Friday, January 26, 2007

Archaeological digs

Several archeological digs are taking place throughout Chiswick House and Gardens. Outside the walled area, English Heritage and Museum of London archaeologists are looking for the original route of Burlington Lane, and checking what will be buried if the café is re-located to beside the Inigo Jones gate. On the other side of the House, a team are checking for the original location of the left-hand Goosefoot path, and also for the foundations of the bagnio, the little building that used to form the viewpoint at the end of that path (before it was re-established pointing at the hump-backed bridge).

More relevantly for us, they dug a few trenches in the Kitchen Garden and established the correct location for the central paths and the outer path. A couple of things emerged from that: the central path seemed much narrower than today; and the outer path was much further from the walls – over 3m – which surprised the archeologists (but not us). It was interesting to be able to see the clearly-defined layer of gravel and hoggin (or whatever it was, this is not a technical report!) in the midst of different coloured soil.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Laying out the new maze

We started to think about the maze. After dithering with designs by various 16th and 17th century garden writers (Lawson, Hill, etc) we settled for one by Batty Langley, c.1728, which is pretty much the same as the one at Hampton Court. Although ours will not have high yew hedges, but low lavenders, thymes and other fragrant herbs. Now that the swamp - dubbed Passchendaele for the depth and consistency of the mud - has been dug over by the Duke of Edinburgh teenagers, the technically-minded amongst us were sent in with string and pegs to lay it out.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Kitchen Garden Tobacco Crop

We produced a bumper crop of tobacco leaves this summer, grown from seeds originally purchased at the Chelsea Physic Garden.

Obviously we told the kids they’d be really stupid to start smoking, but we were all curious to see what the plant looked like and whether we could produce anything worthwhile.’ The plants grew to about 5 foot tall, lots of leaf with not much flower, and a few bunches of leaves were then dried in one of the greenhouses.

A ceremonial smoke-in was held earlier this week. Alan Wadner and Paul Kriwaczek shredded a couple of leaves, loaded their pipes and sat back to enjoy a few puffs. ‘It’s a bit rough,’ commented Alan. 'Erm, no, I won’t be changing from my regular stuff.’

Please note, it’s not our usual healthy kind of crop. We do make sure we tell the kids that they’ll probably get some horrible cancer if they smoke.

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Blog for Kitchen Garden

The Kitchen Garden Association now has a new blog.

From January 2007 we will be able to carry the blogging thoughts not just of Karen but also of other members of the committee. This should allow us to update our news more frequently. The info on the blog will be carried mainly on the Web site, to avoid clogging up everone's mail boxes with the shorter but more frequent posts we expect to carry. We will continue to send monthly round ups by email to those who prefer to receive information that way.

For those of you equipped with an RSS reader (news feed) the new blog will be readable in that type of technology, so you won't even have to visit the Web site to get the latest updates. For those of you that don't know, and may not even care what an RSS feed or reader is, don't worry. You can visit the Web site in the usual way, and continue to receive monthly emails.

We hope you enjoy the new blog.

(Webmaster and Chairman - not always in that order)