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, April 28, 2020

28th April 2020

With the mild but very wet winter we have had it may seem surprising but we have been longing for rain. Despite the soil, heavy clay, being moist lower down, the top 10 – 20 cm is rock hard and the surface covered in a crazy” paving” of 1 cm wide cracks.

When it started to rain in the early hours and now 12 hours later it is still raining it was most welcome. After the morning in the potting shed potting on cabbages and tomatoes I am now able to catch up on the jobs inside.

Time to write a blog. We have spent the last few months sowing seeds and getting vegetable and fruits ready for a harvest in the summer and autumn. Beans and peas are still in the freezer, the soft fruit has just about finished, last pack of blueberries for breakfast tomorrow, potatoes and onions are coming to the end of their storage life. There is still fresh food to be had from the garden. The leeks finished a couple of weeks ago but have been replaced by asparagus, and with this rain there will be plenty to pick tomorrow. The rainbow chard has a few meals left although the hot weather has caused it to start bolting. With the mild winter the globe artichokes fruited early and the first two were picked for tea last night. The spring cabbage grown over winter were delicious but now all gone. We still have lettuce ready and fresh to pick in the garden are parsley, chives, rosemary, sage, thyme, mint. Basil, corriander and rocket are just starting to grow so it will be several more weeks before they are ready.

Just add steamed potatoes and fish!!

The Duchess of Edinburgh

I find this a most intriguing and fascinating flower.

Clematis Duchess of Edinburgh. A deciduous plant so not a pretty sight in winter (a tangle of brown sticks!) But by March the leaves are beginning to unfurl. Then flower buds appear and are amazing.

The bud itself is tightly packed curled up inside itself surrounded by 6 bracts on long stems, which gradually open out to give a sputnik type appearance.

The flower opens in May and although not bright and colourful, I think it is very beautiful.

Duchess of Edinburgh

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

April 2020

April showers have not reached us here yet only 0.25mm rain so far this month.

The garden keeps moving on and has had lots of attention over the past few weeks so is looking good.

Pear blossom along with the plum and peach are buzzing with bees and the fist apple blossom from the Greensleeves and Belle de Boskoop are now in flower.

I grow something around the base of the old apple trees and on one is white honesty. Looks lovely at this time of year and keeps the weeds off!.

White honesty under the old apple tree

These old apple trees were originally espaliers but over the years the lower arms have died off just leaving the top ones giving the tree a T shape. From this the branches grew up until it was like a row of trees along the T. Since we have been here we have gradually taken these big branches down and now we have a single espalier at about 4 feet from the ground.

The birds have taken advantage of the holes left by the lower arms, blue tits are nesting in it this year.

Memories of May

A funny year so far in the garden, Some plants were very late coming in to flower and then raced through the month. Lots of blossom on the f...