Posts Tagged ‘othergardens’

Kitchen table nursery

This is the state of my kitchen table, covered with all my little seedlings growing away.

I have patio doors there so it is the place with the most light.  On there I have 4 types of tomato, 4 types of bean, rainbow chard, sweet peppers, 2 types of leek, 2 types of lettuce, butternut squash, peas, sweet peas, sunflowers, basil and cress.  The beans are way too early and will probably get chucked except the dwarf ones which are actually starting to flower!  The tomatoes got a little bit scorched when I put them out in the sun but have made a stirling recovery and I think they are going to be ok.  I’m a bit scared to put them out into the mini plastic greenhouse as they might all die and I’d be left with nothing.

I bought the packet of cress seeds in Morrisons, but it doesn’t look like the cress I’m used to…..these are like little umbrellas

I tasted some and it was quite peppery.

A lovely member of my local knititng group very kindly gave me some terracotta pots last week as she is moving away and can’t take everything with her.  I got quite a haul and am very grateful….thanks Sarah!

I ordered a few more seeds yesterday from MoreVeg who sell small quantities for 50p, cos I don’t need many.  I’ve got a couple of different squashes coming, some alpine strawberries and asparagus peas (and a few others, ahem!).  My veg patch is going to be absolutely heaving in the height of the growing season!!

In the next few days I shall be sowing some nasturtiums and pot marigold seeds which Flighty kindly sent me to use as companion plants and attract insects, and hopefully getting the rest of my seed potatoes into the ground as their chits are getting rather long now.  Looks like it is going to be warming up a bit again at the weekend although it could be a bit damp.

I shall also be going to The Chester Food & Drink Festival this weekend.  We go every year and my favourite bit is the lunchtime hog roast,  yum!  On Sunday, Eaton Hall is open to the public for the day so depending on the weather we may go along to that.  We went at the end of the summer last year so it will be interesting to see the difference at this time of year.

Dunham Massey

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to win a free family pass for any National Trust property from Emma at Alternative Kitchen Garden.  So as it was a lovely bright day on Saturday we decided to go over to Dunham Massey, somewhere we had never been before.

Unfortunately the buildings are closed at this time of the year but we did get to visit the grounds and the winter garden.

Part of the grounds are a large deer park but it seems some of the deer are quite tame and like to lounge around near the old gardeners’ cottages.


The moat has a huge collection of water birds, mostly Canada Geese

This is the house itself, I would have liked to have had a look inside

And then into the winter garden where there were some lovely autumn colours on display

There was a small orangery which had two small veg beds in front of it.  These were being cleared to save the grass around them, as the wet ground was being worn down by people walking around the edges.  There were some impressive veggies left in them though including very bright red chard and (as you can see by the scale indicator – Mr Veg’s hand!) some large cabbages.

These seed pods are from a lily which I didn’t write down the name of (- doh!) which only flowers after 7 years and then only once ever!  It was at least 10 ft tall.

And finally in the fallen leaves of the woodland was a bed of tiny cyclamen.  There were hundreds of them.  I remember my mum always having an indoor one around Christmas and never knew they actually grew outdoors.

Eaton Hall

Eaton Hall is the Duke of Westminster’s family home just on the outskirts of Chester.  Four times a year he opens the gardens to the public and all the proceeds go to charity.  Today was the last opening day for 2011 so we decided to go and have a nosey!  We’ve lived here for 15 years and have never been, but then again we didn’t have any interest in gardening before really.

This is the house and chapel viewed from the lake, it’s all very grand

Eaton Hall and chapel

We came in via the stables courtyard

where there were displays of the family history etc and some fancy old carriages


Then we headed out to the gardens and passed a lovely herbaceous border

before heading into the huge walled kitchen garden where everything was growing really well, or had been re-sown for winter crops

It is all grown organically too and there were a lot of companion plants among the fruit and veg.  Some of the beds were edged with iron railings just a bit higher than ankle height and fruit trees had been trained along them with huge apples and pears hanging off them!

The orchards were heaving

Further away in the grounds was a small building with a tea garden which seemed to have various herbs and box hedges in it

and I was taken with this plant.  Can anyone enlighten me as to what it is?

the flowers are like little pompoms

There was a falconry display which we didn’t see but we did see the birds waiting to perform

I’m not a fan of birds being kept captive but it is lovely to see them close up.

And finally a photo of a thistle type thing just because I am pleased with how well it came out!! (Damn I think I’ve missed the deadline for the Countryfile Calendar competition!!)