Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Gardeners World and Telegraph Magazine

Article in the Saturday Telegraph magazine, 3 November 2007:

Gardeners' World featured us in February 2007. Check it out on you-tube:

November's edition of Garden Answers Magazine has a 4-page special devoted to our Kitchen Garden and it makes us – well, our gardens - look absolutely gorgeous.

Garden news

Payment in pumpkin
Our two biggest pumpkins weighed as much as a couple of plump children.
Pumpkin A was 5stone 9oz/33kg guessed by Lara Farrell.
Pumpkin B was 5 stone 2oz/36kg guessed by Tom Campbell
Both together weighed 69kg which was guessed by Astrid Hilne
They all win an afternoon’s digging. We divided up the biggest pumpkin and shared it out amongst the workers; it was too big for any one cooker or freezer!

Sweet pea person needed
Last year our sweet peas were completely rubbish. The year before they got away from us with their over-exuberance. We would very much like to grow them properly next year. So if you know about sweet peas, or if you would like to hone your rudimentary skills – you could not do worse than us last year – please step forward. Just as we have a Tomato Man, a Lemon Lady and a Compost Queen, we would very much like a Sweet Pea Somebody to join the team. If you are not the one but know someone that we can beg to help us, please put pressure on them, or give us their details so we can…
Email info@kitchengarden.org.uk

Wellington boots - the Duke would approve
We had a good response to our welly request and the new donations got their first outing yesterday when several of the children turned up in sparkling trainers and we were able to offer them something more suitable. We could still do with some more, so if anyone has any unused Wellington boots please email us. We now have a Welly Collection Service around Chiswick, so if you email with your address and leave them on your doorstep they will be picked up (thank you Helen).

Garden progress
We have now cleared most of the dahlias and eaten the last of the cabbage. We still have a school visit every Thursday, and for some reason every Thursday has been brilliantly sunny and lovely. They have enjoyed picnics of sumptuous pumpkin and sage soup (thank you Amanda) with salad, spring onions and sage flowers, served with slices of the Breadshop’s Power Loaf (thank you Breadshop!)

Over the last few weeks we also potted up 2,000 tiny wildflower plugs to go in the new meadow which will replace the derelict old paddling pools over at Dukes Meadow in the spring. We planted out wallflowers down the centre of the garden to form a Ruby Red stripe, and the winter crops of purple kale, leeks, brussel sprouts and chard are looking good.

In the main greenhouse the peppers and lemon grass are hanging on, the pineapple sage is still fragrant. Our Sparmannia africana, usually a controlled house plant, has leapt its pot and turned into a spectacular thug about 15ft tall and at least as broad. But we forgive it for its flowers. A huge yucca that was donated to us in a leafless dessicated state (you know who you are.. but thank you, you should come and see it!) has recovered and thrown out a huge spike of white flower. In the little greenhouse the lemon trees are all snug and happy. Greenhouse number three has a heated section where we are trying to protect some of the more tender plants (too late for the African violets, RIP). And the main part of the greenhouse is currently filled with dahlia tubers and seeds drying out, and mint cuttings, so come the spring we should have many different varieties of mint – from ginger, through pineapple, pepper, silver, apple…

Drop-in work sessions, Tuesdays 10-3.30pm
Aimed at those who would like to do some quiet gardening, everyone welcome. Just turn up and find Alan.

Duke of Edinburgh Awards

Teenagers are welcome to join this scheme at any time of the year. These are run on alternate weekends through the winter and after-school during spring/summer. Email to find out more or turn up on one of the weekend D of E sessions.
Sunday 6th January 1-4pm
Saturday 19th January 11am - 2pm
Sunday 3rd February 1-4pm
Saturday 16th February 11am - 2pm
Sunday 2nd march 1-4pm