Myddelton House Gardens secures funding for restoration

Restoration work to EA Bowles' famous Myddelton House Gardens in Enfield is progressing well following a £447,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The restoration of the 19th century gardens began in 2009, including works to the Victorian kitchen garden, which features a potting shed, cold frames and a peach house. The north London site is managed by the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority.

The newly refurbished potting shed includes a compost oven for demonstrations on how to make compost, a reference library for educational purposes and a small staff area for gardeners' respite.

A visitor centre has also been built to house a cafe and heritage centre that will show the history of the gardens and EA Bowles' life. It is hoped that vegetables grown in the Kitchen Garden can be used in the cafe or sold to visitors.

Project manager Paul Roper said: "One of the key reasons that we couldn't open the kitchen garden was because the potting shed building was unsafe. It's always been an aspiration to open this part of the garden to the public but we needed to get the building safe first."

He added: "We want it to be a working museum for people to come and see what Bowles would have done and what our gardeners are doing now."

Roper said the project is currently on track and operating within budget. "The HLF grant has given us some really good infrastructure to build on. But in terms of the horticultural side of things, it's not going to be completely ready next year. There are more elements and new projects to come on plan and people can come and see that developing."

Head gardener Andrew Turvey added: "We have one senior gardener for just looking after the kitchen garden now because part of the project was to secure another person to maintain the area."

He continued: "Although we are opening to the public next year, we only have six months to turn it into a proper Kitchen Garden - it's going to take some time." The Kitchen Garden will open to the public in April 2011.

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