Kitchen Garden Envy
On Monday, we were kindly invited to tour the beautiful gardens at Hydon End in Hambledon. The current owners bought the property in 2008 and have done extensive renovations to the garden including the addition of a large kitchen garden, green house and cutting garden. With social distancing requirements, our group of +25 people split into three and were able to wander the different areas of the garden including the woodlands walk, the terraces full of herbaceous plants, grasses and specimen trees and the glorious kitchen garden. The weather was beautiful and everyone was delighted to have another outing.
As one can imagine, both the kitchen garden and cutting garden were coming into their own at the time of our visit with the currant and gooseberry bushes dripping with fruit, extensive blossom on all the runner beans and french beans and the early signs of a very promising crop of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. This area of the garden is attended to by Andy, who works two-three days per week. The area was immaculate and every bed was put to good use. She was unbelievably helpful in providing top growing tips and answering everyone's questions.
The terrace planting practically glowed thanks to the flower heads of the grasses, particularly the large swathes of stipa gigantea, and the red hues of the acers that punctuate this space and provide year-round structure. Over the years the terraces have been extended and the planting changed to focus on mass planting of those perennials that perform best in their sandy soil. Throughout the borders, herbaceous plants such as agapanthus, persicaria, heleniums, alchemilla mollis, veronicastrums and acanthus dominated the space and added bursts of colour.
We were further rewarded with the opportunity to purchase some of their very own honey. They have four large beehives in the garden and needless to say, they were very happy bees with lots of flowers to choose from.
All in all a wonderful visit and huge thanks to Julie and Jeremy for extending such a warm welcome to our group.
Photo credits: Peter Hardcastle and Sheri