Well it must be autumn! 

Pumpkin harvest in the greenhouse

We have started harvesting the pumpkins and squashes. A colourful display that never fails to raise a smile. These guys will shortly become soups, pies, chutneys, displays both large and small and anything else folks can find to do with them. In Austria where I used to live, the farmers make a wonderful oil from the pressed pumpkin seeds. It tastes nutty, is darkest green, and lovely over a salad and believe it not is great on ice-cream, although I have got to say it looked a little odd.

Our  pumpkins and squash are now for sale, as are our bags of logs which should help to keep the autumn chills away!

This year we have had a lot of questions fielded to us regarding our use of green manure crops. If you’re not acquainted with growing green manure crops, let me explain a little.

Firstly I have to say that the name doesn’t sound very appetising nor romantic but don’t let that put you off. Green manure crops come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are winter crops, and other spring and summer plants. Last winter we grew field beans. These really foxed some people as they came around the gardens in March to see what looked like broad beans growing nearly a metre high! The idea of growing these crops is that they are cut down and dug back into the soil to help the soil structure, also some of them feed back nitrogen. And lastly they help to prevent soil erosion. So they are quite a useful tool which anyone can use. 

Phacelia green manure in the kitchen garden

But definitely the favourite at Reveley Lodge is Phacelia or to give it it’s Latin name Phacelia tanacetifolia. What a block of colour they added to the vegetable garden, and as a soft pastel colour it blends itself in well with other plants. We sowed it after our garlic crop was harvested from that spot in July. This area came alive with the sound of bees. At any one time several hundred bees could be seen over our patch. Both our  honeybees and an array of bumblebees could be seen  and they seemed to just adore it. Happy bees – happy days

Phacelia tanacetifolia

Moving along: next time you’re in the garden please come and check out our newly renovated Yew Tree lawn. As part of our continued renovation of the lawns the whole team of volunteers with Lesley and I have been busy digging up the old lawn, if you could call it a lawn!  Moving the flower bed out, sorting out the  ground level and reseeding.  Hopefully this time next year we will have a reasonable lawn to enjoy. 

Bushey Grove apples

Those who know the garden well may ask where the Bushey Grove apple trees went. Good question. Well we have invested in some new better quality Bushey Grove apple trees. These new trees will be located up in the kitchen garden. The Bushey Grove is a really good cooking apple, which was introduced in 1926, so nearly 100 years old. 

Hope to see you sometime in the garden. And thanks for reading.

Enjoy the autumn.