When my husband and I bought our country house in 2004, there hadn’t been a kitchen garden for many years. The former owner of the house had used the front garden as a paddock for horses and in the middle was a huge pile of granite stones. The rest of the garden consisted of grass and a few occasional rhododendrons, all unkept and in miserable condition. A big oak tree was standing in the front yard but unfortunately the horses had eaten a lot of the bark, and the tree was dead.
This compressed piece of ground was going to be my first kitchen garden, perfect or not.
Despite being an unmanageable project my spirits were high. During our first spring in the house we removed all the granite stones and had the ground plowed by a neighbour. Soon after I started making small parcels with string and wooden pegs. In the lawn I found a very small and forgotten rhubarb. That and several seeds were planted and the first kitchen garden was born.
The first kitchen garden, marked with pegs and string.
It didn’t last long, however. In the following winter we chose to remove the approximately 60 spruce trees that surrounded the garden due to the fact that most were already dead. After felling the trees, the roots were pulled from the ground and finally we had someone from an agricultural service plowing the ground. My little garden was gone and I started making plans for a bigger one.
Read about the second kitchen garden.
The ground is being plowed, erasing all signs of the first garden.