source material available.

  • Recreating was the first step.

  • The next was maintaining the gardens so they could be appreciated for years to come to discover more.

  • I'm speaking to Philip coral gardens supervisor here at kennel worth castle.

  • Hi, Phillip.

  • Hello!

  • Read me so nice to meet you.

  • So we are standing here in this beautifully maintained garden.

  • Can you tell me a bit about how you decided to choose what plants went in here?

  • Well, many of the plants, uh many of the information that we have in the garden was from the Langham letter.

  • Uh so he wasn't a plan to win by any means.

  • He described some of the plants.

  • So the pear trees had strawberries and a few other bits and bobs, but he didn't know about the plants themselves.

  • He did, however, describe that many of them were highly scented, which tells us that this was a gilly flower garden which was a popular style at the time and gilly flowers.

  • They were things like stocks, Hesperus wallflowers and various various other ones.

  • So the queen would wander around the gardens.

  • She would, she would be smelling the lovely fragrance as we are today.

  • One of the things that I've seen in this garden is also the use of pots.

  • What's the benefit of using them in your garden.

  • Well, in any garden allows you to add interests and colour anywhere that might be, say hard standing historically here, one of the key aspects would have been that many of these plants were being seen in the country for the very first time.

  • So they would have been really, really expensive and they could be shown off in pride of place.

  • Just this individual planter at one small group of plants could be in this single pot just to really show it off.

  • And what kind of plants do you use here at kennel worth in pots?

  • Uh Wilson used lily of the valley to have absence sent around the place, sometimes lavender marigolds.

  • The main thing for this gardeners, things should be absolutely perfect all the time worthy of a queen.

  • Well, I think they completely are a little buddy tells me that also that you need some help with some gardening.

  • There's always plenty around here.

  • We have a particular job with strawberry plants for you if you like, what you say, my favorite thing, let's go Park up just there, we'll go here.

  • So the gardens about this point are 12 years old.

  • They've started to develop some issues with pest diseases, with the planting plan being.

  • So as it is the same in the year and year out.

  • So one of the problems we've had is the strawberry plants planted around some of the edges.

  • I've been dying off.

  • So we have thrift round one at one half and then strawberry around another.

  • So what we're gonna do is basically swap them over.

  • So this bed here used to have thrift in it as thick as this one just here and now it's going to plant it with strawberries and they should thrive perfectly.

  • Well this first one here they'll all be along the edge here to dig a little hole.

  • We're going to plant it like that, yep, firm the soil down, get any ones out of the way, a sort of nice ruffle like that so it's nice and smooth for the visitors.

  • So the next thing to do would be without fancy measuring stick.

  • Yes we're going to measure from the very center of the plant just there and with the second plant it'll go at the very center of the end of the stick and this way we know there are equal distance apart.

  • And they'll be all the same all the way around.

  • So if you'd like to doesn't matter exactly how but it's roughly right.

  • And just so they're all exactly the same for this formal garden gives you a guide doesn't it?

  • That's it nice for night, firmly in contact with the soil and the soil is nice here.

  • Do you kind of had anything naturally to it?

  • We'll send out add some manure to it and various things throughout the years and I've just topsoil just to just to help beef up the plants.

  • So they got all the nutrients they need to grow and flourish as they do.

  • And people watching may be like oh my goodness, strawberries have a tendency to go everywhere in your garden if you plant one but not this time they do indeed.

  • These ones are called Baron von Soul masher which is a variety that doesn't produce any any runners.

  • So it's very easy to maintain.

  • So purely spreads by seed and we can just keep them going as that brilliant.

  • One of the reasons we have flowers on the edge, I've been told historically was so the ladies can walk past and brush with their skirts and release the scent of the leaves.

  • I know that that's still used now actually.

  • It's really important garden side that you do have something that you can ruffle past whether it's rosemary or anything like that to give off that center as well.

  • Do you think BBS or do you just let nature take its course?

  • Well, sometimes a bit of fertilizer over the soils.

  • Yeah.

  • Usually I prefer to have been your over the wind sarin but change what is really.

  • But yeah, we'll always add so to try and help it out.

  • It can't can't survive on its own merits forever.

  • Well, beautiful.

  • Thank you so much for showing me this very handy technique.

  • Thank you very much.

  • That's a bit of work done.

  • Mm.

  • Mhm.

  • I really hope you've enjoyed my visit to kennel worth castle gardens here today.

  • I've learned some fantastic techniques that I really want to share with you.

  • The first one is the use of pots.

  • They're great.

  • You can control the soil and you can grow herbs, vegetables and obviously flowers.

  • My second tip is to use vertical trellises and arbors.

  • They're a great way to punch, way to pathway and also perfect to frame windows and cover walls.

  • I really hope you've enjoyed the series and make sure you tune in next time when I'll be visiting another fascinating english heritage garden.

  • All right.

mm Yeah.

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Gardens Through History | Episode 2: Kenilworth Castle Elizabethan Gardens in Warwickshire

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/08/19
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