Edington and District Gardening Club – August update

On 2nd July we enjoyed a trip to Priory Farm in Edington and met with Lucy who leads in the vegetable and soft fruit garden. Production was at its peak with plenty of broad beans, beetroot, carrots, salads, herbs and sweet peas readily available for the 3 Daggers pub and Edington Farm Shop. Lucy walked us around the garden which is managed largely on organic principles and strictly on a 6 year crop rotation system. Redcurrants, blackcurrants and gooseberries were so heavily cropping that the branches were weighed down.
We walked through the poly tunnels and saw the wide range of tomatoes in fruit as well as various squashes, cucumbers, peppers, chilli, courgettes and more herbs for the restaurant. We learnt about the weeding, watering and feeding regimes for the crops and the need for succession sowing for continuous cropping throughout the season.
The enemies are the rabbits, but they have found that by close planting the damage is reduced to the edges of rows. There were quite a lot of rabbits watching from the field boundary as Lucy spoke! It is a large site, but rabbit-proof fencing may have to be a future project and would undoubtedly pay for itself quickly in increased yield.
We saw the new venture developing……..cordon grown hops for the micro-brewery. The harvest last year was successfully brewed, including a brew with rhubarb syrup which proved very popular.
Lucy is an experienced and passionate gardener and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit. We look forward to returning next year.
Our next trip, on the 16th July was to the glorious Iford Manor Gardens, designed by Harold Peto. With its statuary and classical architecture offset by beautiful planting, it looked lovely even through the odd shower. We were privileged to be given a tour of the private kitchen garden not usually open to the public – and particularly enjoyed the topiary garden furniture.                                                            Our final club trip of the summer on 6th August, was to the Hauser & Wirth garden at Bruton, designed by Piet Oudolph in his signature prairie planting style. With a backdrop of beautifully restored farm buildings and the remaining monastery dovecote on the hillside, this was an inspiring garden. It is made up of drifts of perennials and grasses with a modern pavilion and sculpture and a serene lily pond. This is well worth a visit and entry is free to both the garden and the gallery.            If you would like to come to any club meeting or any of our trips as a visitor or member, please see the website or ring for details. Remember our Plant and Produce show is on Saturday 5th September.  Even if you do not wish to enter – do come along for delicious homemade cream teas and cakes. Full details and entry forms on the village website or from Edington post office.
Sandie Lewis
Club Secretary