Breaking through what felt like a mile deep of long established nettles to get to a gate sewn shut with intricately interwoven lengths of ivy, we were anxious to see what was on the other side. The gate hinges were stiff and rusty but opened to reveal the contents of the walled garden. Neglected for many years, the garden was a forest of thistle, nettle, willow herb and grasses, all of which towered above my head.
Stepping inside, the atmosphere altered distinctly. Moving from the cool shade of the overgrown entrance to stand within the framework of the high brick walls, the wind dropped and warmth surrounded my face, it was as sheltered and tranquil as I remembered it to be. Butterflies and moths danced around from thistle to thistle in the warm air, a beautiful sight but was in stark contrast to the sad scene of neglect. The thought was with me that to recreate a kitchen garden in here would have to begin with the destruction of almost everything currently providing their habitat.