OTHER people’s allotments and gardens are a constant source of inspiration and ideas. I was fortunate enough to visit the gardens of Edmondsham House, near Cranborne and chat to head gardener Andrew Haynes last week for a feature to be published in September’s Wiltshire Society magazine.
And I walked away with inspiration in trugfulls.
The kitchen garden, part of the walled garden, has been managed organically since 1984 when Andrew became head gardener.
Runner beans are grown on coppiced hazel arches, comfrey is grown to provide liquid feed for hungry vegetables throughout the growing season, as no chemical fertilisers or pesticides are ever used.
Andrew uses the ‘no-dig’ method of cultivating the soil, which helps prevent weed seeds being brought to the surface. Mulches are used helping to conserve moisture and soil structure.
Rows of borage have been planted alongside the beans to attract pollinators but the plant's bright blue star shaped flowers are also striking features. I have grown borage in this way but always been late in staking and they have flopped horribly, but Andrew has created a small fence to act as support and to tie them into.
The bright orange heads of calendula have been deliberately planted with the purple sprouting broccoli to keep cabbage root fly at bay.
Calendula self seed freely, the plants first appearing in spring and can be transplanted easily to whatever part of the plot is needed for the simple to grow companion plant.
Aside from the kitchen garden, the walled garden has some quite beautiful herbaceous borders, planted to be of interest for a long season.'via Blog this'