Stephanie's Kitchen Garden Diary
Designed by RHS Chelsea Flower Show gold medal winner Tom Hoblyn for Harrod Horticultural MD Stephanie Harrod back in 2005. Stephanie’s Kitchen Garden was set up primarily to trial various methods of growing fruit and vegetables and to share the knowledge gained with our customers. It has also given us the opportunity to develop and manufacture products to enable us to successfully grow flavour packed fruit and vegetables.
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What a difference a year makes. Last year in March we still had snow and freezing temperatures and spring was nowhere in sight. This year, the garden is enjoying warm, sunny days and the crops are much further forward. We are harvesting broccoli, rhubarb, chard, spinach and kale and our broad beans are flowering and covered in bees. Our parsnip seedlings are already appearing through the soil.
Spring has well and truly sprung in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden this month. We've been enjoying some mild temperatures and the sun has come out at last. We've had very few frosts and the garden is beginning to awaken from its winter sleep. The birds have been enjoying the new feeding stations and, on sunny days, they are showing their appreciation by filling the air with birdsong. We've even seen our first bee!
It is hard to believe that this time last year the Kitchen Garden was covered with a thick blanket of snow. The weather has certainly been milder this winter and it shows. The overwintering crops are enjoying the conditions and are well forward on last year. However, as all kitchen gardeners know only too well, the weather can change in a heartbeat, so the fleece and cloches are on hand just in case....
December in the Kitchen Garden is all about planning for the New Year ahead. As the garden is cleared of last season's crops and prepared for the coming year, it is a good time to look back on our successes and failures of the past year. I have been drawing up my plan of the garden for 2014 and placing my seed orders. My next rainy day task is to peruse the latest Harrod brochure. There are some new Harrod Wire Obelisks that will look lovely with sweet peas growing up them...
November has been a cold and miserable month in the Kitchen Garden. The sun has put in a few brief appearances, but on the whole it has been damp and grey. However, whatever the weather, there is always plenty of work to be done. When the rain is pouring down, I head into the greenhouse and shed to catch up with the Big Winter Tidy Up.