The Wartime Kitchen & Garden


The Wartime Kitchen & Garden

The Wartime Kitchen & Garden

War Sucks, and is not fun for anyone involved except for the bankers and corporations who get rich off them. For the rest of us, we are left figuring out how to survive which at times is not the easiest thing to do. During the World War’s communities around the world worked together to create Victory Gardens.

war garden dig for victory

Victory gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit and herb gardens planted at private residences and public parks in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Germany during World War I and World War II to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort. In addition to indirectly aiding the war effort these gardens were also considered a civil “morale booster” — in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. This made victory gardens become a part of daily life on the home front.

The Victorian Kitchen Garden was a 13-part television series produced in 1987 by Keith Sheather for BBC2. It recreated a kitchen garden of the Victorian era at Chilton Foliat in Wiltshire, although at the time the series was made Chilton Foliat was in the county of Berkshire. The presenter was the horticultural lecturer, Peter Thoday, the master gardener was Harry Dodson and the director was Keith Sheather.

The theme music and soundtrack was composed by Paul Reade and performed principally by Emma Johnson playing the clarinet. It won the 1991 Ivor Novello award for best TV theme music.

The series began in the largely derelict walled garden at Chilton on a freezing January morning and followed Harry and his assistant Alison as they recreated the working kitchen garden.

The work involved many repairs from replanting the Box (Buxus) edging and replacing the gravel walks to reglazing the cold frames and repairing the magnificent Victorian wood-framed, brick-based glass-houses. The team were determined to use plants that the Victorian head gardener would have had available, so there were many hours of scouring old and modern catalogues and many disappointments. However, the required plants were found eventually. The programme displayed the various tools and techniques of Victorian gardening, and this was where Harry came into his own. He had used many of both and therefore could produce many of the tools from various cobwebbed corners of the service buildings and demonstrate how they were used.

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