21st January 2013-another entry from our volunteer blogger Sandra
Today I spoke to Sarah who is the gardener here at Ford Park. Sarah
was recruited as part of the planning involved in the lottery grant that
was given to help restore the walled Victorian Kitchen garden and also
covers the Orchard as well. Sarah has been working hard on the garden
with the help of the volunteers since the 1st August 2012 and the
kitchen garden was launched on 9th September 2012, together they have
already made a huge difference to the site. Part of the plans for the
garden include growing fruit and vegetables to supply the Coach House
Café and possibly in the future be able to provide fruit &
vegetables for sale to the public.
As well as the garden there is
a greenhouse, garden room and cold frames as well as a demonstration
courtyard. This area will be used to demonstrate how you can grow &
propagate plants in containers. Very useful if you have a small plot or
no garden at all, just a small area or courtyard will be enough for you
to plant some colourful containers with either flowers or vegetables.
Sarah is also planning in February to hold Winter Pruning Workshops for
members of the public and the volunteers. More info can be found on the
last few months Sarah has been growing some of the more unusual , hardy
members of the cabbage family such as Pak Choi and Tat Soi which stand
up very well to our winter weather conditions. For next winter she
plans to plant Brussel Sprouts, Kale and winter Cabbage. Ruby Chard
& Rainbow Lights are being grown for the salad leaves and then will
be grown on to be cropped as a vegetable.
Rufino the chef at the
Coach House Cafe has advised on certain varieties of plants that would
be good for use in the cafe. Lots of salad is used at present. Beans,
peas, asparagus and beetroot will be cropped later in the year. There is
also a separate bed for all the herbs grown.
demonstrates two different growing styles one being the formal
conventional style where the vegetables are all grown in straight lines
which means they are easy to weed. The other way being informal where
plants and vegetables are planted together to form swathes and drifts of
colour & foliage. These plants and vegetables will be chosen to
work well together attracting various useful insects to aid pollination
as well as looking beautiful. Some edible flowers will also be grown
such as Nasturtiums, Violets, Primroses and Marigolds. The taller plants
will be grown to give protection for the lower growing ones.
around the edge of the garden are some Victorian Metal Stanchions which
when wired up will be planted with Apple trees which will look superb
when full of fruit. There are more fruit trees in the orchard and plans
to have espaliered apple trees and cordon apple trees against the south
I suspect the garden will begin to look very
different over the coming months and I hope to show all the different
stages with photographs taken over a period of time. The photos below
show the main garden with Metal Victorian Stanchions, the seed beds and
the Demonstration Courtyard.