Firstly, apologies for being so slack but my phone line has been ripped by the strong winds we’ve experienced lately and the Internet was pretty much nonexistent. A lovely engineer has arrived today and fixed it so fingers crossed this is the end of our Internet trouble (we also had two major faults in the area in the last month!).
Back to business. In the midst of the neverending winter when I was ordering seeds, reading gardening books and dreaming about the spring and the changes it would bring to my garden I booked myself on a course at Sarah Raven’s about the 50 most productive plants that we can grow. After a long wait the day finally came and off we went with Kristina, of course it was the rainiest day in months, at least the photography was way easier.
Euphorbia John Tomlinson was on the list and I simply must have it.
Sarah took us through 20 years of research of plants that are prolific and easy to grow, pest resistant, cheap per sq meter, tasty and impressive. There was a great list of lettuces including a tasting and I came back with a packet of Red Mustard Frills which tastes like salad potatoes and horse radish, absolutely delicious. Another salad leaf, a very spicy mustard – Red Giant Mustard looked beautiful with pink tulips, a combination I should try next year. The full list included vegetables, cutting and edible flowers and foliage, I probably grow half of the list already but I got massively inspired too to try new plants and do more winter veg. A handy tip – grow wild rocket in the hot months and salad rocket in the cold months – this should supply you with rocket the whole year round.
Then there was a tour of the amazing garden, I would love to go back in August and see the changes.
This really confirms my decision to ditch ranunculus and grown tulips in abundance.
Red Giant Mustard and tulips.
A permanent bed with narcisi and dahlias.
It was raining heavily so we came back to the greenhouse restaurant and had delicious lunch including the salad leaves we went through sprinkled with violas. I will be using more edible flowers from now on, I seem to be growing most of them anyway and a little viola makes everything so pretty.
Panna cotta with rhubarb and rose water – divine!
I am contemplating this tomato growing system.
Then few purchases were made, I got a pair of flower cutting scissors, something I wanted for ages, and we were off. A very enjoyable day, I would love to go back for one of the flower growing or arranging courses. For more courses go here and here is a list of open days.
While in the area I would highly recommend visiting Sissinghurst Castle and Charleston House. What are you favourite gardens? I am dying to see the Great Dixter.