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The Victorian Kitchen Garden & a metric butt-ton of historical reconstruction series
February 26, 2012 9:17 PM   Subscribe

The Victorian Kitchen Garden is a 13-part TV series that aired in 1987 on BBC2. It follows the month-by-month restoration of the Victorian walled kitchen garden at the Chilton Foliat estate in Wiltshire, England. Almost all the episodes are available to watch online. (via hark, a vagrant) It had three sequels - The Victorian Kitchen, The Victorian Flower Garden, and The Wartime Kitchen and Garden - and inspired more recent historical reconstruction programs: Tales From the Green Valley, A Tudor Feast at Christmas, Victorian Farm, Victorian Farm Christmas, Victorian Pharmacy, and Edwardian Farm. (Victorian Farm and Edwardian Farm previously.)

Beekman 1802 has collected what episodes of Victorian Kitchen Garden that are available online into one webpage. Out of 13 episodes, the first 10 are complete online; the last 3 have only the first part available for each.

Of the sequels, Victorian Kitchen is available in full; Victorian Flower Garden has the first 6 of its 8 episodes available; but unfortunately, of Wartime Kitchen and Garden's 8 episodes, only the first two and the last one are available.

Tales From the Green Valley, A Tudor Feast at Christmas, Victorian Farm, Victorian Farm Christmas, Victorian Pharmacy, and Edwardian Farm are all available in full online (YouTube & TVO here; other links available in the post of and the comments of the previous MeFi thread).

Victorian Kitchen (1989)
Episode 1: Introduction
Episode 2: Breakfast
Episode 3: Luncheon
Episode 4: Afternoon Tea
Episode 5: Dinner
Episode 6: Supper
Episode 7: The Dinner Party
Episode 8: Picnics
Interview with Peter Thoday about the "Victorian Kitchen" series

Victorian Flower Garden (1991)
Episode 1: Introduction
Episode 2: Exotic Plants
Episode 3: Cut Flowers
Episode 4: Wedding Flowers
Episode 5: Victorian Technology
Episode 6: Flower Arranging
Episode 7: Autumn Colour (could not find online)
Episode 8: A Grand Musical Evening (could not find online)
Interview with Peter Thoday about the "Victorian Flower Garden" series

The Wartime Kitchen and Garden (1993)
(8 episodes, but could not find most of them online)
Episodes 1 & 2 in one video
Episode 8 in three parts: 1, 2, 3

Tales From The Green Valley (2005)
"The series recreates everyday life on a small farm in Wales in the 1620s, using authentic replica equipment and clothing, original recipes and reconstructed building techniques." (wikipedia)

All twelve parts of the series (with each episodes split into two parts, for a total of 24 videos), can be viewed on YouTube: playlist here.

Episode 1: parts one & two
Episode 2: parts one & two
Episode 3: parts one & two
Episode 4: parts one & two
Episode 5: parts one & two
Episode 6: parts one & two
Episode 7: parts one & two
Episode 8: parts one & two
Episode 9: parts one & two
Episode 10: parts one & two
Episode 11: parts one & two
Episode 12: parts one & two

A Tudor Feast at Christmas (2006)
An hour-long special "spin-off" of Tales From The Green Valley.
"A group of historians and archaeologists prepare a Tudor feast as it would have been over 400 years ago, including the use of period clothes, recipes from the era, food sourced from the land and the absence of modern conveniences. " (imdb)

YouTube: part one, two, three, and four

Victorian Farm (2009)
"The series recreated everyday life on a small farm in Shropshire in the mid-19th century, using authentic replica equipment and clothing, original recipes and reconstructed building techniques." (wikipedia)

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6

Victorian Farm Christmas (2009)
"A three-part follow-up series, Victorian Farm Christmas, was produced in 2009, in which Goodman, Langlands and Ginn return to the Acton Scott Estate after a year away to re-create preparations for a Victorian Christmas." (wikipedia)

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3

Victorian Pharmacy (2010)
"...a four-part series in a similar style to Victorian Farm, also made by Lion and shown on BBC Two... Filmed almost exclusively at Blists Hill Victorian Town, it revolved around a recreation of a Victorian chemist's shop..." (wikipedia)

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4

Edwardian Farm (2010-2011)
"Edwardian Farm is an historical documentary TV series in twelve parts, first shown on BBC Two from November 2010 to January 2011. It was made for the BBC by independent production company Lion Television and filmed at Morwellham Quay, an historic quay in Devon." (wikipedia)

All twelve parts of the series (with each episodes split into four parts, for a total of 48 videos), can be viewed on YouTube: playlist here.
posted by flex (29 comments total) 136 users marked this as a favorite

 
This post is my crack cocaine.
posted by bardic at 9:19 PM on February 26, 2012


...I was really hoping you were joking about the Victorian Pharmacy.
posted by maryr at 9:20 PM on February 26, 2012


So, this is what we're supposed to do now that Downton Abbey is over?
posted by schmod at 9:22 PM on February 26, 2012


Dude, Downton Abbey was a silly teevee show. This shit is real.
posted by bardic at 9:28 PM on February 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


YESSSSSSSSS.
posted by The Whelk at 9:34 PM on February 26, 2012


OH MY GOD.

(I would be embarrassed by how excited I am... but I am among my nerd people, surely.)
posted by thehmsbeagle at 10:13 PM on February 26, 2012


I. . I . . I have no words. Except thanks, and I'll try to be back on mefi when I'm done watching all of these. And building a 10' brick wall around my garden.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:27 PM on February 26, 2012


Wow, you've just killed my upcoming week. Awesome! Great post, thank you.

Were the "Dinner" and "Supper" links supposed to go to the same place?
posted by Salieri at 10:30 PM on February 26, 2012


Watch it. Watch it. Watch it! It's really great programming for history-loving gardening Anglophiles. I LOVED The Victorian Kitchen Garden.
posted by Savannah at 10:47 PM on February 26, 2012


Maybe I'm feeling protective of the Beeb, but these episodes aren't some lost archival footage. They're available in full to anyone who can handle some international shipping, a multiregion DVD player and UK prices: Victorian Garden | Victorian Farm | Victorian Pharmacy | Edwardian Farm.
posted by rh at 10:51 PM on February 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh man, awesome.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:51 PM on February 26, 2012


[fixed "Dinner" link ]
posted by taz at 11:21 PM on February 26, 2012


We are studying agriculture at home at the moment* and chanced on Victorian Farm just yesterday. Resident seven year old LOVES it, so we will have to watch the others. The fact we live not that far from Shropshire means the kid now wants exactly the same sheep and is mounting all kinds of arguments as to why.

*We home educate.
posted by Megami at 2:11 AM on February 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I found this show from the Victorian Farm previously and I've been watching the hell out of it (as well as VF and Edwardian Farm). So awesome.
posted by DU at 4:26 AM on February 27, 2012


(Not to be confused with the Victory Garden.)
posted by underthehat at 5:22 AM on February 27, 2012


Maybe I'm feeling protective of the Beeb, but these episodes aren't some lost archival footage. They're available in full to anyone who can handle some international shipping, a multiregion DVD player and UK prices: Victorian Garden | Victorian Farm | Victorian Pharmacy | Edwardian Farm.

That's kind of a ridiculous expectation for people who want to see a show about Victorian cooking.

(Similarly, I've been trying to find a way to rewatch stuff like the 1940s House. Only available on DVD on netflix, last I checked. Frustrating. It's the kind of stuff that's good for an afternoon, but I'm not going to change my netflix plan or pay through the nose to buy a DVD for the same sort of reason.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:15 AM on February 27, 2012


Lucy Worsley was profiled in last year's New Yorker food issue, also reviving Victorian cookery. Great read, though the full article is paywalled..
I've just embarked on the Victorian Kitchen introductory episode, rather enjoying it so far.

FWIW ($60, to be specific) I purchased the BBC2 Civilisation series on DVD after getting turned onto it by this post. Loving every minute, of which there are many (also, don't have the internet at home).

posted by obscurator at 7:29 AM on February 27, 2012


This is so fabulous. Thank you so much for posting all of these episodes. I now know what will keep me company while cleaning my (not so elegant, not even Victorian) rental house.
posted by godshomemovies at 8:20 AM on February 27, 2012


Seriously? I'm the first person to think that a 13 PART(!!!) show about Victorian gardening is ridiculous?

I'm glad that Victorian gardening enthusiasts are able to have such a comprehensive overview of Victorian gardening, but I'd give pretty much anything to see a producer pitch this to a network executive in the States.

"O.K., I'm thinking of a series on Victorian garden--"
"NEXT!"
posted by Phreesh at 8:26 AM on February 27, 2012


Seriously? I'm the first person to think that a 13 PART(!!!) show about Victorian gardening is ridiculous?

Probably. As the first link says, the show was popular enough with the target audience in Britain to justify three sequels. The man at the center of the series, Harry Dodson, got downright famous.
In 1984, Jennifer Davies of the BBC was looking for a venue for a projected television program on traditional methods of vegetable gardening, to be called The Victorian Kitchen Garden.

Finally, she discovered the walled garden at Chilton Foliat, and its head gardener, Harry Dodson. He did not claim to be a Victorian gardener himself, but he had learned his trade from men who had been, and he understood the techniques they had developed.

The series was screened in 1987, when he was 68, and its popularity spawned three other BBC series - The Victorian Kitchen, The Victorian Flower Garden and The Wartime Kitchen and Garden. The accompanying books were best-sellers.

Dodson became a popular personality and in 1992 wrote his own book about growing vegetables, Harry Dodson's Practical Kitchen Garden.

He died at Chilton Foliat in 2005 aged 85.
posted by maudlin at 8:35 AM on February 27, 2012


Wait, there were Victorian Garden sequels?

*zooms back to top of post*

Oh my gosh, there's so much good stuff here!
posted by DU at 9:47 AM on February 27, 2012


Yes yes yes! Just started on the Tales from the Green Valley one, and I'm in love. Experimental archaeology and people who have some idea of what they're doing and can actually educate and if anyone wants me I'll be building a bread oven in the garden.
posted by kalimac at 10:32 AM on February 27, 2012


Oddly great. I love the kitten patrolling the strawberry patch and the crazy gooseberry battle.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:05 PM on February 27, 2012


Kind of cool that Harry became well known. Seems the british have a greater regard for old guys dispensing obscure knowledge. See also Fred Dibnah, steeplejack.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:28 PM on February 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Gee, thanks. Now nothing will get done.
posted by deborah at 8:09 PM on February 27, 2012


Ahh. Heaven to watch these. Thank you.
posted by nickyskye at 8:45 PM on February 27, 2012


Some of these titles are available online by, er, other methods, as well as YouTube. Ahem.
posted by Savannah at 9:57 PM on February 27, 2012


This is AMAZING. I can't wait to watch all of them. An walled kitchen garden is my dream...
posted by Cygnet at 3:12 PM on February 28, 2012


Welcome to my weekend.
posted by northxnorthwest at 1:47 AM on March 1, 2012


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