Dahlias and Speckled Cranberry beans, down the back…

Hello everyone,

It’s taken marginally longer than anticipated but…at last I’ve  topped and tailed the promised AUTUMN KITCHEN GARDENING NOTES to expand on the list of tasks contained in the last newsletter. (Of course I needed to continue completing the jobs at the same time!). You can find them here.

For those following the entire podcast series, you know I thought I’d identified and emphasised every skerrick of valuable information within the audio and follow-up notes, but I also said you learn something new every season…no matter your level of experience. Well….while not quite new…over the years I’ve come to realise the most important element of all in the way I garden….especially right now, is the manner in which I encourage so many plants in the kitchen garden to flower (creating that wild, hazy, romantic effect in spring); which in turn makes them good companion plants, and ultimately, as the season progresses, produces an enormous yield of seed. Which I save. Then, when the time is right, as it is now, I can fling it around with wild abandon, creating carpets of fresh new little leaves to plunder each day. I do this successionally…not all at once…so that as the first batch grow into their true form, the next lot of baby leaves will be ready for the taking…to scatter over and through whatever’s on our plates – little treasures of taste, vitamins and nutrition.

I’d like to encourage you to do it too. Aside from it being the surest way to enliven your diet, it’s easy. In fact, in some respects, it actually requires you to be a bit lazy! But what it will also do, if you follow this suggestion…is ensure that you too, get into the habit of growing and keeping a seedbank of your own, both to use, and especially in times like these…to share. You’ll find a full explanation in the notes, as well as documented throughout the podcast series.

I hope you’re managing OK in these very peculiar times in which we live. I’m very mindful of the fact we’re so lucky here to be surrounded by so much beauty and fresh air and am very aware that it isn’t so for everyone. I’ve long thought it a privilege to be able to get my hands in the soil and to have the freedom to garden. But along with that comes enormous responsibility too, to care for and nurture this patch of earth…day in, day out, week after week, month, year. In many ways, life has changed little these past weeks, with an endless outside to-do list (don’t even mention inside!) sandwiched between family and work. While I’m delighted to have the girls living at home, and Larry too (who usually spends so much of his life travelling); events and workshops are sadly off the agenda for the time being. I’m saddened that the many visitors we generally see here can’t share the garden at the moment, and am particularly sorry to not be able to have Kim here to help with those events. 

So I intend to get them back on the agenda just as soon as we possibly can! In the meantime, I’ve been fielding many questions about growing veg and I’m happy to do so! I’ll also be quite happy to take couples/friends of two, for a private kitchen gardening workshop…we can stand well apart and be outside the whole time…if you feel so inclined. As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

I do hope you enjoy reading the autumn kitchen gardening notes! And that you feel inspired to complete your autumn rounds too…there’s still time…just please get a wriggle on this coming long weekend!

Keep well and happy growing.

Very best wishes


ps the next batch of dresses have arrived…I’ll post a pic on insta so you can see the colours.