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.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

What’s that smell?

Several years ago I was at Pershore college in February.

Walking through the grounds I smelt a wonderful, heavy scent. Looking around I could not see any flowers that could be producing such a strong smell, everything was just evergreen leaves.

I asked the tutor who showed me a mass of evergreen foiliage beside a wall and it was sarcococca confusa (sweet box). The small white flowers were almost invisible but were definitely where the scent was coming from.

They were selling small cuttings so I bought 3 of them.

Planted beside the front path they are now well established and the wonderful scent can be smelt 10 or more metres away as we walk down the path.

Close up of sarcococca confusa with dark berries and tiny white flowers

A few years later I was given another sarcococca, this time hookeriana, slightly different with flowers tinged pink at the base, longer, thinner leaves and slightly bronzed stems rather than the green of the confusa.

sarcococca hookeriana

And the bees love the nectar at the time of year.

a honey bee feasting on the sarcococca in February

Also in the front garden providing winter scent and colour is Daphne lovely little pink flowers and another strong scent in February.

Daphne in flower February

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Frost and Snow

We do not cut down all the perennials in late autumn but leave many of them until the spring.

This provides several benefits to the garden and environment.

Birds eat the seeds from many plants including echinacea and phlomis.

Verbena bonariensis seed heads with a touch of frost

The “dead” flower stalk can help protect the new shoots that emerge in the spring before all the cold weather has passed. It also provides a shelter for many insects to spend the winter including ladybirds.

A touch of frost on the Stipa gigantea

The garden keeps height and structure through the winter to compliment the evergreen shrubs and spring bulbs as they start to appear.

snow on the dogwood (Cornus alba)

A touch of frost or a covering of snow makes for a wonderful addition to the garden in winter.

Verbena bonariensis in the snow
Sedum spectabile under the snow

Being in the middle of England we escaped the worst of the snow of the last few days, but we may get more later on!

Courgettes

 A wonderful vegetable and easy to grow.