Between 2005 and 2009 I helped to set up a charity in the old kitchen garden at Chiswick House in West London. We restored the old walled gardens, ran educational sessions for local schools, drop-in sessions for everyone, and fought off threats to build a retail outlet, then a corporate car park within the historic area that had been a garden for over three hundred years. By the time we handed the garden back to the authorities, who had finally seen reason, along with 3 years’ funding, we had created a beautiful sustainable and productive garden with ‘the largest collection of historic fruit and vegetable plants in London’ (Guardian, 15 June 2010).
It was a long hard fight, rewarding if occasionally bitter. At the end of the campaign, we felt amazed to have won – we succeeded in saving a 17th century walled garden from becoming a corporate car park. Not that many environmental campaigns actually do succeed, so we felt pretty good about it.
A book grew out of the knowledge we gained from running this garden.
See our old website at www.kitchengarden.org.uk for a bit more info.
And the following links may be of interest:
Gardeners World video: