Category Archives: Garden tour

City farm and Wolfgang Palme

One of the great things of travelling and doing these talks is all the fantastic people you meet. Wolfgang Palme (and his lovely wife Angelika who also acted as my interpreter in Schiltern and Vienna) was one of these! I met them first at my talk in Schiltern and I was then very much looking forward to visiting City Farm where they run courses and have developed a diversity garden for children, including several of the perennials in my book! Wolfgang has also written a great  looking book on harvesting vegetables during the winter (I include a few sample pages in the album below!)
I look forward to collaborating more in the future!!
See also http://www.cityfarm.wien/

Arche Noah’s Show Gardens

A few pictures from my first three days in Schiltern and Austrian Seed Savers organisation Arche Noah’s amazing show gardens. The main show gardens are in the village of Schiltern in Langenlois, an important wine growing area, with warm, dry summers and relatively mild winters.
I’m doing a series of talks and garden guided tours this week starting here in Schiltern, then Vienna and finally in the Alps near Salzburg!

Alton

I was very pleased to be invited to give a talk organised by the Curtis Museum in Alton, Hampshire, UK, not far from where I grew up in Eastleigh, Hants.

In my book I introduce the Hampshire towns of Alresford (watercress), Selborne (Gilbert White and sea kale) and Alton as the “Hampshire perennial vegetable triangle” or the UK hotspot of perennial vegetable domestication. Alton is included as the home of botanist William Curtis, who was Praefectus Horti at the Chelsea Physic Garden in London in the 1770s. He was also a friend of Gilbert White! He wrote a pamphlet, ‘Directions for the culture of the Crambe maritima or Sea Kale, for the use of the Table’ in 1799 to bolster efforts in introducing it as a market vegetable.
See the album of pictures from a wander around Alton with Sheila John of the Curtis museum, edimentals tour of the Allen Gallery garden and later talk there! See the album below!
Other related posts:

Directions for the culture of Sea Kale (1799) http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=9772

The Hampshire Perennial Vegetable Triangle http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?page_id=3879

Lecture at the Hillier Gardens  http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?page_id=1281

Hampshire’s Watercress Line  http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=335

Edimental spotting in the Oxford Botanical Garden

I finished my last day of work as an oceanographer by visiting head office in Wallingford, UK. We were finished by lunchtime, so I visited the University of Oxford Botanical Garden nearby, the oldest botanical garden established in 1621 as a garden of medicinal plants. Here’s an album of edimentals I found during my short visit!

The Hampshire Walled Vineyard

Late April 2017 and I finally got round to visit some folks in South Hampshire who I’d met at the Walled Kitchen Garden Forum weekend at Croome in 2015! I love enthusiastic people who are willing to take risks…Tim Phillips is one of these…in his own words “His once abandoned 19th century kitchen garden in Hampshire provides a fantastic environment for…Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc vines. The combination of gravel soils, Lymington’s maritime climate and the thermal properties of the walls offer a unique vine-growing opportunity from which both still and sparkling wines are crafted”.. (see http://www.charlieherring.com/)
On the day of my visit, Tim had been up all night keeping his vines from freezing by burning wood fires in the vineyard….this strategy seems to have saved the crop from a complete failure of the 2017 vintage :) This problem wasn’t restricted to England but also famous wine growing areas in France: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/29/in-pictures-french-farmers-use-fire-to-try-to-save-their-vineyards.html
I look forward to returning in a few years to view you sea kale production areas ;)

Kamouraska and La société des plantes

Thank you to Charles “Mr. Accordion Pissenlit” Frandelion for asking me over to Saint-Pascal (in the Kamouraska municipality) east of Quebec City and entertaining me with a great day enjoying the nature of his area and visiting the headquarters of La société des plantes, run by the legendary Patrice Fortier​ (www.lasocietedesplantes.com), where he works! Patrice was sadly in Italy…we will meet next time!