Yesterday was Earth Day 2020, a time for thinking about nature and our planet. No dig gardening is an earth inspired way of growing which protects the soil, soil life and environment. There’s been a phenomenal increase in interest in no dig gardening, which is fantastic!
It’s the last day of 2019 …. didn’t that pass quickly? I’m sure there are things on my “to do” list from February that I’m still meaning to get round to!
Two podcasts to listen to – both about no dig gardening.
Lee Connelly (aka The Skinny Jean Gardener) recorded our podcast at BBC Gardeners’ World Live a few months ago.
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!
Hasn’t the month passed quickly? I can hardly believe that it is August on Thursday. Today I’ve been enjoying more of an indoor kind of day, catching up with things at my desk and general chores, because it has – finally, oh joy! – been raining. I love sunshine and warmth, but it has been very dry for my garden and the polytunnel has become so hot.
May: such a magical month in the garden. The growth is incredible and each day the garden reveals new delights! When the first strawberries ripen we know summer is on its way.
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.
This gorgeous, vegetable-filled salad is ideal for winter meals, a great way of using leftover vegetables from a roast dinner – just like “bubble and squeak”. A tasty way to make the most of a Thanksgiving, Christmas or other roast dinner leftovers! This recipe includes an oil free version, too.
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.
In my garden a bright jungle of colourful nasturtiums are rejoicing in the surprisingly warm sunshine-y October weather. After a summer of taking their prolific spiciness for granted, I’m keen to preserve what I can before the weather turns colder….
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.
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.
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.
May is always a busy month for gardeners and it feels even more so this year here – is that the same for you?