Firstly, apologies for my lack of communication over the winter and early spring months. Its been a busy time here and we have completed some large projects including installing a new poly tunnel and greenhouse, more than doubling our growing area to include perennial, shrub and climber beds and installing a new studio workspace.
Weatherwise it’s been a slow start to spring with cold nights, but increasingly warm days have coaxed the plants along. It has also been a very dry few months which has been a challenge with all our new planting! The flowers began around Mother’s Day with the first anemones and ranunculus, which are still flowering, and the narcissi and tulips have been and are still beautiful. Just around the corner are iris, alliums and foxgloves.
We are very busy filling our new greenhouse and polytunnel with seedlings ready to plant out as soon as the nights warm up a little more. We may have some spares this year so do let me know if you would be interested in any for your garden or to plant a little cutting patch.
This year we are pleased to be able to offer private workshops to small groups, held in our new studio space or cutting garden (depending on the weather). These can be tailored to your requirements but could include making a hand-tied bouquet, a vase arrangement, or a flower crown. All will include a tour of the cutting patch and the opportunity to cut your own flowers. All flowers and equipment will be provided, along with refreshments to include delicious home-made cakes from a local artisan bakery. The perfect way to celebrate a special birthday or occasion with friends and family, such as a hen party or baby shower. Just email me on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Finally, a book recommendation - 'Herb/a cook's companion' by Mark Diacono.
I have many of Mark's books and would recommend them all for his witty, lively writing style alone! they are also full of interesting and useful information about unusual and wonderful edible plants. This latest book is no exception, focusing on herbs and includes growing tips, variety selections and recipes which I cannot wait to try throughout the growing season. I would have bought it for the Pina Colada Mojito recipe alone which incorporates fig leaf syrup - in Mark's words 'Fig leaves promise little before being toasted in a warm oven, when a frangrance fills the kitchen and intensifies in the leaf itself. It's a peculiar scent and flavour: coconut, buts also much from my childhood - Shredded Wheat, popcorn and candy floss. Lay the leaves on a baking sheet, otherwise they'll cling like a school-refusing koalato the bars of the shelf as they dry.'