Bringing foliage, berries, cones and seed heads indoors from the forest and garden is a tradition which sometimes gets forgotten amidst the flashing, multi-coloured lights, revolving (revolting?) Santas, talking reindeer and other “bling” which so-called Garden Centres seem to wish upon us. Not at Nant-y-Bedd. I like to trim our own holly trees just before Christmas to provide sprigs for a traditional holly wreath – cotoneaster berries this year as the birds… Read More
It’s the booze making time of year again. It all seems to need to be done at once, so this year I’m splitting up the cider making with a bit of grape pressing. We have had an excellent crop of Tom Putt apples (as recommended by the Marcher Apple Network) this time round – it all depends on the weather at pollination time – but we have also been given a load… Read More
Saturday saw 20 or so people descend upon us for a Mushroom Foraging day. Organised by Liz Knight of Forage Fine Foods and executed by Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods, we had an amazing afternoon searching among the trees and along the river bank. Mark’s knowledge on fungi and how to use them was extensive and amusing as well as being excellent on the palate! After introductions all round, Mark got proceedings underway with… Read More
Yes, it’s Keat’s time of year again, with the autumn fruit lighting up the misty mornings. Depending on who you talk to this summer has been: hot / dry / cold / damp / lovely /grotty – so it’s nice to see some real rewards despite the weather. The early fruit did quite well, with strawberries overcoming a cold damp spell, which seemed to really suit the raspberries. Possibly the best crop… Read More
Driven indoors by a sudden and dramatic thunderstorm, I am now making jam – a satisfying September-during-a-thunderstorm kind of activity. I should mention that jam-making is taking place on a wood-fuelled cooker so no worries about power cuts affecting the process. Plum jam this time. This follows successful batches of blackcurrant and blackcurrant-and-worcesterberry when those crops were harvested several weeks ago. I never make strawberry jam: it seems a crime not to… Read More
We have an interesting relationship with our garden and the plants in it. Sometimes we introduce a plant – it may be a gift from a friend, seeds collected on holiday, or an impulse buy – and it loves our garden, thrives and reproduces itself and feels thoroughly at home. Examples are Lysimachia ‘Firecracker’ (can’t remember where I got this from originally – but it out-competes ground elder so is a real… Read More
We all know how it is when we’re so close to something that we don’t really see it as others do. So it was a great pleasure last week to welcome professional photographer Jonathan Need to our garden. Jonathan seemed instantly to understand the philosophy behind the garden and the planting and has very kindly sent us a wonderful selection of his morning’s shoot. We’ll split the shots into two blogs; this… Read More
After all the hard work of the winter and spring our first Open Garden weekend is rapidly approaching. On Saturday morning at 11am we throw open the gates and hold back the crowds . Here’s a small sample of what you can see on 14th and 15th May – yes this weekend!! ….and finally what will this be on Saturday?