THE WALLED GARDEN AT KILMAHEW.
Reviving the original 1866 plans
The Kilmahew Education Trust has obtained a copy of the original description of the Victorian Walled Garden and a 'Treatise on The Vine, Pineapple, Peach, Plum, Nectarine etc' by Head Gardener John Fleming.
The Victorian Greenhouses
The Victorian Greenhouses were manufactured by the acclaimed horticultural builders, Simpson & Farmer of Partick Bridge, Glasgow. They were responsible for many similar structures from the turn of the 19th Century and including the Winter Gardens in the Tollcross area of Glasgow.
The main components of the 'hothouses' have remained relatively intact and appear to be salvageable for the most part. At the very least we are able to take moulds of the ironwork and potentially recast some of the parts to allow for an accurate restoration.
To make the restoration process more sustainable we are looking at different cradle to cradle materials and timbers as well as considering if solar glass might be viable.
As part of the infrastructure of the 'hothouses', the bothies were used as areas to shelter from inclement weather, as potting sheds and as a boiler house for the glasshouse.
The structure still remains and we are looking to refurbish these buildings with sustainable materials. The creation of a functioning' back of house' section that fulfils the requirements of a modern garden shed, but much more elegantly, is the key.
Once they are revitalised, we will use some of them as they would have been used for potting, shelter and heat generation. In the 21st century heating the 'hothouses' should require more compact boilers, leaving spaces that could be occupied by services such as florists.
The Walled Garden
The Walled garden, the Kitchen garden and orchard are all neatly hidden away behind the magnificent 8 foot red brick wall. It was designed to be far away enough from Kilmahew House as not to be an eyesore, but close enough for crops to be harvested for dinner.
During the Victorian era, John Fleming was cultivating and testing different soft and exotic fruits to see which were hardy and disease resistant. He grew plums, in the orchard and a few of these trees still survive.
We hope to restore the Walled garden and give it a 21st century twist. In the orchard, we are hoping to replenish the fruit trees and grow some newer varieties too. The Kitchen garden will be used to supply our restaurants and for our new cookery school.