A bowl of figs

Figs in the greenhouse

I had a lovely fig tree (a variety called Brown Turkey) in a pot but never got any fruit from it. So back in the spring I moved it into the greenhouse, intending to train it up one side and across the ceiling. I hoped the extra warmth might result in a few ripe figs.…

Red chillies in a bowl

It’s official: chillies are idiot proof

Or at least, this idiot seems to get great harvests from them no matter what he does. Here’s this year’s crop, harvested a couple of months ago: I wasn’t even planning to grow any chillies this year because we’ve still got lots of dried ones left from previous years. But then someone gave me a load…

A bunch of white grapes

Peel me a grape

Well, what do you know – the grape vine that grows up the house has produced some pretty tasty grapes (after giving us only a few elderberry-sized fruit last year). There were just a couple of bunches, but nonetheless I’m very pleased. The variety is called Phoenix, and you’re supposed to be able to either…

Rows of runner beans

Another walled garden: Hanbury Hall

I’m a bit of a walled garden obsessive. I have the DVD box set of the Victorian Kitchen Garden and I drag my family around walled gardens up and down the country. So, earlier in the summer, we found ourselves at the National Trust property Hanbury Hall in Worcestershire. The hall has a formal veg…

Lock gates form part of a garden structure.

Specialist gardens, Roundhay Park

Back in July I visited Leeds and took the chance to have a look at the speciality gardens in Roundhay Park. First up was the Alhambra garden, inspired by the famous Spanish fortress. It has a pool with fountains running down its centre and lush planting either side. At intervals paths cross the pool and these…