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Tarting Up the Tatty and Replacing the Rotten by Andrew Lane

Posted by sheiladearing on 04 Apr 2013 at 03:43 PM

Visitors and staff alike may have noticed a sudden and rapid renovation occurring in the Potager at RHS Garden Rosemoor. A new wall here, new paving there and sadly the disappearance of long standing Vitis and Pergolas along with the mournful removal of an iconic Wisteria macrobotrys that has adorned the central structure for the best part of the last 20 years.

 It’s not as bad as it sounds though and there’s no need to panic as the key to renovation is to get your target area to a stage from which it can be developed. This sometimes requires a seemingly drastic reduction of what is already in place so that you have wider parameters to work within and more scope for improvement.
In the Potager, however, it is a case of less is more and the four square iron pergolas that have been removed create a more open feel to the garden and allow the design to flow into that of the Cottage and Herb Gardens more harmoniously.

The remaining four provide essential structure and depth to the garden as it raises the level of an area of otherwise low planting and they provide interest at times of the year when there is nothing else of note in the Potager due to the gardens annual nature. These four structures had, unfortunately, seen better days and had rusted through, making them unsound, unsafe and unsightly. But, fortunately for us, we were able to commission the creation of four identical pergolas that will take their place and provide support for the well-established grape vines that are currently looking a little sorry for themselves without something to hold on to.


The central octagon has always been the main focal point of the Potager and the Wisteria that was entwined around it had started to go downhill and had to be removed. This left the structure bare, revealing that much like the others, time had taken its toll and the structure was starting to weather quite noticeably. However, as it was made of stern stuff (much like the gardeners here in Devon when it comes to facing down the weather), it was easily restored to its former glory and stands proud once again as the centre of attention.

During the restoration.

Restoration complete

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