I have never seen popcorn still on the cobb before but while I was at Chanticleer I saw it. They grow a different crop each year in their Serpentine garden and this past summer it was popcorn. I have to say I had never thought about it other than a snack food. I am going to cook it with new eyes now. It really is a corn.



The boy

I was very happy to come home to find the November issue of Gardens Illustrated and see that it was the issue with Jonny in it, what a star. Go out and get a copy for yourself.



It is great to be home, to see my little dogs who are looking very well and have not left my side today. The vegetable garden is looking great I have to say, my friend Ellie has come in once a week and made sure that things are in good order, she has done a great job. I was very happy to see we have a very good row of fennel out there, it will be useful for the symposium next week.


Thank you

A big thank you to all my friends in the USA who made my trip so special. I really had a great time and enjoyed catching up with you all. It is great to see as a vegetable gardener just how much people enjoy learning about growing vegetables. I am looking forward to getting home and seeing how the dogs are doing and what is going on in the garden. I have some new ideas for the next growing season. Winter is on it way, make sure you are ready.


24 hours

I am happy to be spending my last 24 hours in the U.S visiting friends at Chanticleer gardens. The thing that I am reminded most of here is that you can be a world-class garden and still have a sence of fun, it is all round you when you visit this garden. It is also good to see how well St David is doing in the vegetable garden, it looks great and is still eaten from.



It was good to be in the country for the weekend. My break is going to end on Wednesday and then it is time to get back to the garden and get things ready for winter digging. I am looking forward to see my little dogs again. image


I am feeling like a New Yorker this weekend. I have come out of the city. We got the train up to a friend’s place on Friday afternoon and then drove an hour and a half yesterday to see other friends. The fall colour is perfect and so a perfect weekend to be out of the city looking around. I am also feeling very rested today, I just want to sleep now.



Today I went up north of NYC to see a garden that I have not looked at for a very long time but like a lot of the great gardens of the world it does seem to get better with time, or maybe I have just developed better taste and so see more. For me the plant of the day was Amaranthus ‘ Hot biscuits’. There was a lot of seed to use on that plant. Thank you to the staff for giving me such a perfect NY lunch, local pizza.


The future

It has been an eye opener looking around the city of Chicago  and then to come out to the botanical gardens to see how they are working and leading all this movement. At had a great tour to the vegetable garden with the head gardener Lisa, she has given me some more to think about. I now have a lot of ideas about the garden for next year, one of the great things about looking at others gardens. Thank you Jill for such a great trip.




One of the highlights of my trip over to the U.S this time has been to get an understanding of the inner city sustainable farming and food systems. Today I had an interesting tour from Eliza who works for the Chicago Botanic Gardens but out in these communities. Chicago maybe leading the world in this with their Windy City project. Of course these programmes need support and they are looking for 750k to build a new base for it, it is something worth supporting.