After an incredibly busy few months in the Walled Garden we’re starting to reap the fruits of our labour, quite literally, as our strawberries are doing exceptionally well this year and we had our first harvest of gooseberries earlier this week. The vegetable plot is really starting to deliver now with loads of lettuces, radishes, turnips, carrots, peas and cabbages all being harvested regularly.
In the vegetable garden we are still regularly sowing more radishes, turnips, lettuces and spring onions. As we harvest we have more plants to replace thus ensuring we get as long a season as possible out of production. The trickiest part is trying to keep on top of the dreaded weeds.
July is a wonderful time in the garden the colour of our herbaceous beds is fantastic with the early summer flowers of geums and lupins still hanging in there but the salvias, geraniums and catmint are really starting to steal the show now. My favourite flower in the garden at the moment has to be the catmint (Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’) it really does so much with so little fuss. It has been flowering heavily since early June and is absolutely covered in bees which is amazing to see.
We have been making a big effort to increase the amount of pollinator friendly plants throughout the grounds of the hotel over the last year and this is now starting to pay dividends. Beyond increasing the amount of flowering perennials we have also left an area of the walled garden go wild which makes a fantastic bird and bee habitat. These bees of course are playing an important role in pollinating our strawberries and other fruit and the birds are filling our working day with beautiful song, as well as eating the odd caterpillar and slug for us. It’s very much a mutually beneficial arrangement we have, as these things should be.