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!
Kale, a nutrient dense vegetable high in vitamins, is well known for its many health benefits. Easy to grow and winter hardy in the UK, it’s a fantastic plant for the hungry home gardener. Kale’s delicious leaves make a tasty addition to all kinds of meals cooked and raw, but did you know that you can also eat other parts of this cruciferous vegetable and that growing it benefits wildlife too?!
It’s spring and I am thinking of winter vegetables! Root vegetables are surprisingly easy to grow using no dig methods. Yesterday I sowed parsnips, carrots, radish, Hamburg parsley and scorzonera into a recently applied mulch of compost on top of my heavy clay allotment soil.
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.
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.
Like much of the country, Bruton has been very hot and dry for weeks and weeks. Frustratingly all of the recent rains have missed my small town.
It’s that time of year again, the days of delighting in the first few courgettes have transformed into a bewilderment of abundance. As fast as I pick them, more are growing – it’s wonderful.
The vegetable gardens are filling up with gorgeous summer abundance, almost every day it seems we are welcoming back another seasonal delight.
The hedgerows are filled with creamy elderflowers. It’s time to forage! Choose elderflower heads that are in full blossom and at their most fragrant to make delicious drinks, skin care and preserves.
I’ve been busy in the kitchen making elderflower champagne, liqueur, vinegar, sugar, oil and dried elderflowers too. Here are the recipes.
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?
We celebrated the first day of May by flying from Bristol to Aberdeen, to visit Beechgrove Gardens.
This fragrant, spicy versatile cleaning vinegar smells fantastic and cleans powerfully.
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!
Every Monday I pour my morning coffee and plan my week. Last week was so busy with talks, writing, a course day on Saturday; there was little time for gardening at home, so I scheduled Sunday as a whole day of gardening at home.
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!
I absolutely love growing aubergines. Incredibly versatile for so many different recipes, I love all of the different colours and shapes, how some are seriously spiky and of course the delicious taste.