The young artichokes are now ready for the winter, they are hardy for us, but his cover will help them to get moving earlier in the season than if they do not have winter protection. We will have stronger plants in spring for on suffering a hard winter. I remember going with Christopher to Brittany on Easter and seeing very large fields of artichokes, the sad thing was that they where not ready because if they had been we would have gone in and picked our own. It is not such a problem for the older plants, they will be split in the spring.
Some people know me quite well and one of these people is Louise Bell because she has worked with me on our book and so knows how much food means to me. Well today she came in for a bow of soup, and with her a large round of sheep cheese from her holiday in the Pyreness. A perfect gift, so tomorrows lunch will be pickled pears, the said cheese, my bread and a fresh salad, I think it would also be the perfect lunch for Tom Coward.
We have started to work on the compost heap. The first job is to get rid of the compost from the sides that has not broken down as much as the inner part of the heap, we use this to cover plants that are both tender and or need some organic matter added to the soil that we are not going to dig in. So the first on the list for today was the rhubarb. Rhubarb plants are very hungry and so organic matter is a great help, we have the same plants since 1912.
We are having the most perfect autumn weather but I still need to get things ready for winter and so today we have cleared the gourds from the compost heap that we are going to use this winter. The compost from this pile is three years old and looks like it is ready to be used. Miscanthus was very happy that the gourds are off the heap now, she is on the hunt for nests of rats, she found a nest of babies last year and wants the same this year.
Today we started to use the Leeks that Jonny planted in the spring and maybe I should have given him the first one but I did not have time. I had to get up to the garden early to collect some to make a good winter soup for the study day. The group did all seem to enjoy the soup and there was seconds to be had. One of the highlights of winter are Leeks.
Today we closed to the public after a great season in many ways and so for me it is the start of a new year. It was great to be away as now I am ready for a fresh start. I can start all over again and the mistakes I made in the past twelve months are now behind me. It is now time to look forward. I am not in the garden tomorrow because we have a study day but after that it is time to get ready for the first frost, hope we have a little time before it gets here and I can be ready for it.
They have already had two good Frost’s in this part of the Netherlands and it does show but it was still a joy for me to walk under the arch and into the kitchen garden today. It is hard to put into words what a special garden this is. Laura and Peter put their hearts into this garden as with the rest and it really show. I have not seen many gardens in the word that give the same feeling. A garden worth the effort to come and see.
And something new for me was deep-fried pickles. I think it must be a Southern thing but I enjoyed them very much with a cold glass of beer from Wiseacre Brewery. This is a brewery that was born Memphis, Tennessee, just like Justin Timberlake. I am not a great beer drinker but I loved the different tastes that they had on offer, we also went to the brewery to do a tasting with great food from a food truck. It is so interesting how good the food that comes out of these trucks are. I would love to spend a night in one helping out.
It is great to be home, even if it is only for 21 hours. The dogs are not going to be happy when they find out. I took the dogs down to the woods at the end of the day, it is really starting to smell like autumn down there, I love that heavy wet scent. The vegetable garden is really looking great, Thomas has kept it in very good order. The front of the fruit cage is looking so good with the pink of the Nerine bowdenii, there joy is just perfect at this time of the year. It does help people looking into the cage.