A beautifully restored garden
The Kitchen Garden at Kew Palace, next to the Royal Kitchens, was originally a small residential garden and now overflows with plants, vegetables and wildlife.
The garden was created to serve the royal family when staying at Kew, in use from 1789 to 1818.
It now provides a bounty of vegetables similar to what would've been served during the 18th-century, and these are used seasonally in the kitchens today.
Open to visitors from April to October, work for the kitchen gardeners continues all year round. Planning and designing is an ongoing project - from companion planting to bulb choosing, there's always something to think about
Wander through gravel walkways topped with oyster shell chips - reminiscent of the 17th and 18th centuries - paving the way to four uneven and herb edged plots. Inhale the heady scents of lavender, Santolina - a cotton lavender, thyme, hyssop and sage.
Dedicated to soft fruit production, one bed overflows with delicious gooseberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants. The other three enjoy a yearly rotation of crops - except for artichokes, rhubarb, lovage, asparagus and strawberries who live by their own set of rules.
Sunflowers salute the summer sky in Kew's Kitchen Garden
The Kitchen Garden, after restoration of the Royal Kitchens in 2013.
The Royal Kitchens after restoration in 2013. Looking from the Kitchen Garden towards the Royal Kitchens.
The Kitchen Garden in full summer swing.
Our harvest favourites include 'Fat Lazy Blonde' lettuce, sunflowers, yellow and red pear tomatoes and pumpkins. In addition to this edible bounty, the walls heave with Morello cherries, damsons and apple tree varieties of Spartan, Edgemont, Russet and Ribston Pippin.
This decorative style - espalier - was often used in traditional walled kitchen gardens for aesthetic and production value. Woody fruit trees are trained to splay attractively onto a thick oak trellis.
The Kitchen Garden at Kew is a veritable sanctuary for wildlife, as well as an edible feast for the eyes. With zero use of chemicals and sustainable practice adopted, all care has been taken to minimise environmental impact - hence the flocks of garden visitors hailing from the natural world. Come and take a peek at our sanctuary within a sanctuary, at Kew Palace.