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Washington’s Landscape Included a Walled Kitchen Garden

The kitchen garden, or vegetable garden as it became known, has a long history in the story of gardening.

Therese O’Malley writes about the walled garden tradition in her book, Keywords In American Landscape Design.

She says “All citations emphasized the need to enclose a kitchen garden with a wall or fence.

“[Several treatises] preferred a regular shape like a square or rectangle.”

George Washington loved the English garden tradition, including the walled vegetable garden.

At Mount Vernon he enclosed the area where vegetables would grow with a brick wall. [below]

Upper Garden at Mount Vernon [Courtesy photo]

Such an enclosure protects the plants from winds and of course from many kinds of animals.

For decades here in America we had to plant vegetables behind the house, or in the back yard, and often with a fence or wall around the area. 

That tradition too followed the English example of a walled kitchen garden.

For a recent article on old walled kitchen gardens in the UK, check out a wonderful article by Phoebe James.

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