October is such a busy time in my garden – harvesting, clearing, sowing, planting and getting everything ready for the winter months. Gardening plans have been hindered however by so much rain!
Now is the ideal time to sow many different kinds of vegetables and herbs, for cropping through the winter and into next spring, and beyond!
The Queen visited “my” work kitchen garden yesterday, so I spent time on Wednesday making sure it was all weeded and spruced up. Ok, so perhaps the purpose of her visit to Bruton wasn’t to gaze upon my herbs and veggies but it’s not every day that one of the most famous people in the world pops down my high street!
It was thirsty work, so I enjoyed a refreshing cup of tea sitting in the sunshine on the wide timbers of the raised beds.
The Queen was in Bruton to open a new music building at The Kings School, a public (ie: private and very expensive for my international readers) and celebrate 500 years since the school received its Royal Charter. HRH also took time to visit Hauser and Wirth Somerset – where I run the kitchen garden for Roth Bar and Grill – and local race horse owner, Paul Nicholls’ stables.
I had a great time on holidays, but it’s nice being home again too, especially now that spring is in the air!
New allotment plans, magazine articles, writing a new book and other plans for 2019.
It has been a busy time since my last blog post and how the garden has changed! The weather has been typically British, from unseasonably warm to icy cold (for Somerset) and back again. Mornings are misty, deciduous trees almost entirely without leaves now and anything frost tender has died.
The polytunnel has frozen a few times now, I love the patterns on the frozen polythene, although it is still reaching 30˚C in there some days. I have electronic thermometers in the greenhouse and polytunnel and it’s so interesting to see the extremes of temperatures undercover, compared with outside in the garden.
This week began with the Autumn Equinox, the festival of Mabon, which starts on September 21st
As summer mellows into autumn, the allotment and garden is full of ripening vegetables and fruit.
The best laid plans do not always come to fruition! Gardening is a great leveller. Whether you are growing on an allotment, in a window box or own a huge private estate, nature always has the upper hand – and that is exactly as it should be.
I’ve been hearing good things about the physic garden at Cowbridge for some time but have never visited, so when I heard that there was a food fair there, I just had to make the trip over the Severn Bridge to the Vale of Glamorgan.
May is always a busy month for gardeners and it feels even more so this year here – is that the same for you?
Every year I mulch my no dig allotment with an inch or two of composted manure or homemade compost, but this year I am trying something different!
Usually the end of February and early March heralds a dramatic increase of activity in the greenhouse – but the unusually cold weather means last week was more about snowing than sowing!
It feels strange to be writing about heat loving plants like aubergines as Britain is gripped by unseasonally cold weather. Kitchen gardening is about always thinking ahead, anticipating and planning for what is to come, so I have been happy thinking about warm summer days as I wrap myself up in layers of thermals and woollens!
Homemade newspaper pots are quick and easy to make and use, biodegrade in the soil and worms like munching them too! Put into reusable containers to make your own module trays or use as individual pots.
My allotment has been quite neglected recently. All of my travels (Yorkshire for a wedding, then Thailand and Laos, with a work trip to Ireland just 2 days after returning), my work and autumnal weather suddenly arriving after a mild sunny spell – quite a shock after Thailand for me! – has meant that I am not quite where I would like to be for November 22nd. Nevermind though, it will all get done and I have had a lovely time.