Access to Kitchen Garden in Chiswick House to be made free

Image above: The Kitchen Garden at Chiswick House 

Kitchen Garden will be free to access from 28 March

Chiswick House & Gardens Trust has announced access to the walled Kitchen Garden will be free from Easter. Currently adults are charged £4.50 to enter the garden; a family ticket (two adults, three children) costs £10.50. Effective from Thursday 28 March, the public will no longer be required to pay an entrance fee.

By then the garden will be bursting with spring flowers, with over 200 apple and pear trees coming into blossom and beds of Narcissus and tulips, featuring varieties such as Tulipa ‘Groenland,’ ‘Apricot Pride,’ and ‘Menton’ blooming through March and April, .

Although ‘kitchen garden’ suggests fruit, vegetables and herbs, the the garden produces crops of flowers for sale, as well as food crops.

Rosie Fyles, the Head of Gardens at Chiswick House & Gardens Trust, said:

“Our dedicated gardening team and volunteers invest incredible effort in cultivating this bountiful space. However, the majority of visitors to the grounds have yet to explore this hidden gem, previously behind the paywall.

“Our vision for the Kitchen Garden is to seamlessly weave inspiration from our storied past, sharing a space that enriches the local community and serves as a haven promoting wellness. It’s really exciting to enable more people to visit it regularly.”

Image above: Volunteers working in the Kitchen Garden

A garden with more than 300 years of history

The walled garden at Chiswick House date from 1682, when it was created by Sir Stephen Fox, financier to Charles II and, as Paymaster of the Forces, diarist Samuel Pepys ‘ boss. It was added to the neighbouring grounds of the more famous Chiswick House in 1812.

After Chiswick House and Grounds became the property of the local authority, the garden was closed to the public and became neglected, but local volunteers rediscovered it and decided to revive it, forming an association in 2005.

The two and a half acre walled garden was restored and now serves as a communal resource for local groups to learn about gardening, as well as source of revenue for the Trust, as a mini market garden supplying small quantities of vegetables to Sam’s Riverside restaurant in Hammersmith and Sam’s Waterside restaurant in Brentford.

READ ALSO: Kitchen Garden at Chiswick House supplies Sam’s Riverside

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Over the past year the Kitchen Garden has made a significant impact by donating over a tonne of fresh produce, equivalent to more than 2,600 meals, to local food charities such as The Felix Project and Surplus to Supper, addressing the issue of local food poverty.

Image above: Visitors at The Kitchen Garden

Visitors encouraged to get involved with seasonal activities

Visitors to the Kitchen Garden are encouraged to wander round and enjoy the abundant flowers and produce, but also to actively participate in ‘pick your own.’

Employing no-dig techniques and fostering wildlife habitats, the gardening team would like to ignite enthusiasm for locally grown produce, from roses to mushrooms, with seasonal opportunities for getting involved in a bit of harvesting.

The Kitchen Garden will be open to the public from Thursday to Sunday, 10.30am to 3.30pm, starting from 28 March until 27 October 2024. With the Conservatory now closed due to its increasing fragility, access to the Kitchen Garden will be facilitated through the newly-named Gardeners’ Gate, located on the path between the Conservatory and the Rosary.