It’s great to see David, one of our gardeners, working his magic in the walled garden again this year. All their hard work gives the team in the kitchen the opportunity to add an extra touch of magic to the dishes, especially with the introduction of a few more interesting and unusual fruit and veg. From the exotic, lesser known garden gems, to the everyday classics, there’s nothing better than cooking, plating up and serving fresh as a daisy home grown produce, that’s been dug up that day.
Our Gardeners advise…
Just when you think that the planting time is over and everything is in full bloom and it is time to enjoy the fruits of your hard work for the next few weeks it is time to start all over again! Unfortunately few summer bedding plants don’t last until the end of the season and need a replacement. However our Nasturtiums are florishing still and in constant demand from Head Chef Peter Fardon for our Kitchens.
Alongside these we’re also growing three lettuce varities, Chard, two beet varieties, courgettes and butternut squash - all grown from seed from our greenhouse!s. Plus to add a splash of colour to the veg patch and Peter’s dishes we’re growing a range of edible flowers, calendula, nasturtium and viola – perfect for plating up that summer dish. All crops in the garden with the exception of Pumpkins & Butternut Squash are harvested young so they are tender & sweet. Each year we trial crops & this years trial was Broadbean, Romanesco, lavander & Garlic all of which were a great success! This is our 1st year with fruit bushes and trees and even though they are still in the early stages we had good success with Gooseberries and Red currants.
Here’s Our Gardeners (Mike, David, Pat & Patrick) gardening ‘To Do’ list for Summer months:
- Three week rotation (Sowing/harvesting) of vegetables for our kitchen supply
- Maintaining control of Aphids and other pests using organic deterents such as Beer trap, Rubarb Spray & Salt
- Maintain Ridges and weeding
- Composting using seaweed, sand & kitchen waste
- Control of Ivy along the Derryquin castle walls
- Maintain grass in castle orchard & fruit beds
- Daily monitor of garden for disease and pests
- Control of knotwood on a three year programme
- Consultation with Gerry Daly on walled garden planning
The gardeners are also gearing for the Autumn with a long list of jobs, here is just a flavour of what is on this list!
- Redressing the ridges with our own compost
- Harvesting Pumpkins, Squash, the last of the Carrots & Turnips and a selection of herbs
- Composting all the waste flowers and vegetables (The finished plants)
- Clearing the Greenhouse for the coming season
- Harvesting seeds off the flowers - For example - Narsturtiums & Sunflowers
"Every day, Every year, there is a different challenge to learn from"