Midlothian TV chef to help restore Borthwick Castle's historic walled gardens

A Scottish chef and TV gardener are teaming up to restore the historic walled gardens of Borthwick Castle.

By Caitlyn Dewar
Thursday, 15th August 2019, 11:02 am
Derek Johnstone and Pete Jackson with garden produce.
Derek Johnstone and Pete Jackson with garden produce.

Derek Johnstone, head chef at the private-hire venue, has announced a collaboration with former STV garden designer and horticulturalist Pete Jackson, to redevelop the original walled garden.

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Derek, said: “Food provenance and sustainability are just as vital in 2019 as in the 16th century, and I’m delighted to be working with Pete to restore the garden and grow our own produce.

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Derek Johnstone and Pete Jackson with garden produce.

“Borthwick Castle is steeped in history, and it’s only fitting that this should extend to our food philosophy as well.

“Pete shares my vision for heritage ingredients to compliment the history of the castle, and our plans for the walled garden’s redevelopment have historic Scottish produce front and centre.”

Work began on the walled garden in autumn 2018, to clear the space in preparation for development. Winter vegetables will be planted this autumn, including horseradish, heritage carrots and golden beetroot, alongside herbs such as chervil, thyme and rosemary.

James Grieve apple trees, which originated in Edinburgh in the 1890s will be planted around the perimeter of the garden over the coming weeks.

Pete said: “At the moment, we’re planting heritage winter greens ready for Christmas, alongside winter herbs such as rosemary and thyme, which Derek can use in the Castle kitchen straight away.

“Clearing the site is still ongoing, but it’s all starting to take shape. It’s an incredible space with loads of potential.”

While the walled garden will be open to the public on select dates throughout the year, it is also hoped that the space can provide educational opportunities for local schools to learn about food provenance, the environment and outdoors.