Peter Rabbit™ Garden
The Peter Rabbit™ Garden is our small but perfectly formed show garden and opened in 2009 to add a fantastic new element to the exhibition to compliment the indoor part of the Attraction.
The garden tells the story of Beatrix Potter the naturalist and is designed to capture the very essence of Beatrix Potter’s world, from the cos lettuces that Benjamin Bunny nibbled on to the gooseberry bush where Peter got caught in a net as he tried to escape Mr. McGregor. The Garden was designed by Chelsea RHS Gold medal winner Richard Lucas who recreated a number of the garden scenes from Miss Potter’s best-loved Tales in this wonderful outdoor space. Richard embarked on a nationwide hunt to ‘root out’ the appropriate unusual and traditional varieties of fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers. Richard explains: “I studied Beatrix Potter’s garden illustrations and text to identify different fruit, vegetables and flowers to include in my design and found out which varieties she would have known in her lifetime.
Save the Radish!
Did you know that Peter Rabbit is eating a radish, not a carrot, in the famous Beatrix Potter™ illustration? Our garden team are working with Garden Organic and the Heritage Seed Library to save the Long Scarlet Radish, which our researchers believe is the radish in the illustration.
Heritage fruit & vegetables in the Peter Rabbit™ garden include:
- Red fruited gooseberries, parsnip ‘Tender and True’, cucumber ‘Long White’ and cabbage ‘January King’ as found in The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
- Pear trees, parsley ‘Moss Curled’, lettuces, carnations and antirrhinums have been lifted from the pages of The Tale of Benjamin Bunny.
- From The Tale of The Flopsy Bunnies there is lettuce ‘Paris White’, roses, pansies, marrows and French marigold ‘Legion of Honour’.
- Also being grown to add colour and variety are ‘Bulls Blood’ beetroot, ‘Musselburgh’ leek, purple podded peas and red leaved lettuce.
- The original plants were sourced from specialist nurseries across the UK.
- The garden is so authentic we even allow dandelions, nettles and other weeds to grow!In Spring 2010, we developed our Kitchen Garden in nearby Windermere to supply the Beatrix Potter™ Tea Room at the Attraction with fresh produce, including seasonal salad crops, herbs, fruits and vegetables.
The Kitchen Garden
We use organic growing principles in both the Kitchen Garden and the Peter Rabbit™ Garden, following the guidelines provided by Garden Organic.The Kitchen Garden boasts a polytunnel, and some sturdy rabbit-proof fencing has been erected to protect baby leaves of spinach, sorrel and winter lettuce. Our gardening team work hard to maintain our Gardens in top condition but they must be vigilant! – as Mr. McGregor himself might say…
“Don’t forget those blooming rabbits – they’ll eat your lovely veg in a moment if you let them!”
To read about our 2014 Gold Medal Winning RHS Chelsea Garden click here