Kitchen Garden Estate with Helene Gammack

As a child, my visits to National Trust properties were numerous. Though much time was spent tirelessly moving from room to rope cordoned room, I have to say that I was only really happy when exploring the gardens of stately homes and estates. As a teenager I became an obstreperous young thing, and obstinately refused to even get out of the car at National Trust properties, instead being left to my hormonal induced angst with my CD player. As an adult, I finally returned to enjoying National Trust properties, though I still whizzed through the house like a blue bottle on speed so that I could get to the gardens.

The reason that I say this, is because Kitchen Garden Estateby Helene Gammack, will joyfully thrust any reader back into the popular National Trust ambience. Whilst being a fantastic vegetable and smallholding handbook, there are historical points scattered amongst its pages, so that you’ll learn a little something extra, rather than just some horticultural tips. From the traditional potager and the monastic physic gardens to 18th century kitchen gardens and the rise of landscaped estates, there’s something of interest for everyone.

For actual horticultural and smallholding use, there’s also a veritable feast of information. Though clearly laid out into distinct sections, this is a book for flicking through. For landing on recipe pages and being inspired. For finding companion plant guides and edible flower lists. For instantly wanting to keep bees, make pigeon pie and cultivate your very own orchard. The pages are brimming with photos and illustrations to catch your eye and allow a minute or two to indulge in the page, before flicking again and coming across another great treat.

I highly recommend this book, not so much in regards of it becoming your vegetable growing bible, but as somewhere to retreat to whether you’re enjoying a sunny five minutes or are huddled up in the depths of winter trying to get some inspiration. There’s a beautiful National Trust vintage style about this book, and Helene Gammack has certainly managed to charm me.

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I'm Geoff, and I'm a plant hoarder.

Like magpies collect bright shiny things, I can't resist plants. An exquisite flower, soft ferny foliage or a beautiful majestic tree - I love them all!

Here, I'll indulge in all things flora and share my passion. Join me as I develop my garden and hoard more plants without apology.