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.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Diary 30th July

It rained yesterday!! first for 2 months. The garden looks fresher already and a rose, Chandos Beauty Harmisty, that I did not think was a repeat flowering suddenly produced 2 new buds.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Diary July 27th 2018

A wonderful sound I heard in the garden this morning while eating breakfast outside, “tap tap tap”, I quietly looked around and saw a young thrush under an old rose bush, breaking snail shells on some stones, wish I could have taken a photo but he went before I could get my camera.

We have had  a busy time trying to make the garden look presentable for the visit from the West Midlands Iris Group this week, all went well and they seemed to enjoy the visit. The ground is so dry and plants are dying.  We did have a bit of rain last night, lasted less than a minute so no help to the poor plants, here’s hoping the predicted rain for Saturday does come. We have had no rain since the middle of May and the water butts emptied long ago so it is several hours spent each day with watering cans and Seven Trent water. Just on the most needy, mostly the veg and  in the greenhouses. a similar situation  for thousands of people this year.

Despite the weather we are still getting a good harvest from some things, Cauliflower

small plum tomatoes, Santonio

That’s tea sorted!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Courgettes

It is that time of year again when courgettes start to get on the menu at least once a day! We are growing four varieties this year, a straight green one called Ambassador, another similar green one called Battani, a round yellow called Floridor and the small yellow Patti-pan

Courgettes

What do you do with yours? We get an early crop, partly from it being a few degrees warmer inside the walled garden and also the Ambassador is an early cropping variety. We sell some of these on the trolley at the bottom of the drive, (we raise money all year in this way with our excess crops and give the money to various charities at the end of the year.) Within a few weeks everyone who grows their own courgettes have a glut of their own so we try and think of different ways of using them.

Chopped or sliced and fried in a little oil is a lovely vegetable to accompany almost any meal. I also like to chop with onions, beetroot , garlic, parsnips, celeriac or what ever is available and roast them in the oven, delicious. They are the main ingredient in the classic Ratatouille. They make a lovely chocolate courgette cake and if you use yellow ones you would not know it was veg inside. I have just found a lovely Sweet Courgette and Saffron Butterfly cake  recipe in the Phil Vickery’s Gluten Free baking book.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Diary

 July 14th 2018

Just picked first fig, none of the others are very near being ripe yet.

The berries and currants are all ripening well in the sun although raspberries are a little small due to lack of water.

I did manage a bit of weeding this morning before the weather got too hot, the bindweed does not seem to suffer too much in the dry weather!

Garlic

Now is the time to harvest the garlic, earlier than you would for onions.

We plant garlic in October, they need the cold weather and frost to help form the individual cloves, although this does not work 100% of the time. We dug them up a couple of weeks ago and left them to dry. With this very warm weather we were able to leave the harvested garlic lying on the soil in the sun to dry out. Rain forecast last night so brought them into the shed, it rained for less than 5 minutes! The garlic was almost dry so bundled them up and have hung them in the greenhouse to complete  drying so they will store. Some of the varieties are soft neck so they could be plaited. “Very French” said our daughter! The others are less photogenic bundles.

Garlic plait

Despite the dry weather the garlic is a good size this year and we have harvested 139 bulbs including 27 Elephant garlic. These are bigger and taste more like leeks than garlic and delicious roasted.

A good stock to last through the winter and also plenty to make the garlic spray for hostas, young veg and other plants to deter the slugs and snails.

Friday, July 6, 2018

What happened in June?

A busy build up to the first weekend in June when we opened the garden under the National Garden Scheme open gardens. Along with 8 other gardens in the village we were open on the Saturday and Sunday. A lot of hard work in the build up but a rewarding experience and nice to hear comments from visitors who can see what we have been doing behind the “Great Wall of Tysoe”!

Open Gardens

The weather here like almost everywhere in the UK has been very unseasonably hot. Watering has been a challenge and now our eight 200 litre water butts and the 6,500 litres rainwater stored underground are now empty. We have to sacrifice some plants which, fingers crossed, may recover when the rain comes, and just water the greenhouse plants. Saving the washing up water and anything else we can to use on the other vegetables.
Despite all these problems we have been harvesting lots of mini munch cucumbers, a few of the crystal lemon cucumbers, lettuce, gooseberries, red, white and black currants.

Crystal Lemon cucumber

 

Mini munch and Crystal Lemon

The last of the asparagus has been picked, we only pick for about 6 weeks then let the ferns grow to put energy back into the root system for next year.

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...