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.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

More January flowers

I have a number of evergreen clematis, all flower in winter so you get foliage and flowers when much of the garden is still asleep

Clematis cirrhosa “Jingle Bells”

Bought in 2011 as an offer from a gardening magazine this plant is obviously happy where I planted it. It has been a mass of flowers since before Christmas and will hopefully continue into March, followed by attractive seed heads. The blackbirds nest in it in spring and today the sun is out so are the honey bees and they are are all over the flowers collecting nectar.

Clematis cirrhosa “Jingle Bells”
Clematis cirrhosa “Wisley Cream”

This one is on the pergola, planted in 2012 and growing well. Another evergreen Clematis cirrhosa, Wisley Cream. It has an AGM award for being easy to grow and is covering the posts really well.

Close up of “Wisley Cream”

The Freckles has almost finished flowering now but has put on a really good show and will be followed by the seed heads.

Clematis cirrhosa “Freckles” flowers and seed heads

This group of Clematis are easy to care for as in theory require no pruning.

However the “Freckles” was getting very straggly and untidy looking, so in autumn I cut it back quite hard, but have been rewarded with a lovely show of flowers and a more compact plant.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Flowers in January

The berries have all been eaten by the birds but now the colour in the garden is coming from flowers.

Winter aconites are the first to appear, the yellow buttercup type flowers surrounded by a ruffle of leaves, look great under the old pear tree.

Winter aconites

Snowdrops are also coming through now. A larger early one was given to me several years ago, I do not know its name so I called it after the donor, Mrs Robinson.

The other snowdrops are coming through under a hawthorn tree.

One of my favourite plants is the Hellebore, I have several patches now and let them self seed, one day I may get a lovely new flower as the seeds never grow true to the parent.


Last week I cut off all the old leaves, this helps show off the new emerging flowers, removes chance of disease from the old leaves and makes room for the new leaves coming along with the new flowers.

Before old leaves have been cut off
After, new leaves and flowers on show

Mahonia is also in flower now and a spot of sun this morning brought out the honey bees to have a feast.

Mahonia flowers, early nectar for the honey bees

Not forgetting the vegetables, today we had winter lettuce salad at lunch and for tea will have roasted carrots, celeriac and beetroot, fresh from the garden. Swiss chard is still ok, it will survive until a heavy frost then hopefully regrow for an early crop when the weather warms in the spring, something for tea tomorrow perhaps.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019


We check the weather forecast daily to see if it will affect plans in the garden. Also to plan ahead if certain jobs need to be done if it is forecast to be dry/wet/cold etc.

Early last week it was forecast for -5 degrees over night. Action was required. Most plants that are frost sensitive are already being protected in the greenhouse. There are however a couple of things that needed attention at this time.

One is the Celeriac. We have not harvested it all yet but a heavy frost will turn it soggy and unusable. If left in the ground it can have a thick mulch of straw for protection, or, as we did, cover over with fleece when temperatures are due to drop.

The other plant is the Globe Artichokes, again they can survive some cold but too much or they will also go soft and rot to a slime. With the warm autumn and early winter they have unfortunately put on a lot of new growth which makes it a bit more awkward to cover. Out came the fleece for them also.

Globe artichokes protected from the frost
The remaining celeriac harvest under cover

A lovely sight this week was the blackbird eating the Cotoneaster berries. Some years they have been stripped in a matter of days well before Christmas. This year there must have been better pickings elsewhere. But now January comes and they appreciate the feast in our garden, but it will not last for long. They are also enjoying the Pyracantha berries around the garage.

Blackbird eating the Cotoneaster berries

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Harvest 2018

We have been growing our own fruit and vegetables for many years and are self sufficient with the exception of bananas, mushrooms, oranges and lemons.

Last year we thought it would be interesting to keep and record to see exactly what the harvest was.

It started in March so is only 10 months, next year we will do the full 12 months.

Below is a list of all we harvested in the 10 months March to December 2018.

Some crops did not do so well mainly due to the hot weather and lack of water. Potatoes, onions, brussel sprouts, broccoli and Kale were very poor but the soft fruit were very good with loads of strawberries, raspberries and currants.

That’s gardening for you, we will see what happens in 2019.

TWKG 2018
crop: grammes or singleTotals
Apples – grenadier216g
Apples dessert Worcester/greensleeves6212g
Apples- cox3886g
Apples- Bramleylots
Apples -Blenheim Orangelots
Black berries -cultivated821g
Black berries -hedgerow1224g
Broad Beans26162g
Brussell sprouts0
Butternut Squash14
Cabbage -RED1
Chillean guava184
Chilli peppers88
Currants -black7927g
Currants- red14305g
Currants- white3700g
Forced Rhubarb5580g
French Beans14068g
Garlic -elephant27
Herbs basil 
Herbs borage flowers 
Herbs chives 
Herbs coriander 
Herbs dill 
Herbs mint 
Herbs parsley 
Herbs rosemary 
Herbs sage 
Inca berries900
Mange tout peas739g
Potatoes grown in Bags2329g
Potatoes grown in ground: 
Red Duke of York3772g
Pink Fir Apple8050g
Sharpo Mira10870g
Purple sprouting0
Raddish seed pods4
Runner beans5216g
Spring onions5
Sweet peppers117
Winter salad leaves1492g

Items in Bold Italics were measured per piece rather by weight. Herbs were not weighed but were used during their growing season.

A new experience

The garden is just over an acre, with many different areas including the vegetables and flowers, shrubs and trees. I have also put various a...