A HISTORIC priory and country estate in Hampshire has a new £135,000 garden.

A kitchen garden has been created at Mottisfont to bring food production and sustainability back to the site for the first time in more than 30 years.

The project is the result of Mottisfont’s biggest fundraising campaign to date and reflects the National Trust property’s medieval history and productive past.

The completed garden will be unveiled today during an official ceremony set to start at 10.30am.

The kitchen garden will feature fruit, vegetables, salad and herb areas, decorative flowers and a central pond.

Two pergolas will run the length of the garden and will eventually be covered in climbing gourds and vines.

Their brick and flint supports include pieces of stone from Mottisfont’s ruined abbey, and from the 19th century kitchen garden.

All the vegetables planted at the site are heritage varieties, and have been grown at Mottisfont from seed.

Louise Govier, general manager at Mottisfont, said: “It’s been so exciting to see this stunning new kitchen garden taking shape, and I’m thrilled that we are returning this section of our walled garden to its historic roots as a place for growing food for us all to eat. This is, however, no ordinary vegetable patch: its beautiful design draws together many threads from Mottisfont’s past, which makes it a particularly interesting space to explore.”

The kitchen garden will also be planted with a further fourteen different types of rose, representing each different group, from gallicas to albas in a bid to provide an introduction to the hundreds of varieties visitors find in the nearby gardens.

A refreshment kiosk has been reinstated in the corner of the garden and there will also be areas for picnic.

Meanwhile, large cold frames will be introduced in early 2019, to house year-round mixed salad leaves. These will be used in Mottisfont’s café, but also sold in bags to visitors, mixed with edible flowers such as rose petals when in season.

The kitchen garden will also have an educational focus, in a bid to inspire and encourage visitors of all ages to grow and eat their own produce. A recreational space is also set to be created especially for families to give children the chance to enjoy the hands-on experience of growing fruit and veg.

Head gardener Jonny Norton also hopes to offer the kitchen garden to various groups as a therapeutic gardening space.

The new scheme has been funded entirely through public donations and has been possible thanks to the work of Mottisfont’s team of garden volunteers.