How to make dried flower wreaths

October 3, 2018By Jennifer Kelly: AdminBlog, Gardening advice No Comments

Dried Flower Wreath Tutorial

If you love the season – but don’t love the garish costumes, pumpkin pie and screaming children that tend to accompany it – then our dried flower wreaths are for you. Plus, it’s not October specific – we have ours on show all year round!

To make our dried flower wreath you will need:

  1. Secateurs or sharp scissors
  2. Jute string or florists wire
  3. A rattan wreath base (ours are 16 inch rattan bases from Hobbycraft)
  4. A selection of dried flowers

The method:

Making a wreath is much more simple than it looks. We use pre-made wreath bases to speed up the process but you can make your own from willow, birch or hazel branches twisted together and held with florist’s wire.

Choose a selection of dried flowers, often just 3 or 4 different types of flower and foliage look better than lots and lots. Always leave 2 – 3 inches of stem on the flowers and simply push them into the wreath, one type at a time, working your way round the wreath.

We find it is best to start off with foliage and larger flowers first and leave smaller flowers until the end.

Dried fruit can be really effective or even nuts and berries but beware the birds may help themselves if you hang the wreath outside!

Don’t feel you have to cover every inch of the Wreath with flowers, you need a surprising amount of flowers to do this and often just a few flowers can look just as effective. If you feel the flowers are not secure on the wreath you can tie them in using string or peg them with florists wire. One of the benefits of dried flower wreaths is that they will last many months inside or out!

Some of the dried flowers we use are:

  1. Craspedia globose
  2. Lagurus ovatus
  3. Salvia horminum
  4. Hordium jubatum
  5. Cornflower
  6. Larkspur
  7. Eryngium giganteum
  8. Nigella seed pods
  9. Daucus carota
  10. Ammi majus
  11. Cardoon and globe artichoke
  12. Orlaya grandiflora
  13. Teasel (don’t go near these with a fluffy jumper!)

To dry our cut flowers we try to cut them just before the flowers are fully open, they are much more likely to retain their colour and petals this way.

Cut them with the stems as long as possible to make them easier to hang.

Hang the flowers upside down in small bunches (only 6-8 stems) in a cool dry place with good airflow and out of direct sunlight. Bright light bleaches the colour out. We don’t recommend using a greenhouse, the flowers seem to be more prone to rotting in that environment. We string them up in the rafters of our greenhouse.

It often takes 2-4 weeks for flowers to fully dry out. It’s well worth experimenting with different species to see what works best.

We would LOVE to see how you get on so please tag us on our Facebook or Instagram page.

The Pirates of Penzance | Outdoor Theatre

Join us in our outdoor amphitheatre on Wednesday 22nd August for the Illyria performance of The Pirates of Penzance.

Frederick, apprenticed to the Pirates since a child, learns that he was born in a leap year on 29th February, and that he is contracted to the Pirate King until his 21st BIRTHDAY, not his 21st year. With only the inept Penzance constabulary to protect him, how will he resist being forced to endure a life of crime until he is 84 – and will his sweetheart, Mabel, wait for him that long? With hilarious melodrama, sharp satire and glittering wit, “The Pirates of Penzance” is as fresh as if it had been written today. It is packed-full of memorable songs such as “To be a Pirate King!”; “Modern Major General” and “A Policeman’s Lot is Not a Happy One”.

Illyria’s mission is simply stated: to create a varied programme of outstandingly enjoyable theatre and to make it available for everyone to see. They are proud that for 25 years its popularity has enabled it to operate on a professional basis without any public funding.

Our outdoor picnic hampers are available to pre-order now!
Hamper options as follows:
Adult
Gordon Castle Smoked Salmon Bagel
Fochaber Sausage Roll (sausage made to WGC recipe)
Mini meat Pie – made exclusively for WGC by local butcher
Local Cheese, GC Oatcakes & GC Chutney
Fresh Fruit & Slice of homemade Cake
Price per person £10.99
Child
Mini Cream Cheese Bagel
Fochaber Sausage Roll
Bag x Pom Bears or similar
Fresh Fruit & Fruit Jelly pot
Price per person £7.99
 

Please book by emailing restaurantmanager@gordoncastlescotland.com

Tickets available here now

Wedding | Cafe closed

The cafe will be closed on Saturday 11th August to celebrate the Larkin wedding. The garden and shop will still be open and we would welcome you to come and visit.

The cafe will be open the following day on the 12th at 10am. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

Pride and Prejudice | Outdoor Performance

Join us in our outdoor amphitheatre on Wednesday 8th August for the Heartbreak Productions performance of Pride and Prejudice.

The Bennet sisters, and a host of charming young bachelors (yes, Mr Darcy will be there. No really, yes, that Mr Darcy) will be hosting an evening of comedy, romance, and more than one come-uppance, as we learn how to behave, ahem, properly. Champagne and cucumber sandwiches are permitted at this creative outdoor adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but do ensure you know how to properly use a napkin, remember to chew with your mouths closed, and please try not to fall in love with Mr Darcy, as we believe he is very soon to be engaged. (You may also want to bring a blanket or chair to sit on and an umbrella, should the weather look inclement).

Heartbreak aims to tell stories that inspire, entertain, challenge and help us come to a better understanding of human beings and how we can live together and are now in their 24th year of touring open-air theatre.

Our outdoor picnic hampers will also be available to pre-order starting from just £10.00. If you would like further information, please email restaurantmanager@gordoncastlescotland.com

Please click on the tickets below to add to basket.

Adult £11

Child (Up to 16)£7.50

Concession (65+) £9

Family (2+2) £32.50

The Adventures of Dr Dolittle | Outdoor Performance

Join us in our outdoor amphitheatre on Friday 13th July for the Illyria performance of The Adventures of Dr Dolittle.

When Doctor John Dolittle of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh is taught by his wise old parrot Polynesia how to talk to animals, news of his skills spreads far and wide. Soon animals across the world send messages asking for his help. So, he buys a leaky old ship and, together with his trusty pet-crew of Jip the dog, Chee-Chee the monkey, Dab-Dab the Duck and permanently hungry Gub-Gub the pig, sets forth on a mission to heal illness, spread compassion and gain a greater understanding of the animal kingdom. A funny, much-loved and exciting adventure, with a strong message about responsibility towards animals and the environment, this show is created by the same Illyria team who brought you an entire menagerie of animal puppets in DANNY THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD and a life-size T-Rex in THE LOST WORLD.

This show is suitable for children aged 5+

Our outdoor picnic hampers will also be available to pre-order starting from just £10.00. If you would like further information, please email restaurantmanager@gordoncastlescotland.com

Tickets available here now 

The Midnight Gang | Outdoor Theatre

Join us in our outdoor amphitheatre on Saturday 7th July for Heartbreak Productions performance of The Midnight Gang.

When the clock strikes midnight and everyone else is sweetly sleeping, Tom and his friends gather in the middle of the night in the name of magic, mischief, and memory making. Join The Midnight Gang on this crucial mission to overcome our greatest fears and uncover the magic ingredient to a fantastic friendship. It truly is an unmissable adventure! Be prepared to be daring at this outdoor adaptation of David Walliams’ bestselling book. Who knows where the night may lead?

Heartbreak aims to tell stories that inspire, entertain, challenge and help us come to a better understanding of human beings and how we can live together and are now in their 24th year of touring open-air theatre.

This event is suitable for children and families!

Our outdoor picnic hampers will also be available to pre-order starting from just £10.00. If you would like further information, please email restaurantmanager@gordoncastlescotland.com

Please click on the tickets below to add to basket. Buy online and save up to 20%

ADULT £11.00 
CHILD (up to 16) £7.50
CONCESSION (65+) £9.00
FAMILY (2+2) £32.50

The Merchant of Venice | Outdoor Performance

Join us in our outdoor amphitheatre on Wednesday 4th July for the Illyria performance of The Merchant of Venice.

The Merchant of Venice is a funny play that deals with serious issues – in particular the keeping of promises. Wealthy Antonio borrows money from Shylock, and both are so confident about his paying it back that they jokingly adopt a ridiculous agreement: that Antonio will give Shylock a pound of his flesh should he default. Then events conspire against him so that he cannot repay the loan. Meanwhile Bassanio risks everything in the hope of winning the hand of Portia in marriage. Admittedly he succeeds – but when she gives him a ring to keep, and he is compelled to give it away, what future for their domestic bliss? Shakespeare’s great courtroom drama is by turns gripping, funny, romantic and thought-provoking. International award-winning Illyria promise a production to keep you on the edge of your seat!

Our outdoor picnic hampers will also be available to pre-order starting from just £10.00. If you would like further information, please email restaurantmanager@gordoncastlescotland.com

Tickets available here now

Heritage Vegetables

June 25, 2018By Jennifer Kelly: AdminBlog, Gardening advice 2 Comments

Today we have a blog written by our gardener Liz who joined the team last summer.

Gordon Castle Walled Garden Heritage Vegetables

At Gordon Castle Walled Garden we have decided to try growing a variety of heritage or heirloom vegetables.  The definition of heritage/heirloom is a plant that has been in cultivation for 50 years or more.  Some people insist that 100 years is the magic number.  Whichever is correct, modern agriculture really came into its own in 1945, following World War 2.  Nowadays, as well as the Walled Garden, there are many people who have allotments of their own and take great pleasure in growing their own vegetables.

So, some of the vegetables we have decided to grow are: brussel sprouts – Evesham Special, beetroot – Mr. Crosby’s Egyptian, cauliflower – Dwarf Efurt (sometimes known as snowball) celeriac – Giant Prague, Musselburgh leeks, and peas – Kelvedon Wonder.  There are lots more we are trying, the list could go on for ever.

Gordon Castle Walled Garden Heritage Vegetables

Today I sowed some of the beetroot and celeriac.  Sown into modules of 104, watered from the bottom, then put into the sunken greenhouse until they germinate.  Once hardened off, they will be planted and left to mature, tended to by our team of gardeners until harvest is ready.  There’s something so lovely about going to the garden to harvest fresh vegetables for your evening meal.  We take great pride in providing delicious Scottish produce for the café – and the chefs love it too!

Gordon Castle Walled Garden Heritage Vegetables

Once we’ve supplied the cafe with vegetables, we’ll sell any extra in the shop.  The shop is open seven days a week.

We grow tomatoes in our greenhouses.  Ailsa Craig – a very hardy Scottish variety, among many other varieties.  A variety of potatoes, also called Ailsa Craig……another heritage vegetable.

Gordon Castle Walled Garden Heritage Vegetables

The pleasure this gives me cannot be put into words.  I would not change my job for the world.

Liz

Wedding | Cafe Closed

The Walled Garden will be closed on Saturday 23rd June to celebrate the Farquhar wedding. We will be open the following day on the 24th at 10am and apologise for any inconveniences this may cause.

Father’s Day

Father’s Day at The Walled Garden

Join us on Father’s Day for a Gentleman’s Afternoon at the Walled Garden on the 17th June. Treat your dad to Gourmet Burger & Beer and an Afternoon Tea.

Please see our menu options below.

Lunch Menu Served from 12-2pm

Gourmet Burger & Beer

Walled Garden 100% Beef Burger
-Classic: lemon mayo, dill pickles, WG red onion chutney and sliced Beef Tomato
-Dangerously Hot: sunripened tomatoes, corn & chilli relish, sliced jalapeno and coriander
-Deluxe: Crispy Pancetta, crispy fried onions, slice of Emmental Cheese and watercress

Walled Garden Chicken Stack
Grilled Chicken Breast, Cajun mayo, WG red onion chutney, dill pickles, beer battered onion ring and sliced Beef Tomato
Fish Finger Sandwich
Crispy breaded white fish fillets, baby gem lettuce and tartar sauce with a Lemon wedge
Walled Garden Veggie Burger
Vegetable Burger, baby gem lettuce, lemon mayo, red onion chutney, slice of Emmental cheese and sliced Beef Tomato

All Burgers served in a toasted Burger Bun, with a bucket of fries, salad garnish, homemade coleslaw and tomato ketchup
£15.45 all burgers

Free bottle of Apple & Pear Cider per Dad.

Children’s Burgers – £7.50 includes glass/beaker of diluting juice

 

Afternoon Tea Served from 2-3pm

Pork & Black Pudding Sausage Roll with Piccalilli
Welsh Rarebit finger
Mini smoked salmon bagel
Roast beef in Yorkshire pudding
Open Pastrami, mustard and pickle
Crispy Haddock Fish Finger with tartar sauce
Mini Scotch egg
Gentlemens relish and toast
Mini Cheese Scone with bacon jam
Eccles Cake, local cheese and WG red onion chutney

Tea or Coffee

£15.95 per person

Book a table here or call 01343 612317