From April the raised beds accommodate a huge variety of brassicas such as dwarf green curled kale, Marabel cabbage and early purple sprouting broccoli. Also harvested are early potatoes such as Lady Christl, plus Blauwgroene leeks and Bright Lights swiss chard, plus alpine strawberries. Early shoots from the extensive variety of plants in the herbal walkway are picked for their intense and concentrated flavours. They include nasturtium, oregano, mint, sage, sorrel, burnett, angelica, majoram, salsify, thyme and more
As the months warm, the garden yields plenty of crisp salad leaves, succulent tomatoes, soft ripe fruits such as apricots and nectarines and edible flowers – always a treat when used to garnish special, celebratory feasts at anniversaries and special occasions. Autumn brings a proliferation of apples, beetroot, squash, pumpkins and Jerusalem artichokes. Plus the harvest of Szechuan peppers – wonderful as a rub on the charcoal hog roasts.
Different varieties are grown and trialled for suitability to terroir such as garlic; during 2018 over 12 species were grown and two chosen for their excellent performance and yield – Iberian Wight and Provence Wight. Whatever the season fresh produce is picked and delivered to guests’ plates within minutes.