Thomas Rivers – The Orchard House

Some of you may have seen Chris Beardshaw talk about Thomas Rivers and his recommended way of cultivating peach trees in pots on Beechgrove Garden this week. Well, I did a bit of scouring on the internet and found a free download, a scan of the original ‘The Orchard; The Cultivation of Fruit Trees in Pots Under Glass’.

Here is the link to the document: (You can download the format you want at the bottom of the page).

Thomas Rivers was instrumental in the breeding of fruit varieties in England during the Victorian walled garden boom. Rivers’ original nursery fell into disrepair but is being lovingly brought back to life. Another visit to add to my growing list. More information on the nursery in Hertfordshire can be found here:


Gardening for Laos Refugee

Article in the New York Times about Laos refugee Ms. Lee who gardens with other immigrants at the Slavic Community Gardens in California.

Croxteth Hall Walled Kitchen Garden

Ok, so not strictly horticultural therapy, but I had to write something about a recent visit to Croxteth Hall Walled Kitchen Garden in Liverpoool.


It is not just another walled kitchen garden, and I cannot get enough of these anyway, but a vast and significant Victorian one with many fruit trees over a century old. Many of which are trained in the traditional espalier and cordon styles as well as some inventive shapes and arches. The well preserved glasshouses and heated ripening walls (with their smoking chimneys) are worth the admission fee alone.

The garden is run by Liverpool council and costs a very nice £2.50 entry for an adult and I thoroughly recommend a visit.