(Photo: Sarah Jackson)
The walled garden at Forty Hall was built by Sir Nicholas Rainton at the same time as the Hall (1629 and 1632). Over the centuries the garden has produced fruit and vegetables for the occupants of the Hall, with various greenhouses and an orangery adding to the range of food grown. The estate was sold to the London Borough of Enfield in 1951 and the garden was turned into an ornamental garden.
Today visitors can enjoy a mixture of planting styles and purposes from the past four centuries. Rose beds date back to the Parker Bowles period (1920-1951), long borders are planted in the English cottage garden style with flowering perennials and herbs, while striking 16th-century thistles (Onopordum acanthium
) punctuate the beds.
Fruit and vegetables are grown in beds lining the north and south walls providing a link back to the original purpose of the garden. Ornamental trees of interest include an Indian bean tree (Catalpa bignonioides
), handkerchief tree (Davidia involucrata
) and tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera
). A mature Wisteria sinensis
in the north-eastern corner, a short avenue of ornamental cherries and several acers around the garden provide highlights throughout the seasons.
The garden is managed by Enfield Council staff with the assistance of volunteers from the Friends of Forty Hall Park. The gardens have won gold at Enfield in Bloom for the last four years, a testament to the hard work of all those who work to maintain this beautiful space.