Tysoe Walled Kitchen Garden

Welcome to the Tysoe Walled Kitchen Garden website! We are committed to organic gardening. Using the best practices from the Victorian days (i.e. lots of horse manure) and knowledge gleaned from the Ryton Organic Gardens we have set out to tame our Warwickshire clay. It’s all about sustainability, so as well as organic gardening, we’re always looking to better ways to work with our environment.

On this site you can find out about our history and the projects we are working on. You can come visit the garden and learn about organic gardening. Follow our blog to see what’s on our mind in the garden this month.

For the first 8 years all the work was carried out by just the two of us. Now we have help and are passing on our knowledge to students on the WRAGS (Work and Retrain As a Gardener Scheme).

We also find time to be involved with the WOT2Grow Community Orchard in Tysoe and have planted a 3 acre wood close to Tysoe, just over the border in Oxfordshire with a grant from the Woodland Trust.

Friday, May 31, 2024

Memories of May

A funny year so far in the garden, Some plants were very late coming in to flower and then raced through the month. Lots of blossom on the fruit trees were successfully pollinated and are now developing fruitlets, but others did not get pollinated so no fruit this year on the apricot and some cherries. The weather must have been too wet on those days so the pollinators stayed away.

Stand out flowers this months were the Bearded Iris. They obviously enjoyed the wet winter and have been flowering throughout the month. A wonderful display but now time to cut down the flower stalks.

It is several years since I last divided the plants, time to do so again .They tend to grow round in a circle and the middle bit dies out. In a few weeks I will dig some up, transplant some around the garden and others can go on my charity plant stall.



Then a little patch in the garden  came into flower making a lovely White garden.

White foxgloves and Orlaya Grandiflora make a lovely combination.


Friday, May 3, 2024

last stored veg

The vegetables and fruit have stored very well this year, probably because we have not had the early warm weather that usually comes around March.

I used the last of the apples tonight for some apple flapjacks and an apple pie. Amazing as it is May.

We also had the last winter squash roasted for tea.

We grow a lot of winter squash, many eaten before the winter, they ae delicious roasted, but they also keep well if kept cool and dry. The shed is often too damp if the temperature gets very cold. So the place to store them now is in the unheated pantry/utility room.

The one for tea tonight was the last Delicata. A lovely medium sized squash, so called because in the summer the skin is quite delicate, but store into the winter and the skin gets so hard. The only way to cut it open is to use a pruning saw, none of the knives would go through.



Friday, April 19, 2024

What a difference a day or two makes!

Wow! a few days ago the asparagus bed was looking neat and tidy, the winter mulch of well rotted leaves covering the slight hump in the ground that indicated the asparagus was there.

Then a couple of warm days followed by another of rain and up come the beautiful spears.

A tasty addition to the evening meal and more to come for the next 6-8 weeks.

After that the spears should be allowed to grow into tall billowing fronds feeding the roots ready for next years harvest.



Tuesday, April 2, 2024

March 2024

 In February we had about  80 mm rain (compared with only 10 mm in February 2023).

This March about 50mm rain (roughly the same as in 2023).

But the ground is so wet, occasionally a dry day so we can just manage to give the grass its first high cut, before the rain come again.

This wet clay soil is very hard to weed without removing great clods of soil with the weed and getting gloved fingers clogged with wet clay. So the weeds are flourishing!

The soil is too cold and wet to plant out new but established plants are doing well.

The herbaceous perennials are appearing though the soil and everything is greening up, a sure sign of spring.


Anemone blanda in the "wild " area of the lawn is lovely with various shades of blue from almost white to deep blue. These are now joined by the cow slips, Snakes head fritillary and green stalks of the Camissia, which will come into flower later in May.

Other splashes of colour are appearing daily




Narcissus bulbocodium  "Arctic Bells"

                            Daphne mezereum rubra, the flowers come first then, the foliage
                                            Hellebore are still going strong, this lovely white one.
                                                    Trillium kurabayashii, a weird and wonderful plant
...and we are still harvesting the wonderful purple sprouting broccoli.


Wednesday, February 21, 2024

February 2024

 What a wet and soggy month.

Very few days have been dry enough to do any work on the soil, but we have managed to prune all the fruit trees, apples and pears and the soft fruit, currants, gooseberries, autumn raspberries and blueberries.

We are harvesting leeks, carrots and parsnips from the garden. A lovely crop of sweet rocket growing in the greenhouse, free from the flea beetle that fills it full of holes on that grown outside in the summer!

There is no chard this year as it rotted in the cold and then the wet, but we have had some kale and yesterday the first of the purple sprouting broccoli. A delicious crop but takes all year to grow, we are now sowing seed for next  years harvest!

The spring bulbs are looking good. The snowdrops are starting to go over but they have been followed by the daffodils, tete a tete being the first to show. The berm is looking good with the spring bulbs and hellebores which are still flowering.



Then the rain!. in 2023 we had quite a dry February with 9.65mm rainfall recorded in our garden. This year we have already had over 58mm rain and still a week to go. There have been too many days where the temperatures have been over 10 degrees, 14 days in the last 21days have all reached these temperatures. Too hot for February and the plants and birds think it is Spring already.

The path between cold frames and raised bed became a stream last week!



Tuesday, January 16, 2024

January

Welcome 2024. After quite a mild but wet Christmas it has now turned more seasonably cold, very cold today, 0 degrees this morning but has crept up to 3.5 now at 3pm.

So wet in December, we had 60.09mm of rain in December 2023, in 2022 just 24.11mm and in 2021 16.51mm. There was even more in December 2020 with 60.69mm.

Remember the very cold winter of 2022? We lost most of our Aeoniums, as did many other people, despite being in a bubble wrapped greenhouse where they had happily spent many previous winters.

This year I have brought the remaining ones inside, so all the window sills are full!



Aeoniums overwintering inside the house

We have also taken precautions outside and used fleece and covers to protect some of the plants, that suffered in the cold last year but manage to perk up during the year. Hopefully this will be sufficient to save them this winter.

Globe artichoke

Ceanothus

It may be cold outside but cheering colour sign is here already! The snowdrops are bright white in the grey days.

                                                                    Mrs McNamara

                                                            Bright pink Cyclamen coum

Saturday, December 16, 2023

December

 Is it really nearly Christmas?

Unpredictable weather over the last few months has led to strange things in the garden.

The hostas had started to grow again, apple blossom on the trees and clematis flowering again in late October. The weather was so warm for October and so wet, 74mm rain measured in October.

The trees did  start to produce their autumn colours by the end of the month, especially beautiful was the Spetchley Red vine I have been training over the patio.



November still had unseasonably warm weather but by the 24th the temperatures suddenly dropped to sub-zero at night.

We picked the kiwis and squash before these frosts turned them to mush so had a good crop.




Rain in November was just 40mm although it seemed like it would never stop.

Now by mid December the leaves have finally dropped and we have collected them up to rot down into a wonderful leaf mulch for next year. The weather is still variable up to 12 degrees some days but the majority of nights are minus and still plenty of rain (20mm by the 15th December)

Mistletoe is good this year so we have supplied the local flower shop and sold steadily from our trolley to raise funds for charities. Using some of it, along with holly, ivy and berries from the garden for our Christmas wreath.

Have a Happy Christmas and I will write again in January.


Memories of May

A funny year so far in the garden, Some plants were very late coming in to flower and then raced through the month. Lots of blossom on the f...