Thursday, 13 October 2011

Kitchen Garden

The kitchen garden lies adjacent to the Glasshouse, and has been producing good harvests for almost two years now. Before that it lay dormant as a grassed area with pear trees for several years, but thankfully the decision was made to restore the plot back to how Lawrence Johntson had it in the 1930’s when it was providing food for the manor. After LJ handed Hidcote over to the National Trust the remaining gardeners had been entrusted to get on with things and keep the place ticking over, however from various letters in the archives they, at times, seemed more interested in tending the Kitchen Garden than anything else! In December 1950, leaf-mould destined for the Red Borders had instead been mulched onto the vegetable beds, leading to this stern missive from the Trust: ‘no leafmould will be put on the kitchen garden unless instructions to that effect are given by the committee’. Today no such shenanigans take place, one of the supervisors Sarah looks after these plots and is allowed to do as much mulching as she sees fit! Produce here goes directly to the restaurant kitchen, and any excess is sold off to visitors.

Self-seeded poppy action in front of Asparagus ‘Stewarts Purple’

A winter root-crop, Celeriac. My sister has been wittering on about this so I will give it a try at harvest time

A bit of brightness to attract the hoverflies and pollinators in

Last year the brassicas were decimated by caterpillars, this year a netted structure has provided protection. In the nearby Rose Walk, Crambe cordifolia (Brassicaceae) has taken a battering with lots of female Whites landing here to lay their eggs instead

There will never be a day when I’m not in the mood to eat beetroot

The raspberries this year have been incredible! Apparently back in the day, boys employed to pick fruit had to whistle as they worked so the master knew they were not gorging themselves. I work under no such constraints…

George the pig waiting patiently for his breakfast

7 comments:

Janet said...

Very classsy plant labels. I do mine the same way. I first saw ones like these at Heligan, and copied the idea. So what's the secret of getting celriac bigger than golf balls?

Shaheen said...

George does look like he's being very patient.

Prue said...

Awesome photo of the poppy heads in front of the misty glasshouses :)

I had beetroot and goat's cheese salad at Hidcote last week when I took a friend round the garden.
That was awesome too!
Beetroot and creamy goat's cheese go together so well. Mmmmmmmm...

Pam's English Garden said...

Dear Bertie, Wonderful! Seems Sarah does a brilliant job. I agree with you about beetroot. My husband likes them pickled ... this year I harvested, pickled and canned 30 pounds of them. P. x

Wife, Mother, Gardener said...

Thanks for the heads up on the Crambe c. I have a small one I am nursing along this year (high hopes for next year!) and I suppose I should keep a look out for hungry caterpillars.

And my kids' loved seeing George, the English pig. Thanks!

RB said...

So happy to hear my wittering has had an affect on you Jeeb and you are going to try growing Celeriac!!! Look forward to tasting it :) x

Petra Hoyer Millar said...

Your sister is right! Celeriac is lovely! How are they coming along? They look really good, much better than mine! What a lovely kitchen garden.

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