Tags

, , , , ,

A walled garden is a delight to young and old.

Capturing your imagination, but created for a purpose

these secure, secluded spots are very romantic.

A walled garden is enclosed by high walls for growing fruit

vegtables

and flowers

rather than security

Typically, gardens have been hedged or walled for protection from animals or the  weather.

But garden walls also are decoration to an estate.

The essential function in northern climates has been to shelter the garden from wind and frost.

The sheltered wall creates a higher temperature within the garden by several degrees.

This creates a microclimate that allows plants to grow that otherwise would not survive.

Most walls were constructed from stone

but by lining the walls with brick

they absorb and retain the solar heat.

This raised temperature against that wall allows delicate fruit such as peaches, nectarines and grapes to be grown as espaliers.

A typical stone walled garden acts as a slow-release radiator of solar energy.

The walled vineyard is protected from sudden changes in weather conditions and strong winds because of terracing and large trees.

The traditional design of a walled garden is four quarters separated by paths

and a wellhead or pool at the center

which dates back to early gardens of Persia.

The hortus conclusus or “enclosed garden” of Medieval Europe was typically enclosed by hedges

fencing

or the arcades of a cloister.

The British, ever so resourceful, created removable blocks in the walls to control the movement of hot air in the garden.

Many country houses also had walled kitchen gardens.

While many of these labor intensive gardens were abandoned in the 1900’s

some were resurrected as decorative gardens

which produced fruit, vegetables and flowers for cutting.

A number of walled gardens had hollowed walls so that fires could be lit inside the wall to provide heat to protect the fruit growing against the wall.

Life giving plants are our greatest resources.

Long live the walled gardens.