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.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Moving On

 It only takes a bit of rain , well 22mm already this month, a few warm days and everything in the garden is getting greener and bigger.

The angelica is doing well this year, tall, full of flowers and buzzing with bees. A pity we are not opening the garden for the NGS until July this year. (usually first weekend in June) The flowers will be seed heads in a few more weeks and then need dead heading before all the seeds spread and become an angelica forest next year!

It is also asparagus time and we are picking between 1 and 2 kilos each day. We eat some ourselves, delicious fried or roasted in a little olive oil or chopped up into stir fries.
The remainder we put on our sales trolley which gives local people the chance to buy our organic produce a very reasonable prices and no air miles!
The money raised from the sale of the fruit and vegetables and plants we donate to various charities each year.
We only pick the asparagus for approximately six weeks and then leave the stems to grow and put back goodness into the plants ready for next year. So this special crop is appreciated in this short availability window.



Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Good News

 Good news, I can continue with this blog.

The site may look a little different but here at Tysoe Walled Kitchen Garden we will continue as before.

A healthy drop of rain today 4.32mm, more than the whole month of April.

The garden is looking greener already.

Seeds are beginning to sprout and there are even the first flowers on tomato Roma.

A sign of good things to come.

Hope you will continue to read these blogs and enjoy our garden.



Friday, April 29, 2022

April

 April showers? none this year!

We have a weather station in the garden and keep a record of the readings.

In April 2020 we had 25.82mm in April 2021 there was 13.2mm and in April 2022 had just 3.56mm of rain.

The clay soil has huge cracks in it and is like concrete to dig!

First asparagus has been picked and as delicious as ever, despite the lack of rain.

Despite the cold (0 degrees at night) there are things growing in the garden. Apple blossom is beautiful, did you know 29th April is orchard blossom day?

We also have seedlings coming on in the greenhouse and luffa may be a success this year. After trying to grow this for the past 2 years , there are fruits growing already.

Sweet peas are outside, the seeds planted in the greenhouse in January and planted outside in the beginning of April, they are growing well.

After 14 years developing this garden it is a lovely place to be in and we can pick food for tea everyday.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Prolong the attraction

 Nearly the end of February and time to start a bit of tidying and pruning in the garden. I keep most of the seed heads over winter as they provide architectural interest during the winter months and also food and shelter for wildlife.

We have to start clearing some of it away now as new growth is appearing and this may be damaged if we cut back the old too late.

One thing we have done is to cut back the old flower stalks of the globe artichokes. We grew these perennial plants from seeds many years ago and they not only provide a tasty harvest, but by August we start to leave some of the globes to flower, a beautiful blue.

These seed heads are then left to mature, provide seeds for the birds and other wildlife over winter before being cut down in February. The old foliage has been cleared and new growth appears from December.

Some of the seed heads are still intact so this year I put them on the “metal leaves” art installation to create this:

Sunday, January 9, 2022

2021 Harvest

 As usual there are some winners and some losers in the garden during 2021

The tomatoes were very late to start producing but caught up eventually. Whereas the parsnips were the best in years and aubergines incredible with 91 fruits picked.

The details are below of our 2021 harvest. We ate a lot of it ourselves, plenty of 5++ a day but also gave some away to friends and relatives.

Any excess we sell from a trolley at the bottom of our drive, raising £500 this year.

We give the money to various charities, local and national. This year we gave to the National Garden Scheme (NGS yellow book) all the money raised from our plants, fruit and vegetables sold over the open days. The rest of the money raised was shared this year between, Survival international, Tysoe Children’s Group, Katharine House Hospice, and Carers4 carers.

Here’s hoping for a good harvest in 2022 so we and others can benefit from the great organically grown fruit and vegetables and that we raise lots of money for the charities.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Homemade

 It is always rewarding when you have something that you made yourself, and doubly so if you collected materials from the garden.

Most meals come under this description but at this time of year there is the chance to do more.

I always like to make the Christmas decorations using materials collected from the garden, environmentally friendly. no miles and fully compostable or recyclable after use.

I made 2 wreaths this year. I have used laurel as the main foliage, I could do with some conifer or leylandii really, perhaps I should plant some? or perhaps not! (be careful what you wish for).

The wreath by the front door also includes ivy, holly, mistletoe and sedum seed heads. On an ivy stem circle and fir cones which I made about 8 years ago and have reused every year since. Oh and an apple too.

We also put a wreath on the garden gate, again a reused circle with this year laurel, sedum , holly and apple.

The table on the patio gets a decoration too. Using the top of the now rusted chiminea which is nice and heavy, chicken wire inside to support the stems and a collection of seed heads and grasses from the garden. The inclusion honesty seed heads makes it really glow in the low light levels of this time of year.

A few stems with berries adds colour but not for long, the blackbirds fly into the display and eat the berries.

I also put a string of apples up for the blackbirds, unfortunately the squirrel has been and demolished it already.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

 The weather has turned cold at last but we still get many warm days, and along with that comes rain!

There are a lot of old apple trees in the garden, some forming strange shapes as they were once closely pruned espaliers but were left many years ago to grow as they wish, which is straight up!

Some are cookers, Blenheim Orange, Bramley and Grenadier, others eaters, Wealthy, Belle de Boskoop, Discovery and Tydemans Worcester. One thing they all have in common is Mistletoe.

This was an espalier over 40 years ago but despite its shape it still produces lots of fruit and mistletoe and looks great.

We always take some of the mistletoe off each year to help prevent it from completely covering the tree and stopping the apples from growing.

We sell some of the fruited pieces for charity and supply a local florist.

This has not been a good year for mistletoe, I think it must be that the weather was too warm.

Some of the mistletoe has not produced berries

No berries here this year

Others have taken a long time to turn from yellow/green berries to the lovely white ones that everyone wants for their Christmas decorations.

We are usually picking the mistletoe in the last week in November, this year we only had a small amount by December, a bit more has turned white now and the rest we are still waiting for it to turn white.

Too green
Perfect!

Moving On

 It only takes a bit of rain , well 22mm already this month, a few warm days and everything in the garden is getting greener and bigger. The...