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, December 21, 2018

Plectranthus

In September 2017 I went on a propagation course and was able to keep some of the cuttings I had taken.

One of these was Plectranthus purperea. I had not heard of this before but, seeing it in the garden from where the course was held, I loved the dark foliage.

Plectranthus

It is not a hardy plant in the uk, in fact it is more a house plant, which as probably why I had not come across it before as I am not a fan, nor have the room for many house plants.

Dark red stems and dark underside of leaves

The cuttings grew well over the summer and looked lovely in their pots in the garden.

In October I took some more cuttings ready for next year and as insurance in case the main plant does not survive the winter. Also brought the plant inside.

Now it has pretty white flowers which is a lovely surprise.

pretty flowers, white with purple specks inside

Sunday, December 16, 2018

New Trees

In the January gales 40 metres of our wall fell down, crushing half of our espaliered  apple trees. The wall has now been rebuilt and it is time to replant some trees.

We decided to go for cordons this time as to replace the matured espaliers would be very expensive, if available, and would  take a long time to grow from a young tree. Bare root trees were chosen as a wider range is available, they are  cheaper and are planted in the winter when they are dormant.

one of the surviving espalier trees
One of the surviving espalier trees

Cordons are single stem trees grown on wires at an angle of 45 degrees.

newly planted cordon apple trees
Newly planted cordon trees

It is not advisable to plant a pip tree in the same place as another pip tree was, and likewise do not plant a stone tree where another stone tree was. However we are able to plant more apples (pip tree) where the other apples had been as all the soil was removed when the foundations were made for the wall to be rebuilt.

We wanted to grow mainly dessert apples as we already have two large Red Bramley and two large Blenheim Orange and two early cookers called Grenadier so we have more than enough cooking apples. All the espaliers we lost were dessert apples.

I am also keen on the more unusual so here is the list we have just planted, mostly dessert but a couple of cooker/ dual purpose which tempted me by their name or the dark foliage.

Katy, Red Devil, Surprize, Winter Gem, Christmas Pippin, Scrumptious, Herefordshire Russet, Adam’s Pearmain,  Bardsey, Chivers Delight, Pitmarston Pineapple and Sops in Wine.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Christmas Wreaths

I like to make my own Christmas Wreaths to decorate outside the house.

Using materials found in the garden and hedge.

This year I have used holly with berries, ivy( again with berries), apples, long pine cones from the tree in the front garden  and  pyracantha berries, we had yellow, red and orange, the orange looked the best this year. 

Some years I have also used laurel leaves, rosemary, satsumas, etc. whatever is available and looking nice at the time.

Wreath on the big gates into the walled garden.

As you can see I favour a very loose design.

Gate into the garden
By the front door. 
 The base was made many years ago from ivy stalks twisted together and can be used year after year.

Add some battery LEDs with a timer and looks great when darkness falls.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Mistletoe

The time of year has come round again and the trees are full of mistletoe. We have several old apple trees and each has much mistletoe growing in it. Left alone the mistletoe would eventually suffocate the apple trees so each year we harvest about a third of the mistletoe. Great for Christmas decorations. We sell a lot in aid of charity and this week someone collected some for a mistletoe ball.

Lovely white berries this year

Courgettes

 A wonderful vegetable and easy to grow.