Garden Visit: The Potager Garden and Glasshouse cafe

Almost a month ago (where does the time go!) we went on our annual summer holiday down to Cornwall. This year we were blessed with sunshine for ten whole days! Ten whole days of long beach walks, collecting pebbles and shells, wildflowers,  ice cream, hikes, bike rides, national trust visits and lashings of cream teas. One thing I particularly enjoy is a visit to a kitchen garden, bit like a busman’s holiday I suppose! For the last couple of years one place has been on our list of places to go, but, we just never quite make it there, The Potager Garden and Glasshouse Cafe. This year we made a special effort to get there.

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Sissinghurst Castle, a jolly out for the day

“What Happiness you and I have derived from that garden – I mean real satisfaction and a feeling of success. It is an achievement – assuredly it is. And it is pleasant to feel that we have created a work of art. It is all your credit really. Mine was just rulers and bits of paper”
Harold to Vita
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 Here’s a flash back to a day out we had to Sissinghurst castle last September that I never quite got around to posting here. Sissinghurst is a magical place to visit with its fairytale tower and gardens. The quote above is from a plaque you find at the top of the tower as you enjoy the view of the estate and Vita & Harold’s creation, which bought a smile to my face. Reminiscent of my partner and I’s relationship dynamic down our own allotment.

Here’s a few photos from our day out in the beautiful Kent countryside. We will definitely be visiting Sissinghurst again soon that’s for sure.

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Oh no, not another marrow! A marrow & ale chutney recipe for when you’re not expecting a marrow.

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It happens to us all, we go away on holiday, forget to pick a courgette or discover a hidden monster of a marrow under a forest of leaves, that’s not to say many of us grow marrows on purpose. We fall into the first category, preferring a nice courgette or zucchini over a hefty marrow. We try to avoid having a marrow monster on our hands, but sometimes you just can’t avoid the odd marrow. Of course that’s not to mention those ‘gifted’ to you. We’re a generous bunch us allotmenteers, and I bet a fair few of use have been offered a marrow from a plot neighbour at some time or other, offered with look of marrow induced panic in their eyes (please take the marrow PLEASE!). And so that’s what we did accepting a marrow from Con, one of the loveliest, gentlest of the old-timer allotment holders at our site, you just can’t say no to Con, he’s such a quiet man and it must have taken a lot to think of us and offer up one of his marrows. It was delicious, we made a lovely stuffed marrow with wild rice and made the mistake of telling someone down the plots. Since then we keep finding flipping marrows left for us on our shed step!
Continue reading “Oh no, not another marrow! A marrow & ale chutney recipe for when you’re not expecting a marrow.”

Roll up, Roll Up for the Greatest Allotment Show…

Last Sunday, 1st September was our allotment sites annual show. Held every year as a joint event with the NGS gardens for charity open day, however this year was to be a little bit different to previous years. All thanks to two of our plot holders featuring on no less than Gardeners World! It’s not the first time our plots have featured on television, Nigel Slater came and filmed for his Simple Suppers series, but that was sadly before our time. This time however the camera crews had came to film a special couple, George    & Serge who have a special allotment plot which won them an award of merit from the ‘Gardening against the odds’ award. Their plot is gorgeous, part English country garden, part Potager and part sculpture garden. It really is beautiful. So thanks to their feature on Gardner’s World (Friday 25th August) and an advertisement of the show by no less than Monty Don himself, the show was a hit, attracting some 700 visitors to see Serge & George, take in the exhibits, tour the site and enjoy homemade cake and teas.

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Bountiful. A review of the season (so far…)

Forgive me, I’ve hardly blogged about the plot this summer. Recent weather aside (it’s a wet and windy Saturday afternoon as I write this), it’s a been a glorious summer and to be honest with you, we’ve just been so busy enjoying it down 18a. After a unseasonable cool start to the season full of worry whether we would ever get any kind of crop going, we approach the end of the growing season with a bumper crop of unexpected allotment loveliness. After a rather crappy first 6 months of 2013 for myself personally, the allotment and the abundance of nature there have helped me overcome my blues and banish my little rain clouds. So what’s been going on down 18a? Well let’s see…
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