Friday, 17 April 2015

River Cottage Garden Open Day

We took another visit to River Cottage last weekend as they had a "Garden Open Day  - Meet the Experts". As we have a new garden this season, we thought it would be good to go along and pick up some ideas and inspiration. The talks were from professionals from the Soil Asssociation, Garden Organic, Hodmedods, Heligan gardens and focused on the best practices in growing organic edible food.


We decided to walk down the hill rather than take the tractor ride. My husband's boot laces got tangled up and he ended up flat on the ground with badly cut hands. The River Cottage staff came to our rescue, and patched him up with about 5 plasters! Despite the bad start we had a wonderful day and came away with some good ideas.




I loved these hazel archways created for the peas.


These were some of the hints we picked up from the day:-

  • Three of the most important things to have successful crops are good soil, crop rotation and good planning.
  • The garden methods used in Victorian times are still the best way of doing things.
  • Grow two crops from one plant - white emergo runner beans will produce runner beans and then later in the season you can dry the beans and store for the winter.
  • Growing perennial vegetable crops can save time and effort, examples include globe artichokes, walking onions, sea kale, and perennial broccoli.
  • Plan your garden using a internet vegetable gardening planner.
  •  String the tape from old video tapes over the vegetables to keep the birds away.
  • Fill up an old wooden box with strawberry plants.
  • Use the green house over the winter to grow salads, chard and herbs.
Are you doing anything different in your garden this year?



Images of some of the ideas -Currant bushes grown as standards, perennial sea kale, a box of strawberries.




We also were given a very tasty lunch full of vegetables - it was so yummy and fresh. Has anyone ever tried badger bean (also known as maple peas) they are produced by Hodmedod who are trying to encourage farmers to grow more peas and beans and also get us to eat more of these crops. Some of these crops would have been so familiar to our ancestors. The team from The Lost Gardens of Heligan gave a very informative talk it's amazing that this year they will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary.



A winter crop of salads, thyme, rainbow chard and purple flowered broad beans grown in the poly tunnel.




We are back at River Cottage in about a month's time for a concert. It will be good to visit their garden again and see how all these plants have developed and  also see the lambs again, this one was certainly enjoying the sunshine!



Wishing you a good weekend. Thank you for visiting me and taking time to leave me comments, I appreciate them so much..
Sarah x


40 comments:

  1. Did they give any clue where to get walking onions and perennial broccoli? It sounds like a good place to visit. i would love to go

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They didn't say where you could buy it but I have had a look and a local company from Somerset looks as if they supply them. http://www.pennardplants.com/index.php Satah x

      Delete
  2. It was a lot of fun looking at your post. Thanks for the tour, great photos!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh for a polytunnel... It sounds like a wonderful day, except for the tumble. We get in a pickle with walking boot laces and the hooks sometimes, I do hope your husband's better now. Lunch looks pretty delicious, I'm glad you had such a good time. I hope you enjoy the weekend as well. CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. I guess the fact that the Victorian gardening ways are best shows that the old ones are the good ones!! Glad you had a great time, it sounds fantastic! xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am back because and see I somehow missed your hubby taking a tumble. I have done that myself and really felt for him. Do hope his hands heal up quickly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Denise his hands are much better now! Sarah x

      Delete
  6. My fingers are itching to get back into gardening. Thank you for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  7. We garden the old fashion way except we use raised beds (that my husband built out of wood). In 27 yrs. of gardening we have learned that raised beds work better to keep the soil nourished, weed, and rotate, etc. We have horrible clay soil that nothing seems to grow in. We were able to bring in good soil from a farm near the river to fill our raised beds with. We also grow berries, fruit trees and herbs in large pots. The only thing we are doing different this year is planting more fruit trees. I will be sharing our gardens soon on my blog. Thank you for sharing what you learned at such a wonderful event! xo

    ReplyDelete
  8. So English country beautiful.
    The sheep are my favorite and I adore the gardens and landscape that inspires.

    Xx
    Dore

    ReplyDelete
  9. Looks like a great place to visit and that menu is right up my street! Xxx

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sounds so interesting. I have a stall there at the Spring Food Fair, May 23/24th. They have designer/makers as well as all the foodie stalls, so I'm taking patchwork quilts, pincushions and cushions!!! Do say Hi, if you visit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately we aren't going to the Spring Food Fair this year only one of the evening concerts. Are you going to any of those? I sure everyone will love your pathwork creations! Sarah x

      Delete
  11. The Victorian garden advice just proves that just becAuse some modern ways are an improvement, not all are which makes me happy to hear. This sounds a wonderful event to attend and I'm inspired! Determined to try and do SOMETHING with my garden this year.x x

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am sure your own garden will benefit by your visit to River Cottage. I hope your husband's hands are healing, what a horrible thing to happen on your day out but glad it didn't spoil your visit too much. xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. Now THIS, is the perfect day (sans your husband's fall!) - to go out into the community, to see what the experts say, to see nature basking in the sun (those sheep are precious) and to eat off the land...this is it, this is LIVING, Sarah! Did Tavi go with you? Next weekend for my birthday, we too are going to a huge community-wide open house/business where we too will see what people have done to renovate their homes and even gardens; for us here, the garden season is not quite to it's peak, but we are all hoping. What fun to go out and see people come out of their cottages and farmhouses and enjoy the sun!

    Much love, Anita

    ReplyDelete
  14. How I would love to visit here! The food looks amazing and the education they would give would be fantastic. I used to live next door to a small holding farmer and his ways were Victorian and worked to full potential. He used to teach me certain things that I still use but also will use on a bigger scale when we move (whenever that will be!). Take care xx

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a lovely place River Cottage is with such wonderful surroundings. I grow as much veg as I can in my garden which is quite a small space so there is a lot of planning involved. I get such a lot of pleasure from it and to see your plate filled with everything you have grown yourself is one of life's joys. So glad you enjoyed the visit and hope your husband has learned his lesson in keeping his shoe laces tied properly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's usually me who does the falling, one of his shoe laces caught in the cleat of the other boot! Sarah x

      Delete
  16. What a fantastic day and how lovely to be able to get all these tips for your new garden. I'm going to try growing strawberries this year in pots on the patio. We seem to have less slugs here than in my old garden. I've never heard of those beans. Hope the cut hands have healed up nicely by now.

    ReplyDelete
  17. OOOOH my goodness this looks like such a lovely way to spend the day, I really love the a river cottage ethos, making the most from what you can grow, fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  18. A very interesting post Sarah,
    I love to see an organic garden. My daughters mother, my neighbor for 6 months of the year.. hear and Holland.. is a very avid organic veggie grower.
    She wakes early in the morning to work for about 3 hours , checking on her plants.. This last season I had some lovely veggies from her.
    Here where we live.. is still very old fashioned growing their small crops . The arches of branches are used here too.
    my daughter in law, uses them for her fruit trees.
    I enjoyed this post.
    Thanks for taking us to the farm.
    happy weekend Sarah.
    val

    ReplyDelete
  19. That's a place I would really like to visit! HFW is one of those people who you either love or hate. I think he is inspirational.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for the tour in this River Cottage Garden, I should like to visit it. The hazel archways are lovely, I'm already thinking how I can create something like this in my garden.
    Wish you a Happy Sunday!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh I wish I lived closer so I could have gone but it is great that you visited and took photos to share. I had strawberries in a box but they do nothing here as the winds can be quite cool coming down of the moors above us. I hope hubby's on the mend now. x

    ReplyDelete
  22. What a day - I evny you about this. Oh yes, I do something different this year - in digg out a lot of plants which are invasive in the garden. Also cut the flowerheads before they make seeds in the boarders. Sarah, have a nice Sunay!

    Sigrun

    ReplyDelete
  23. I like the idea of growing strawberries in an old wooden box!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh, I wish I could go there - and Heligan too. My parents went a few years ago and loved it. On my list! Juliex

    ReplyDelete
  25. What a lovely day out Sarah! I always watch Hugh on River Cottage, some day I hope we get to visit! I have visited Heligan gardens and it is exquisite, so much to see and beautifully designed and laid out. My daughter is making a little garden from scratch in her new home, so hopefully I can help her with creepers to climb up the trellis to hide the ugly old shed which was left. Have a lovely week Sarah. Sharon x

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hello Sarah :) I have just discovered your blog and have to say that I absolute love it! We are moving from Derbyshire to Devon (Plymouth) in the summer so I have been reading your last few posts and relishing them. Your outing to River Cottage looks wonderful! It is so on my 'Places-To-Visit' list - I love watching River Cottage! Have a wonderful week. Shirley Ann

    ReplyDelete
  27. Actually I am doing something new... I am preparing the soil of my vegetable garden so I can turn it into actual flower beds... I realised I am terrible in growing vegetables and they are too time consuming and high maintenance. Then at the end of summer, after weeding, watering every day, treating for diseases and so on I find myself with a bunch of tomatoes and zucchini that I ca't eat on my own and I have to give away.
    Anyway I do envy a lot who has a nice vegetable garden, knows how to take care of it, and eats its own products all year round. Let us know about yours!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I am so amazed at how everything is so green there.
    We still have some wet snow in the forecast but soon perhaps this place I dwell in way across the pond shall be as brilliant as your beautiful setting...
    Susan

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm loving the idea of growing currant bushes as standards, and of growing and eating more varities of peas and beans.

    Lovely post Sarah. I do hope your husband's hands heal quickly.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Your post does make me want to try more than herbs and salad leaves this year!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I like your pictures and I envy your having the opportunity to have a garden. Here, we have mostly rock, Georgia red clay, and pine trees all around with little sun, so no garden. Before the trees grew tall in the front yard I used to have many rose bushes (150 plants.) First, I sent a sample of our soil to our Agriculture Cooperative – they tested our soil and told us exactly what to use – fertilizer and such, so plants would grow better. But I found that dried chicken manure worked the best – some of my rose bushes grew to 8 feet tall! And I won a couple of trophies. In our next house I will try to plant shrubs and trees to attract birds and butterflies – my knees are too bad to garden anymore!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those roses must have been amazing at 8ft tall and 150 plants too! You should do a post about them! Our gardening is very different to our last home, it is good to try growing other plants and keep those that you love and don;t require to much maintenance. Sarah x

      Delete
  32. Gosh what an inspirational place! I love that shot of the strawberry crate next to the barrel - It's given me an idea as I've been wondering what to do with my spare strawberries (I'm so bad at throwing perfectly good plants away and yet I have dozens of strawberry plants!). I grow my redcurrants as a standard (just the one so far, I might be tempted to put another bush in if I can find space) and it's quite nice to be able to see the fruit without bending down. I love the look of those crimson flowered broad beans; I grew some a couple of years back but preferred the taste of my usual beans, Karmazyn. Wishing a good week for you Sarah, xx

    ReplyDelete
  33. Dear Sarah,

    How wonderful you got to go to River Cottage and thank you for sharing your day out - so much inspiration here and makes me want to have more of a vegetable garden. Shame your husband fell and hurt himself.
    Thanks for visiting me today and great to come by and see what you have been up to.
    Hugs
    Carolyn

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm so envious Sarah, I would love to visit River Cottage. Sounds like it was well worth the visit and I look forward to seeing how your vegie patch progresses with all this new knowledge.

    ReplyDelete
  35. So sorry about your husband's fall...I was admiring a flower bed outside the gym where I swim and face planted right into the flowers I was admiring 8 months ago! ....poor flowers and my tooth and glasses. In this post I appreciate the gardening suggestions you pass along. Amongst some flowers I planted a sun gold cherry tomato plant and a basil plant and both are thriving so far. Your garden in your more recent post inspires me...I've been scrolling back to catch up on your posts :) xx

    ReplyDelete

Comments are the best thing about blogging so please join in and brighten my day!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...