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Old 03-01-2015, 03:41 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default National Trust walled gardens

I understand the National Trust is to try to bring back a significant number
of it's walled gardens into production. My problem is that I've heard they
intend to remake the old greenhouses as they were, all manual and in wood,
instead of using modern materials and automation and things like double
glazing for the orchid houses. Personally I think that is crazy as the old
Head Gardeners would never have countenanced such a retrograde step.
What do others think?

-- Regards
Bob Hobden
Posting to this Newsgroup
from the W.of London. UK


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Default National Trust walled gardens

On 03/01/2015 15:41, Bob Hobden wrote:
I understand the National Trust is to try to bring back a significant
number of it's walled gardens into production. My problem is that I've
heard they intend to remake the old greenhouses as they were, all manual
and in wood, instead of using modern materials and automation and things
like double glazing for the orchid houses. Personally I think that is
crazy as the old Head Gardeners would never have countenanced such a
retrograde step.
What do others think?

-- Regards
Bob Hobden
Posting to this Newsgroup
from the W.of London. UK

Well it is not their own money they are spending!
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Old 03-01-2015, 06:38 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default National Trust walled gardens

On 03/01/15 15:41, Bob Hobden wrote:
I understand the National Trust is to try to bring back a significant number
of it's walled gardens into production. My problem is that I've heard they
intend to remake the old greenhouses as they were, all manual and in wood,
instead of using modern materials and automation and things like double
glazing for the orchid houses. Personally I think that is crazy as the old
Head Gardeners would never have countenanced such a retrograde step.
What do others think?


Well, if there weren't any Grade 1 or 2 listing, you could make an
argument for double glazing and LED lighting in any NT property. But
they wouldn't look right, and I guess the NT are using a similar
argument for greenhouses.

And would I want to visit such modern greenhouses to see how they were
being used to grow things? I very much doubt it.

--

Jeff
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Old 03-01-2015, 06:44 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default National Trust walled gardens

On 03/01/2015 15:41, Bob Hobden wrote:
I understand the National Trust is to try to bring back a significant
number of it's walled gardens into production. My problem is that I've
heard they intend to remake the old greenhouses as they were, all manual
and in wood, instead of using modern materials and automation and things
like double glazing for the orchid houses. Personally I think that is
crazy as the old Head Gardeners would never have countenanced such a
retrograde step.
What do others think?

-- Regards
Bob Hobden
Posting to this Newsgroup
from the W.of London. UK

Nothing wrong with remaking them in wood, but I would double glaze them,
as for fitting automatic vents I would say NO.
A good old hand operated ventilation system can be very efficient and
does teach the younger gardener about glasshouse ventilation, which a
computer operated system wont do.
I still have to visit Duffryn house and gardens to see what they have
done, as they have rebuilt the glasshouses and re done the walled
garden. I knew the old setup quite well.
I certainly don't like the idea of Aluminum houses as replacements.
David
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Old 03-01-2015, 10:17 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default National Trust walled gardens

On 2015-01-03 15:41:03 +0000, Bob Hobden said:

I understand the National Trust is to try to bring back a significant
number of it's walled gardens into production. My problem is that I've
heard they intend to remake the old greenhouses as they were, all
manual and in wood, instead of using modern materials and automation
and things like double glazing for the orchid houses. Personally I
think that is crazy as the old Head Gardeners would never have
countenanced such a retrograde step.
What do others think?

-- Regards
Bob Hobden
Posting to this Newsgroup
from the W.of London. UK


The problem with the NT is that they do have a mindset which is that
the house/garden/outbuildings must be kept as they were in their heyday
- whatever part of their history that might be. For myself, I'd say
use modern methods (NOT pvc greenhouses) but have notices that explain
how things would have been whenever.
--

Sacha
www.hillhousenursery.com
South Devon
www.helpforheroes.org.uk



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Old 03-01-2015, 10:19 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default National Trust walled gardens

On 2015-01-03 18:38:44 +0000, Jeff Layman said:

On 03/01/15 15:41, Bob Hobden wrote:
I understand the National Trust is to try to bring back a significant number
of it's walled gardens into production. My problem is that I've heard they
intend to remake the old greenhouses as they were, all manual and in wood,
instead of using modern materials and automation and things like double
glazing for the orchid houses. Personally I think that is crazy as the old
Head Gardeners would never have countenanced such a retrograde step.
What do others think?


Well, if there weren't any Grade 1 or 2 listing, you could make an
argument for double glazing and LED lighting in any NT property. But
they wouldn't look right, and I guess the NT are using a similar
argument for greenhouses.

And would I want to visit such modern greenhouses to see how they were
being used to grow things? I very much doubt it.


Imo, the greenhouses could be made to the old design but use methods
that cut down on labour. We have to remember that these houses would
have had a dozen gardeners. Now, labour costs mean they'd be lucky to
have 3 and some volunteers
--

Sacha
www.hillhousenursery.com
South Devon
www.helpforheroes.org.uk

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Old 03-01-2015, 10:26 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default National Trust walled gardens

"Sacha" wrote

Bob Hobden said:

I understand the National Trust is to try to bring back a significant
number of it's walled gardens into production. My problem is that I've
heard they intend to remake the old greenhouses as they were, all manual
and in wood, instead of using modern materials and automation and things
like double glazing for the orchid houses. Personally I think that is
crazy as the old Head Gardeners would never have countenanced such a
retrograde step.
What do others think?

The problem with the NT is that they do have a mindset which is that the
house/garden/outbuildings must be kept as they were in their heyday -
whatever part of their history that might be. For myself, I'd say use
modern methods (NOT pvc greenhouses) but have notices that explain how
things would have been whenever.


My point is that the old Head Gardeners wanted the best and latest and he
would not have had a wooden hands on greenhouse made today. They are labour
intensive and prone to rot quickly if not constantly cared for. There are
some at West Dean that were replaced a few years ago and they are already
having problems with paint peeling exposing timber (although they don't seem
to be doing anything about it).
There are so many of these old greenhouses about now it's about time they
changed to a modern way of doing things. Perhaps they will come up to date
in at least one walled garden, I can but hope. It would be so much more
interesting seeing what can be done now.


--
Regards. Bob Hobden.
Posted to this Newsgroup from the W of London, UK

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Old 03-01-2015, 10:31 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default National Trust walled gardens

"Jeff Layman" wrote ...

, Bob Hobden wrote:
I understand the National Trust is to try to bring back a significant
number
of it's walled gardens into production. My problem is that I've heard
they
intend to remake the old greenhouses as they were, all manual and in
wood,
instead of using modern materials and automation and things like double
glazing for the orchid houses. Personally I think that is crazy as the
old
Head Gardeners would never have countenanced such a retrograde step.
What do others think?


Well, if there weren't any Grade 1 or 2 listing, you could make an argument
for double glazing and LED lighting in any NT property. But they wouldn't
look right, and I guess the NT are using a similar argument for
greenhouses.

And would I want to visit such modern greenhouses to see how they were
being used to grow things? I very much doubt it.

I understand about the houses but the gardens are for growing produce and
that is their only purpose, so I see nothing wrong and everything right in
them using the most modern techniques and equipment to achieve that. The
Head Gardener, if he was still around, would embrace any modern improvement.
A super modern large greenhouse would be much more interesting than an old
plain museum piece, there are hundreds of those already. It's all about the
plants.
--
Regards. Bob Hobden.
Posted to this Newsgroup from the W of London, UK

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Old 03-01-2015, 10:38 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 2,165
Default National Trust walled gardens

On 03/01/2015 15:41, Bob Hobden wrote:
I understand the National Trust is to try to bring back a significant
number of it's walled gardens into production. My problem is that I've
heard they intend to remake the old greenhouses as they were, all manual
and in wood, instead of using modern materials and automation and things
like double glazing for the orchid houses. Personally I think that is
crazy as the old Head Gardeners would never have countenanced such a
retrograde step.
What do others think?

-- Regards
Bob Hobden
Posting to this Newsgroup
from the W.of London. UK



I wonder, is the next move to bring back arsenic poisoning and DDT (in
tune with the appropriate era), and scythes outside the greenhouses? I
doubt it. I have no problem with wooden greenhouses and, if NT have
enough educated staff (paid by us), they may even manage without
automatic vents, but I don't see how they can ignore modern horticulture
altogether. It would certainly dent their choice of plants. Pay
packets would be limited, too *and* it would break a few laws. I wonder
if they'd be prepared to pay Glass Tax.

All in all, I think it's nonsense. The NT seems to be cherry-picking
the bits of history it wants leaving the rest. They're not putting on a
period drama for a few months, but running a garden for many years.
They may very well change it now but, a few years down the line, I
reckon they'll be changing it back. I'm not sure I want to pay for that.
--
Spider.
On high ground in SE London
gardening on heavy clay

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Old 04-01-2015, 09:22 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default National Trust walled gardens

On 03/01/15 22:31, Bob Hobden wrote:
"Jeff Layman" wrote ...

, Bob Hobden wrote:
I understand the National Trust is to try to bring back a significant
number
of it's walled gardens into production. My problem is that I've heard
they
intend to remake the old greenhouses as they were, all manual and in
wood,
instead of using modern materials and automation and things like double
glazing for the orchid houses. Personally I think that is crazy as the
old
Head Gardeners would never have countenanced such a retrograde step.
What do others think?


Well, if there weren't any Grade 1 or 2 listing, you could make an argument
for double glazing and LED lighting in any NT property. But they wouldn't
look right, and I guess the NT are using a similar argument for
greenhouses.

And would I want to visit such modern greenhouses to see how they were
being used to grow things? I very much doubt it.

I understand about the houses but the gardens are for growing produce and
that is their only purpose, so I see nothing wrong and everything right in
them using the most modern techniques and equipment to achieve that. The
Head Gardener, if he was still around, would embrace any modern improvement.
A super modern large greenhouse would be much more interesting than an old
plain museum piece, there are hundreds of those already. It's all about the
plants.


I am afraid that I disagree. You can't disentangle the houses and
gardens - they are inextricably linked. The gardens are for growing
produce, but not in a modern way. If you look at the "About us" at the
bottom of the NT webpages, the first thing it states is "We're a UK
conservation charity...". Note *conservation* - not modernisation. If
you want modernisation, you go to the RHS gardens, and perhaps some
other gardens open to the public. Where do you stop the "improvements"?
Are you going to get rid of all the heritage fruit and veg because it
doesn't crop as well or has poor disease resistance?

The NT has always had a problem with conservation of old buildings - how
far back does it go? What do you do with Georgian, Regency, or Victorian
changes to Tudor buildings, for example? Well, whatever is decided, it
won't include new central heating and solar panels on the roofs! Would
you put solar panels in the walled gardens to help heat the greenhouses?

--

Jeff


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Old 04-01-2015, 09:24 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default National Trust walled gardens

"Sacha" wrote

Jeff Layman said:

Bob Hobden wrote:
I understand the National Trust is to try to bring back a significant
number
of it's walled gardens into production. My problem is that I've heard
they
intend to remake the old greenhouses as they were, all manual and in
wood,
instead of using modern materials and automation and things like double
glazing for the orchid houses. Personally I think that is crazy as the
old
Head Gardeners would never have countenanced such a retrograde step.
What do others think?


Well, if there weren't any Grade 1 or 2 listing, you could make an
argument for double glazing and LED lighting in any NT property. But
they wouldn't look right, and I guess the NT are using a similar argument
for greenhouses.

And would I want to visit such modern greenhouses to see how they were
being used to grow things? I very much doubt it.


Imo, the greenhouses could be made to the old design but use methods that
cut down on labour. We have to remember that these houses would have had a
dozen gardeners. Now, labour costs mean they'd be lucky to have 3 and some
volunteers


Unlike the great houses these greenhouses in many cases do not exist any
more and are only known from the whitewash on the walls and maybe a rubble
wall or two. There is nothing to preserve so a new but oldfashioned
greenhouse is a pastiche of what once was so I see no problem in making
modern greenhouses for the site. OK make them look in keeping if you must
but what period do you choose as these gardens constantly changed with
changing gardening practice, their purpose was to grow food and flowers for
the big house.
--
Regards. Bob Hobden.
Posted to this Newsgroup from the W of London, UK

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Old 04-01-2015, 10:16 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default National Trust walled gardens

On 04/01/2015 09:24, Bob Hobden wrote:
"Sacha" wrote

Jeff Layman said:

Bob Hobden wrote:
I understand the National Trust is to try to bring back a
significant number
of it's walled gardens into production. My problem is that I've
heard they
intend to remake the old greenhouses as they were, all manual and in
wood,
instead of using modern materials and automation and things like double
glazing for the orchid houses. Personally I think that is crazy as
the old
Head Gardeners would never have countenanced such a retrograde step.
What do others think?

Well, if there weren't any Grade 1 or 2 listing, you could make an
argument for double glazing and LED lighting in any NT property. But
they wouldn't look right, and I guess the NT are using a similar
argument for greenhouses.

And would I want to visit such modern greenhouses to see how they
were being used to grow things? I very much doubt it.


Imo, the greenhouses could be made to the old design but use methods
that cut down on labour. We have to remember that these houses would
have had a dozen gardeners. Now, labour costs mean they'd be lucky to
have 3 and some volunteers


Unlike the great houses these greenhouses in many cases do not exist any
more and are only known from the whitewash on the walls and maybe a
rubble wall or two. There is nothing to preserve so a new but
oldfashioned greenhouse is a pastiche of what once was so I see no
problem in making modern greenhouses for the site. OK make them look in
keeping if you must but what period do you choose as these gardens
constantly changed with changing gardening practice, their purpose was
to grow food and flowers for the big house.



So you think a multi bay Venlo would be OK?
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Old 04-01-2015, 04:37 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 87
Default National Trust walled gardens

"David" wrote ...

Bob Hobden wrote:
"Sacha" wrote

Jeff Layman said:

Bob Hobden wrote:
I understand the National Trust is to try to bring back a
significant number
of it's walled gardens into production. My problem is that I've
heard they
intend to remake the old greenhouses as they were, all manual and in
wood,
instead of using modern materials and automation and things like
double
glazing for the orchid houses. Personally I think that is crazy as
the old
Head Gardeners would never have countenanced such a retrograde step.
What do others think?

Well, if there weren't any Grade 1 or 2 listing, you could make an
argument for double glazing and LED lighting in any NT property. But
they wouldn't look right, and I guess the NT are using a similar
argument for greenhouses.

And would I want to visit such modern greenhouses to see how they
were being used to grow things? I very much doubt it.

Imo, the greenhouses could be made to the old design but use methods
that cut down on labour. We have to remember that these houses would
have had a dozen gardeners. Now, labour costs mean they'd be lucky to
have 3 and some volunteers


Unlike the great houses these greenhouses in many cases do not exist any
more and are only known from the whitewash on the walls and maybe a
rubble wall or two. There is nothing to preserve so a new but
oldfashioned greenhouse is a pastiche of what once was so I see no
problem in making modern greenhouses for the site. OK make them look in
keeping if you must but what period do you choose as these gardens
constantly changed with changing gardening practice, their purpose was
to grow food and flowers for the big house.



So you think a multi bay Venlo would be OK?

I doubt that would be needed to feed the "house" with fresh fruit and veg,
they tend to be used for monoculture (or garden centres).
But why not if the brief "feed the house" warranted it, certainly any Head
Gardener with the same brief as old would be using polytunnels these days to
grow the more delicate fruit and veg to perfection and out of season. But
polytunnels are probably a step into the modern world too far for the NT in
one of these walled gardens.

My comments were about rebuilding the derelict greenhouses in a modern way
which would help the gardeners, the plants and prove more durable, maybe
even cheaper too especially in the long run.

A few modern walled gardens spread around the country would be a great help
to the NT gardeners, they would get experience of up to the moment
equipment, ideas and plant production, as would the NT customers, instead of
the constant showing of the Victorian garden (but without all their highly
poisonous chemicals being mentioned) which I find rather boring and overdone
now.
--
Regards. Bob Hobden.
Posted to this Newsgroup from the W of London, UK

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Old 04-01-2015, 04:59 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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On 04/01/2015 16:37, Bob Hobden wrote:
"David" wrote ...

Bob Hobden wrote:
"Sacha" wrote

Jeff Layman said:

Bob Hobden wrote:
I understand the National Trust is to try to bring back a
significant number
of it's walled gardens into production. My problem is that I've
heard they
intend to remake the old greenhouses as they were, all manual and in
wood,
instead of using modern materials and automation and things like
double
glazing for the orchid houses. Personally I think that is crazy as
the old
Head Gardeners would never have countenanced such a retrograde step.
What do others think?

Well, if there weren't any Grade 1 or 2 listing, you could make an
argument for double glazing and LED lighting in any NT property. But
they wouldn't look right, and I guess the NT are using a similar
argument for greenhouses.

And would I want to visit such modern greenhouses to see how they
were being used to grow things? I very much doubt it.

Imo, the greenhouses could be made to the old design but use methods
that cut down on labour. We have to remember that these houses would
have had a dozen gardeners. Now, labour costs mean they'd be lucky to
have 3 and some volunteers

Unlike the great houses these greenhouses in many cases do not exist any
more and are only known from the whitewash on the walls and maybe a
rubble wall or two. There is nothing to preserve so a new but
oldfashioned greenhouse is a pastiche of what once was so I see no
problem in making modern greenhouses for the site. OK make them look in
keeping if you must but what period do you choose as these gardens
constantly changed with changing gardening practice, their purpose was
to grow food and flowers for the big house.



So you think a multi bay Venlo would be OK?

I doubt that would be needed to feed the "house" with fresh fruit and
veg, they tend to be used for monoculture (or garden centres).
But why not if the brief "feed the house" warranted it, certainly any
Head Gardener with the same brief as old would be using polytunnels
these days to grow the more delicate fruit and veg to perfection and out
of season. But polytunnels are probably a step into the modern world too
far for the NT in one of these walled gardens.

My comments were about rebuilding the derelict greenhouses in a modern
way which would help the gardeners, the plants and prove more durable,
maybe even cheaper too especially in the long run.

A few modern walled gardens spread around the country would be a great
help to the NT gardeners, they would get experience of up to the moment
equipment, ideas and plant production, as would the NT customers,
instead of the constant showing of the Victorian garden (but without all
their highly poisonous chemicals being mentioned) which I find rather
boring and overdone now.

By that reasoning most of the houses would have been sold off and
converted into multiple appartments or demolished and blocks of flats
built in their places.
Just as people like to see the houses in their past glory, many like to
see the gardens as they were complete with replica or restored
greenhouses, cold frames, cloches etc.
Think of them as living museums not as economic units.
David
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"Chris Hogg" wrote

Jeff Layman wrote:

Bob Hobden wrote:
"Jeff Layman" wrote ...

, Bob Hobden wrote:
I understand the National Trust is to try to bring back a significant
number
of it's walled gardens into production. My problem is that I've heard
they
intend to remake the old greenhouses as they were, all manual and in
wood,
instead of using modern materials and automation and things like
double
glazing for the orchid houses. Personally I think that is crazy as the
old
Head Gardeners would never have countenanced such a retrograde step.
What do others think?

Well, if there weren't any Grade 1 or 2 listing, you could make an
argument
for double glazing and LED lighting in any NT property. But they
wouldn't
look right, and I guess the NT are using a similar argument for
greenhouses.

And would I want to visit such modern greenhouses to see how they were
being used to grow things? I very much doubt it.

I understand about the houses but the gardens are for growing produce
and
that is their only purpose, so I see nothing wrong and everything right
in
them using the most modern techniques and equipment to achieve that. The
Head Gardener, if he was still around, would embrace any modern
improvement.
A super modern large greenhouse would be much more interesting than an
old
plain museum piece, there are hundreds of those already. It's all about
the
plants.


I am afraid that I disagree. You can't disentangle the houses and
gardens - they are inextricably linked. The gardens are for growing
produce, but not in a modern way. If you look at the "About us" at the
bottom of the NT webpages, the first thing it states is "We're a UK
conservation charity...". Note *conservation* - not modernisation. If
you want modernisation, you go to the RHS gardens, and perhaps some
other gardens open to the public. Where do you stop the "improvements"?
Are you going to get rid of all the heritage fruit and veg because it
doesn't crop as well or has poor disease resistance?

The NT has always had a problem with conservation of old buildings - how
far back does it go? What do you do with Georgian, Regency, or Victorian
changes to Tudor buildings, for example? Well, whatever is decided, it
won't include new central heating and solar panels on the roofs! Would
you put solar panels in the walled gardens to help heat the greenhouses?


I tend to agree. At Heligan for example (not NT, I know, but the
argument is the same) they've rebuilt the glasshouses using
traditional materials AIUI, even to the extent of having the panes of
glass in the roof with a curved edge (called a beaver tail, I
believe), so that rainwater collects on the tip and runs down the
centre of the strip of panes, away from the wooden glazing bars.
They've also recreated the pineapple beds heated by horse manure. The
alternative, aluminium glazing bars, large panes and electric heating
from solar panels or windmills for example, would be wholly
inappropriate. They've also brought back to life the ram pumps that
supplied water to the estate from the river, even though there's a
perfectly good modern mains water supply available and has been for
many decades.

People want to see these things as they were. It's the whole object of
the exercise. It's what the NT is all about, as is Heligan for that
matter. If the NT wants to grow stuff commercially in a glasshouse,
for example for sale in the NT shop, then do it in a poly-tunnel away
from public view. If the public want to see a modern glasshouse or
equivalent, they go to the Eden Project or similar.


Yes, Heligan et al are interesting but how many of them do you want.

These old Victorian walled gardens are now two a penny, they are everywhere
and you only need to go to one and you have done the lot. Yes it's
interesting seeing how they used to do it without the modern equipment and
ideas but when do we get to see the modern equipment and ideas put into
practice? They all tend to be commercial so you can't. Going to Eden or Kew
or Wisley won't show you anything of how it all works because they hide it
all away from the visitors gaze.

Dare I say it but these pseudo Victorian gardens are getting rather boring,
and possibly misleading for the visitors who get a very romantic and totally
unrealistic cosy image of a Victorian gardener. They even ensure the punters
can't see the modern machinery like cultivators being used so it doesn't
spoil the image.

Yes, in some of the gardens where there is little of the old structures left
I would use double glazing and UPVC and powder coated Ally and computer
controls and all the other modern stuff available including solar panels in
some of the gardens to roof the sheds etc. Lets see how it would be done
now. A few 21st century walled gardens spread around the country as a
counterpoint to all the kitsch.
--
Regards. Bob Hobden.
Posted to this Newsgroup from the W of London, UK



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