Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Monday, 16 April 2012

The Organic Garden at Holt Farm Revisited

On Friday I had the pleasure of returning to The Organic Garden at Holt Farm to see my friend Eileen, the rest of the garden team and finally to get to meet the garden's inspiring owner, Sarah Mead. As you can see we had much better weather than for my last visit!

However, my main reason for going wasn't just to have a good natter and nose around the garden. Oh no. They're hosting a monthly series of talks to raise funds for Horatio's Garden at the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Injuries Treatment Centre in Salisbury. On Friday it was Alys Fowler's turn to give her talk on Edible Gardening. I've wanted to hear her speak for a very long time so here was an ideal opportunity to do that (and learn loads), visit one of my favourite gardens, eat scrummy food and all whilst supporting an immensely good cause. Sheer perfection.

Both Alys' talk and Horatio's Garden deserve posts of their own, so I'll be writing about them soon. Suffice to say that following her talk, the design of the kitchen garden pictured above was under reconsideration by at least one member of the garden team. I'm expecting them to have quite a debate about trying some of Alys' techniques and suggested plants very soon!


Naturally the day included a garden tour with James the head gardener enthusing about everything as usual. It's rather wonderful to meet a team who are serious about and very professional in what they do, but ensure fun and humour aren't lost in the process. Yesterday I said we'd discussed stumpy tulips, so to redress the balance here's some rather good looking T. 'Abu Hassan' instead. Every time I see them I make a note to myself to get some and without fail I forget. Durr.

And finally here's a picture of the grass meadow. Lots of 'February Silver' daffodils plus Fritillaries and Camassia just coming into bloom. Fingers crossed I get to see them plus the crab apple blossom in their full glory in a week or so's time :)

If you fancy visiting, the garden's just reopened for the season - every Thursday (10-5) and the first Sunday afternoon (2-5) of each month are your options for now until the end of September. Make sure you leave enough time to have some cake (or lunch) too ;)

7 comments:

  1. I don’t have veg beds myself but after supporting a local Potager garden for a few years and from visits to a garden up my way, I have a new appreciation for all the creative ways veggies/fruits/flowers can be grown. My small garden doesn’t afford space for a meadow but if I did I’d have a ball cutting paths through it, planting wildiflowers and photographing the bees, butterflies and insects that would visit :-D

    It’s always great to hear how large gardens owners embrace sharing their gardens with others through events such as this very worthy one and more simply through an enthusiastic garden tour guide.

    Ah… 'Abu Hassan' saw that at a tulip festival – it’s a beauty. Yep… that and Spring Green have yet to find my garden. 'Carnaval de Nice' did though #happy

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  2. Oops... missed copying the important first part of my comment: Hello again, VP – I do like the look of this garden :-)

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  3. I bet that was a wonderful learning experience?

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  4. I am in love with the kitchen garden design. I hope they don't change it... if only I had the space for lots of beds and bricked paths. Heaven!

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  5. I've now got serious vegetable garden envy!!!

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  6. My eyes popped out of my head when I saw your pictures...I would love to visit there...and that meadow...just gorgeous!

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  7. I missed your post about your first visit so have just caught up with that and had a quick peek at Holt Farm's
    website. It really looks a most special place in a beautiful setting. Look forward to hearing more about Alys's talk and Horatio's Garden.

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