Thursday, May 08, 2008

Spring Open Day

It is true that we all got drenched just as the gates opened, and then it remained threatening but not actually raining, until the sun came out brightly - just as we shut the gates on the last visitors.

But: the keen plant seekers were still queuing at the gates for the best seedlings and were rewarded with many excellent quality, competitively priced and unusual plants. Where else can you browse through so many varieties of mint – lavender mint, ginger mint, orange mint, apple, pineapple, English lamb… all lovingly potted up through winter by the strict Mint Monitor. Herbs, flowers, vegetable seedlings surplus to requirement were snapped up.

The garden looked fabulous, though we say so ourselves, although it is early in the season and it will get even better. The tulips were lovely, held back by the cold and the wet, and all looked neat and full of promise. The treasure trail through the sodden forest was busy, storytime by popular demand starred the Gruffalo, and weet pea wigwams were woven by the brave (and we have a couple of extra ones to sell now, if anyone needs one).

The Bee Man showed off his hive and sold his special local honey, which is not only one of the tastiest in town, but also has, it is rumoured, special anti-allergenic properties for hayfever sufferers from the same locality as the bees. And let’s not forget the Breadshop, who have – along with the Bee Man – been to every single Kitchen Garden opening. They are always first to arrive for set up in the morning , and they always spend the first hour scratching their head over the gazebo, but they are still the first to be ready when everyone else is panicking. And they have a special place in our affections because, every week, rain or shine, all through the year, the Breadshop – based on Chiswick High Road, but with a few select branches throughout London - supply our school sessions with free loaves of their extremely delicious bread to accompany the salad picnics or soups that the school kids devour after their work sessions in the Kitchen Garden.