In it's heyday, these gardens were second only to Kew and Queen Victoria sent her gardeners to Kingston Lacy to learn.
The house regained control of the old kitchen gardens two years ago after they had been on a long lease to a bonsai nursery and it has taken the National Trust that long just to clear the 6 acre site of debris and rubbish. To help with the weed problem they put pigs on the land which turned everything that was edible into manure.
There has been a on-going program to restore what few of the glasshouses are left and some of them are now ready to use.
The ones on the left are rather precarious still, in the centre is the cucumber and melon pit still to be restored and on the right the now usable glasshouses and cold frames.
And the inside being productive.
Some of the original early Victorian bothy's are still standing. These were used for the apprentice gardeners and garden boys to live in whilst on the estate. It also meant they were near to the glasshouses and could stoke the boilers in the middle of the night to keep the temperatures up as well as starting work usually at first dawn light.
This one has an enormous wisteria along it that is estimated to be about 100 years old.
This is a part of the garden that has been funded and prepared by the Prince's Trust and will be used for disabled groups to work in.
And this is the area we were working in that has been turned into public allotments. They are all of a quarter full size so much more manageable for most people.
Behind me when I took the last photo is the area that will be developed into the larger half to full size community project allotments and fruit tree orchards. They have done an enormous amount of work in a very short time but still have a very long way to go. I'm looking forward being there over the next few months to see this year's progress.