May 2018 saw the grand reveal of four sympathetically restored Victorian Glasshouses at The Walled Nursery in Hawkhurst Kent by Sir Tim Smit, KBE, founder of The Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Eden Project.
One of the most intact walled gardens still standing in the UK today, and home to 13 late-Victorian Foster & Pearson greenhouses affectionately known as the ‘demanding ladies’, The Walled Nursery is both a plant-lovers paradise and an important UK heritage site.
For the past 100 years, the huge wooden and glass greenhouse structures have stood untouched, exposed to the elements, and with the budget for restoration so very limited there was a real danger they would have to be demolished. However, after a £200,000 donation from the granddaughter of the original Head Gardener of the Estate, Mr Ernest Hardcastle – who tended to the grounds from 1903 to 1940 – owners of The Walled Nursery, Emma and Monty Davies, enlisted the help of local builder John Tilley to restore four of the structures to their former glory.
With maintaining the original character of the late-Victorian greenhouses crucial, John Tilley set about sympathetically restoring the glasshouses in a project that took 12 months to complete.
Applications used in this project: Inspiration