Lord Rothschild’s kitchen garden inspires Sandra Carter as it opens for the first time.

Those who love visiting Waddesdon Manor for its stunning gardens and art treasures may have heard of Eythrope, Lord Rothschild’s private home on the edge of the estate. This year garden lovers have the chance to join a guided tour of Eythrope’s four-acre walled produce garden.

The National Trust’s bus drops our group off before a beautiful half-timbered building with similar features to the manor. Ah, so this is where Lord Rothschild lives, what a pretty country home.

But no: our guide laughs at the idea. This is Eythrope Yard, the original stable block, now the home of five of Eythrope’s gardeners. The family’s Eythrope Pavilion and its gardens are out of sight beyond the trees.

Lord Rothschild is famous for his perfectionism, so while the walled garden is simply a place to grow fruit, veg and flowers for the family and manor restaurants, it must be beautiful too.

The scale and ambition are amazing. We tour the vegetable and fruit areas, potting sheds, cherry house, greenhouses, vinery and flower beds - not forgetting the apple orchard with 44 varieties, the 13 varieties of tomatoes, the 4,000 plants propagated each year. Though daunted when I compare it to my humble patch at home, I find plenty here to inspire.

1 A kitchen garden should be lovely as well as productive so dot it about with pleasures. As we pass from cane fruits to the potting sheds, a huge rose arbour smothered in musk roses is a feast of scent and colour. A few urns and statues are placed at viewpoints.

2 Find playful ways to pursue your fancy. At one side of the vegetable area is a Victorian-style Auricula Theatre. On our visit it has scented pelargoniums, in the summer it will have auriculas (Lord R’s favourite), in the autumn gourds and pumpkins to brighten the gardener’s day.

3 Use head as well as brawn. The potting shed holds planting diaries going back 25 years, so they can keep learning what works where. One veg section is experimenting with the latest ‘no-dig’ theories.

4 Indulge your whims. Liking a picture of a Scottish house with a topiary garden, Lord Rothschild replaced a lawn with animals, horses, chickens, dogs and geometrical shapes all trimmed from box, yew, ivy and lonicera.

5 Strive for self-sufficiency - though it helps if you have an estate to draw on. Straw and manure come from the Waddesdon Stud. A corner of the estate produces hazel stakes for peas and beans. They even collect molehill loam and manure to create a feed collar for the 16 cherry trees that flourish in plant pots.

Guided tours of Eythrope walled garden take place on selected Wednesdays, booking essential. See www.waddesdon.org.uk/whats-on/eythrope-walled-garden-tour.