From seed to service – the Potager Garden diary

By 29th August 2023 No Comments

September 2023

The potager garden is in its fifth season, and I have been amazed that with each passing year more and more guests and residents come to see Jason and me to discuss all things “vegetable”.

I truly enjoy their amazement at seeing how a luffa grows, or what is, indeed, a cucamelon.

And when they comment that only the previous night they were eating the homegrown courgettes in the restaurant, well it warms the heart of this aged gardener.

It is equally fun to hear they’ve enjoyed a gin smash cocktail containing some our homegrown basil – who would have thought it?

However, unlike previous seasons, we are being quizzed more and more on the works being carried out on the whole field.

I think this owes a lot to the now obvious pathways that run across the field giving a tantalising insight of what is to come.

So, let me explain – our beloved potager garden will one day disappear and be incorporated into a much larger area of vegetable production.

There wil also be an increase in the fruit production areas, as well as a bigger and more expansive herb garden.

We’ll also be creating ornamental gardens for guests to stroll through, take a seat, and hopefully take a moment to enjoy the extravagance of colour and scent.

A larger seating area will house a small drinks cabin for that gin smash cocktail surrounded by nature and the sound of birds.

Finally behind a (already) visible line of hornbeam bushes will sit our ‘office area’ of sheds, greenhouses, polytunnels and composting areas.

Jason and I can only seriously work on the main garden between around September and April, as the rest of the year is spent growing the veg and tending the borders.

So, last year we dug trenches to lay down around 1,000m of electrical cable, and more than 600m of plumbing pipelines.

You may see them poking out of the ground, and they are – fingers crossed – in the exact position for the lighting and water taps as laid out in our plans.

I can tell you now, that digging the maze of trenches was no mean feat, requiring a huge amount of logistical drawings and pre-planning (however, I can also tell you that playing around in a JCB digger is a great thrill for a child-at-heart).

The central pathway has been dug out and covered with weed suppressant, ready to be lined with logs in preparedness for the first level of gravel.

We’re hoping to have our new ‘office area’ partially completed by next year, as well as the basic outline for the back to nature garden.

Maybe, if you’re one of those lovely guests that return year on year, you’ll see we will have taken a huge step forward in 2024.

~ Tim