From seed to service – the Potager Garden diary

By 1st December 2023 No Comments

December 2023

Oh December, how we love you.

All the regular gardening jobs are done, there is nothing to do except stay indoors, warm and dry, sipping on an Irish coffee (which is more Irish than coffee please) and letting the garden slip into winter hibernation.

We’re putting our feet up, and basking in the glory of another successful season growing fruit and veg (and getting ready for Christmas turkey and pigs in blankets)…

Fat chance.

There is no rest for the wicked, so here at Crouchers, attention has turned immediately to the continuing development of the large potager garden.

And despite the hideous weather and resulting quagmire conditions, we have made massive in-roads.

Primarily we have been working on what we’re calling the logistics area.

This includes placing hard-standings for our two greenhouses and three sheds, as well as building the framework for our two polytunnels, and compost and leafmould areas.

The outline for the ‘Back to Nature’ garden is underway, involving marking out pathways, beds and borders, and digging out for our pond.

We’re also very close to completing almost 150m of pathway edging – and it’s been a big job!

We’ve been using 1.5m-long recycled tree trunks from an estate near Petersfield, cut in three and laid on their ends – and when it is takes 10 cut trunks to create 1m of pathway edging, that’s a lot of sawing!

But I cannot deny that as the skeleton of the garden takes shape, and I can see my vision that was once only on paper come to live, all the hard work is well worth it.

We’re hopeful of making huge steps forward before the summer, so that our guests and residents can also see the garden growing out of the page and into reality.

In other news, hats off to the brave people who suffered the wet and windy weather to enjoy our bonfire night last month.

It was a huge success, and we’ve had so many favourable comments that I know it’ll become a permanent fixture on the Crouchers calendar.

Jason and I had great fun building that bonfire, and we’ve already been told that next year’s is to be twice the size! (although we may have a chat about that, boss)

But of course, no sooner has November 5 been and gone, than Christmas in on the horizon.

Unsurprisingly – such is its popularity – our a la carte restaurant is already sold out on Christmas Day.

However, I believe there are still some tickets left for a casino-themed New Year’s Eve celebration, so come and join us to ring in (a hopefully drier) 2024.

Whatever you’re doing over the festive period, Jason and I wish you a peaceful and restful yuletide, and a the happiest of new years.

~ Tim