Clovelly Court Gardens. Lucy Halliday, Head Gardener
End of June
The last week in June was very hot and dry, but the produce in Clovelly Court gardens started to roll in with a wonderful flavour.
We spent another afternoon that week with the BBC filming for the Britain in Bloom coverage. It was good to have our garden changes and progress highlighted after just a couple of months.
Start of July
This week was full of so much beautiful sunshine again. Dry weather does present challenges, especially for vegetable and fruit crops, but it is certainly great hoeing weather!
Under glass, we train the melons, cucumbers and tomatoes every few days as they really respond to warmth. The cucumbers are gearing up although need to be shaded when the heat is too much. On the other hand, the fruit cage currants respond wonderfully well to heat.
As the produce is now increasing, weekly deliveries are sent to the stall at the Visitor Centre.
Alongside all the harvesting, annual flowers are planted to augment the ecosystem and colour in the gardens. We’ve also been sowing the last crop of the year to plant out; three varieties of kale to over winter. There is also a continuous succession of basil and lettuce seedlings to keep their tender leaves in place.
And, of course, watering continues. Some recently planted baby brassicas were sadly lost in just two days of searing heat. So the rest of the crops have been potted and fleeced to raise them a bit further before unleashing them into the current dry soil conditions.
Visitors who felt able to brave the heat of the afternoons this week asked interesting questions and gave us many kind compliments. We also enjoyed pointing out the stunningly clear sea views from Clovelly Court terraces.
Red Lion Hotel
It is always a huge pleasure to have our produce met with such enthusiasm and skills by the Red Lion chefs. Working responsively and creatively with the changing seasons to provide the best garden produce for food is certainly very appealing to the guests.
Britain in Bloom
Undaunted in their enthusiasm, volunteer hours have been merrily given by the team again this week in support of the Britain in Bloom effort.
Panoptic came to film the gardens in action and an interested Channel 4 researcher came to view Clovelly Court Gardens this week.
Hence, each season brings new learning curves and this one certainly has a lot to teach us. However, it’s hard to complain about when the sun is shining!