June the gateway to summer when…
‘The sun shines for you, birds sing for you, flowers bloom for you so don’t forget to smile for you!’ (Marjory Pay Hinkley)
We all love bright sunshine and warmth but there has been little or no rain this month so the gardeners are flat out watering plants to keep them alive. Almost everything has been planted out, the cut flower beds are full and the vegetable beds are catching up!
The longest day has passed along with a bumper fresh asparagus crop for this year. Already fresh produce is being picked for use in The Walled Garden Café, Castle kitchens and to sell in The Walled Garden Shop.
Mangetout, sugar snap and garden peas; salad crops cut fresh each day;delicious mixed leaves with names like little gem, salad bowl, the pink tinged leaves of lollo rosso and easily recognisable ‘freckles!’
Soft fruit is ripening, starting with strawberries which are smaller this year due to dry weather but still sweet and full of summer goodness.
Not long now till the first new tatties are ready. A variety called Casablanca looks to be first out of the soil. This potato has a white fluffy flesh, excellent for steaming, boiling, roasting and chipping. Next up will be Arran Pilot, it is recommended as a flavoursome first early potato, I look forward to a taste test boiling of these; sprinkled with a little oatmeal – a feast.
This year the tomato plants were planted directly into the greenhouse soil. They are growing well and developing trusses of fruit indicate that there will be fresh tomatoes ready to eat soon. Growing at their feet are edible marigolds and basil. The aroma of all three together is mouth watering.
The continuing high temperatures mean it is hard to keep up the pace of work in the garden.
Round the garden flowers of every shape and hue are bursting into bloom. In the trial beds clarkia and unusual dahlias are joined by helichrysuim and Statice. The later two are suitable for drying with a view to creating a dried flower arranging workshop in the Autumn.
The central herbaceous borders are coming into their own and the lavender meadow surrounding the pond is liberally dusting with a haze of purple.
The Gordon Castle bees delighted!!
‘How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower! (Isaac Watts)
A large variety of flowering and vegetable plants are on sale at The Potting Shed Shop.
Gin School Weekends are very popular. Join Michelle Myron to forage botanicals from the garden then learn the art of distilling to make your own small batch gin.
The Walled Garden Café features freshly picked garden produce on the menu and is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am till 4pm.
The outdoor theatre kicks off this year on 2nd July with David Walliam’s ‘Bad Dad’ performed by Heartbreak production. Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility follows on July 7th and on 29th July the company perform MacHamLear by Michael Davies.
There is much happening at The Walled Garden, vegetables are growing, plants are flowering, bees are buzzing . July beckons when the garden is certainly in full bloom and production.
All are welcome in this wonderful place of vibrant colour and great peacefulness.
Quick Spiced Walnut & Oat Salad Topping
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
85g Hamlyn’s porridge oats
60g chopped walnuts
30g pumpkin seeds
1/8th teaspoon chilli flakes
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
Heat the oil in a saucepan. Toss in the other ingredients and keep stirring till hot and toasted. Serve hot over a green salad . Cool and store in an airtight container and use on salads as needed.
Use peanuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, herbs instead of spices.
Warm Potato Salad
225g cooked new potatoes
1 teacup cooked garden peas
2 or 3 spring onions – chopped
Freshly chopped parsley
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon wine or cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt
Grinding of black pepper.
Cut the potatoes into evenly sized chunks and put into a bowl with the peas and spring onions. Put the dressing ingredients into a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well. Pour enough over the potatoes to moisten and mix well. Snip plenty parsley over the top and serve. Delicious made with warm potatoes and peas.
Scottish Tomato and Syboe Salad
4 large ripe tomatoes
3 or 4 spring onions or Syboes
A few chives if you have any
Dressing made as above.
Choose a wide flat dish. Cut the tomatoes in half. Cut a small v round the core/stalk and remove. Lay flat onto a chopping board and slice thinly. Discard the end pieces. Lay onto the plate in an overlapping circle starting at the outside. Snip the spring onions and chives over the top. Drizzle with dressing, cover and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.