Happy bonfire night from Brent Eleigh! Here in the walled garden bonfires are close to our hearts thanks to the new nip in the air. We have a lovely bonfire ready to go full of old branches and weed seeds ready to roar, but that’s for tomorrow. Today we tackled the old head gardeners’ office.

What a treat. Rain fell gently outside while we uncovered the evidence of a bygone era. An ancient planting plan for the old cutting border and beautiful, if rusted remains of garden implements. The room was so crammed that we could barely see the shelving. We pulled out no less than five heaters illustrating different ages from paraffin to electric. I’ve never seen so much horticultural fleece in my life!

Of course it wouldn’t be everyone’s idea of fun. I reached into a cupboard and pulled out a mummified mouse, old drawers revealed nests complete with abandoned egg, packets of unidentified things disintegrated when touched. We brushed and brushed the shelves, walls and floor. This is important. Amid endless to do lists, phone calls and conversations about conversations that need to be had, we have a tiny corner organised.

Gardeners Tools area


cleaned gardeners tools area


Enthused, we began next door with the original potting bench. This is one of my favourite thing in the walled garden. Its wood is dense, pock marked, scratched and cut from hundreds of years of use. The windows allow shafts of light in at just the right angle. The height is perfect to prevent back ache and the depth puts everything within easy reach. The Victorians knew exactly what they were doing. So it was with a kind of reverence that I surveyed its clear surface at the end of the day. It is only right and proper that here, where countless hours of labour created this place, we will once again plant thousands of seeds.

Already something is growing. Watch this space…


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