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Cultural Cookery Recipe Books 2021

Here are all the Cultural Cookery Recipe books from 2021. Enjoy tasty vegetarian recipes from all over the world! July to August 2021 Recipe Book August to September 2021 Recipe Book October to November 2021 Recipe Book You can watch all the videos and cook along at home on our facebook page.

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Here are all the Cultural Cookery Recipe books from 2021. Enjoy tasty vegetarian recipes from all over the world!

July to August 2021 Recipe Book

August to September 2021 Recipe Book

October to November 2021 Recipe Book

You can watch all the videos and cook along at home on our facebook page.

Cultural Cookery March recipe book

Here is the March Cultural Cookery Recipe book. Enjoy recipes from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Mexico and Turkey. You can watch all the videos and cook along on our Facebook.

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Here is the March Cultural Cookery Recipe book. Enjoy recipes from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Mexico and Turkey.

You can watch all the videos and cook along on our Facebook.

Cultural Cookery January to February Recipe Book

Download the Cultural Cookery January to February recipe book here With recipes; French recipes; French Onion Soup & Pear Tarte Tatin Mexican dishes; blackbean soup, corn riblets, guacamole. North African recipes; Okra and Zucchini stew, roast Eggplant and Tahini, Taktouka Jamaican dishes; grilled pineapple, rice and peas and jerk roast vegetables Indian recipes; Kerala Cauliflower […]

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Download the Cultural Cookery January to February recipe book here

With recipes;

French recipes; French Onion Soup & Pear Tarte Tatin

Mexican dishes; blackbean soup, corn riblets, guacamole.

North African recipes; Okra and Zucchini stew, roast Eggplant and Tahini, Taktouka

Jamaican dishes; grilled pineapple, rice and peas and jerk roast vegetables

Indian recipes; Kerala Cauliflower Curry, Palak Paneer, Spiced Basmati rice

Community Programme Manager vacancy

We are seeking a Community Programme Manager to work in our small collaborative team. The Manager will develop and manage a range of offers to the local community. This will include regular workshops and classes as well as larger scale community events in The Gardens. The Manager will also be responsible for the marketing and […]

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We are seeking a Community Programme Manager to work in our small collaborative team. The Manager will develop and manage a range of offers to the local community. This will include regular workshops and classes as well as larger scale community events in The Gardens.
The Manager will also be responsible for the marketing and promotion of The Hidden Gardens as well as leading on delivering our arts strategy.

Application closing date: 9pm on Sunday 13th of March 2022

Interviews will take place on Wednesday 30th and Thursday 31st of March 2022

CV’s will not be accepted – applications to be received by email only.
Please download the application pack here below.

Send completed application and equal opportunities monitoring forms to administrator@thehiddengardens.org.uk

Community Programme Manager Application Pack

Planning an Edible Garden

As the days get longer and there is a bit of warmth in the sun, some of us are itching to get going in the garden. However, the earth is still too cold for most seeds, and the weather could turn wintery with snow or frost, so this is the ideal time for a bit […]

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As the days get longer and there is a bit of warmth in the sun, some of us are itching to get going in the garden. However, the earth is still too cold for most seeds, and the weather could turn wintery with snow or frost, so this is the ideal time for a bit of planning.

Whether you are new to vegetable growing or an old hand, it pays to consider a few things before rushing for the seed catalogues.

  • Think about how much space you have to grow crops – an allotment plot or a few window boxes?
  • How much time can you spend tending your plants – tomatoes are quite needy requiring staking, pinching, watering and feeding and potatoes are relatively easy going once planted. 
  • What fruits and veg do you actually like eating – there’s no point in growing a patch of broccoli if  you’ll never eat it!
  • What veg tastes best fresh – new potatoes freshly dug and straight in the pan, freshly cut salads, home-grown strawberries and raspberries can’t be beaten
  • Cost can come into the choice too – onions and leeks are relatively easy to grow but whereas onions are cheap to buy, shop bought leeks are expensive so well worth growing your own.

If you have space to grow a few edibles it’s worth considering crop rotation. This is a system of grouping together plants in the same families: brassicas such as cabbages and broccoli; legumes such as peas and beans; alliums such as onions and leeks; and roots such as beetroot, carrots. The following year each group moves on to the next location. There are a number of benefits of this system:

  • each plant family have similar needs making it easier for you to care for them, for example the brassicas are hungry plants which benefit from additional nitrogen. If they follow on from a crop of peas and bean they will benefit from the nitrogen legumes are able to fix in the soil via their root nodules. This is why it’s a good idea to leave the roots of your pea crop in the ground.
  • Pests and diseases won’t get a chance to build up in a particular site if you keep rotating your crops.
  • Crop rotation will help your soil structure with deep rooted crops such as parsnips and carrots opening up the soil, and can be followed by shallow rooted salads.

Even if you don’t have space to follow an extensive crop rotation plan, it will still be beneficial to grow crops in a different planter or pot or bit of the garden each year. Consider starting a compost heap, recycling kitchen scraps and making your own fertile compost to feed your hungry plants. There is no need to completely renew compost in your window box or planter each year, just replace the top half with your homemade compost or peat free compost.

Interplanting your crops with companion plants such as French marigolds, calendula, borage and herbs will attract insect pollinators as well as natural enemies of crop pests. It will make your veg patch look very pretty too! By growing your own healthy, zero-food-miles fruit and veg you will be growing tasty fresh food without all the environmental costs of transport and packaging.

Garden Assistant vacancy

We are currently looking for two Garden Assistants for our team. The team of Garden Assistants is the public face of the Gardens during evenings and weekends. The main purpose of the role is to provide a visual and engaging staff presence in The Hidden Gardens to ensure that all visitors have a safe and […]

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We are currently looking for two Garden Assistants for our team.

The team of Garden Assistants is the public face of the Gardens during evenings and weekends. The main purpose of the role is to provide a visual and engaging staff presence in The Hidden Gardens to ensure that all visitors have a safe and pleasant experience whilst preserving the property, plant collection and art installations. You will also assist the team with public events and help others who hire the Gardens indoor and outdoor spaces.

The Garden Assistant team work shifts to cover weekend and evening rotas and a flexible approach to working is essential. Hours will be concentrated around weekends and evenings and the successful candidate must be available to regularly work during these times.

Application closing date: Sunday 20 February 2022, midnight

Interviews will take place on: Monday 7 March 2022

CV’s will not be accepted – applications to be received by email only.
Please download the application pack here below.
Send completed application and equal opportunities monitoring forms to administrator@thehiddengardens.org.uk

Garden Assistant Application Pack

Autumn

Now that summer is definitely behind us, we can enjoy the gentle decay of perennials and autumnal tree colours. We are much less concerned with tidiness at this time of year than in the past, ensuring plenty of shelter and food for the garden wildlife as well as providing protection for the soil over winter. […]

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Now that summer is definitely behind us, we can enjoy the gentle decay of perennials and autumnal tree colours. We are much less concerned with tidiness at this time of year than in the past, ensuring plenty of shelter and food for the garden wildlife as well as providing protection for the soil over winter.

There is, however, still plenty to be getting on with in the garden. One of the loveliest jobs at this time of year is planting as many bulbs as possible. There’s is nothing more encouraging than seeing new growth poking through the soil; crocus opening up in late winter sunshine for newly emerging queen bumblebees; dwarf narcissi in all their many shapes and colours; bold, bright and blousy tulip combinations.

Now is the perfect time to plant most bulbs. Tulips are better delayed until November and even December as the cold temperatures reduce the risk of tulip blight, but all others will be happy to get into the ground while it is still quite warm and before frosts. There are so many possibilities with bulbs, definitely something for everyone: from indoor pots to naturalising in lawns; outdoor containers and window boxes; borders and under trees.

By following a few simple rules you will get the most out of your bulbs and can look forward to cheery spring colour.

When planting, a good guide is to plant to a depth 3 times the size of the bulb, so larger daffodils will be deeper than tiny crocus, for example. One of the main causes of daffodils coming up with leafy growth but no flowers is planting too shallow.

Bulbs should be planted with the pointy end upwards, more obvious in some than others but the blunt end may have remnants of the roots as a guide.

All bulbs like a free draining soil so if your garden soil is quite heavy then fill the bottom of the planting hole with some gritty compost. We used some of last year’s leaf mould mixed with some grit, or you could use some old compost from this year’s pots.

If your garden becomes quite waterlogged over winter you might be better to plant your bulbs in pots and place them in gaps in the garden next spring.

Ideally bulbs in pots should be planted at the same depth as in the ground but this will depend on your pot size, and the most important thing is to have about 4cm of compost below the bulbs. A bulb ‘lasagne’ is a great way to layer up different bulb varieties in the same pot to give you many weeks of flowers. Begin with the largest bulbs at the bottom eg tulips, cover with a layer of compost, then add another layer of a different bulb eg narcissi, and finish with some wee crocus or iris. You could add some evergreen herbs and ferns to give your container some winter interest before the bulbs appear in the spring.

This year we are planting gaps in borders with crocus, allium and narcissi; filling containers and pots with tulips and muscari; lining the nook path with fritillary and experimenting with camassia, narcissi and alliums in the lawn.

To achieve a naturalistic feel to bulbs in your lawn it is best to scatter them on the ground and plant them where they fall. We have done this along the strip of lawn we leave unmown throughout the summer months. Fingers crossed the squirrels don’t get them!

Collecting Seeds From Your Gardens

Summer holidays are over and schools are back. The weather has turned cooler and unpredictable, there is the odd hint of autumn here and there. Rather than mourn the passing of the summer season it can help to spend time planning and preparing; taking stock of the triumphs (and disasters) in the garden and embracing […]

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Summer holidays are over and schools are back. The weather has turned cooler and unpredictable, there is the odd hint of autumn here and there. Rather than mourn the passing of the summer season it can help to spend time planning and preparing; taking stock of the triumphs (and disasters) in the garden and embracing the changing seasons.

Throughout the summer months, we spend time continually deadheading summer annuals. This is important to ensure continued flowering for as long as possible. The main aim of an annual plant (one which grows from seed to flower and seed in one year) is to set seed. Once this has happened, as far as the parent plant is concerned, its job is done! If we keep deadheading, the seeds never get a chance to develop and the plant keeps producing new flowers until it is eventually killed by the winter frosts.

However, there comes a point towards the end of the summer when we are not going to get many more flowers, and it is time to think about seed collection. If you let seedheads develop on the plants and collect them when ripe (usually they will have turned a brownish or black colour) you will have a plentiful supply of your own seeds to sow.

It is important to collect ripe seeds on a dry day. Cut off the seedheads and pop straight into a paper bag or a tray and let them sit in a greenhouse or windowsill. The seeds should naturally fall out of the pods, but you may need to gently crush them open to release the seeds. Store in a paper bag or envelope, not plastic, in a cool dry place and remember to note the variety along with date of collection and where you collected from. It can be interesting to look back and see if the same variety of seed grows better from seed collected from one location rather than another.

The advantages of harvesting your own seeds are many. You are building up a collection of plants that grow well in your garden, under those particular conditions, and by growing your own plants, you will be able to choose only peat free composts, reuse your plastic plant pots, use recycled containers or make paper pots. There are no transportation issues and you will save some money. You can share and swap with friends and neighbours, and enjoy the whole process of growing your own plants.

Of course it is not just ornamental plant seeds that can be collected, you can collect seeds from your allotment or back court veggies. Some plants are easier than others; peas and beans are easy, chilies are fun to do, but Cucurbit family (courgettes, squash, pumpkins, cucumbers) are promiscuous and collected seed will rarely give you what you expect unless you ensure the flowers are isolated from others. Real Seeds have a great website with loads of information about seed collection, and many great seeds to buy if you are just getting started on this journey.

Remember to leave some seedheads to develop on the plants and stand throughout the autumn and winter. They will look architecturally stunning in your garden, catching the dew, or frost or snow, and they will feed birds and provide shelter for hibernating insects such as ladybirds.

Gardening jobs to do….or not!

May has not started with the warmth of early summer, we are clinging to the remnants of wintery chill especially at nighttime with temperatures plummeting to zero or below. Challenging times in the gardening calendar as we juggle trays of seedlings still needing the protection of the greenhouse or kitchen windowsill, but desperate to stretch […]

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May has not started with the warmth of early summer, we are clinging to the remnants of wintery chill especially at nighttime with temperatures plummeting to zero or below. Challenging times in the gardening calendar as we juggle trays of seedlings still needing the protection of the greenhouse or kitchen windowsill, but desperate to stretch their roots and put on growth outside. We do expect Spring to throw us some variable weather, but we are increasingly experiencing more extreme weather events as part of the changing climate. Gardeners have to learn to anticipate and adapt to these challenges, but we can also do so much to help reduce our impact on the environment.

Gardens are increasingly important for wildlife and more and more of us are embracing the wilder aspects of gardening, ensuring they providing food, water and shelter within a range of habitats, throughout the year. There are approximately 1 million acres of garden in the UK, with up to half of that grown as lawn. This is potentially a very valuable wildlife haven and Plantlife wants to find out just how important they are. By taking part in ‘No Mow May’, then ‘Every Flower Counts’ survey of your patch at the end of the month we can all help to build a picture of our lawns as wildlife sanctuaries.

Taking part in No Mow May has many benefits; leaving our petrol mower in the shed cuts down on fossil fuels and air pollution, allowing plants to flower provides food for pollinating insects and we can expect to see daisies, dandelions, self-heal, buttercup, clovers, speedwell, longer grass provides places for sheltering insects which in turn provide essential food for the busy parents feeding young birds in the nest. Blackbirds particularly love to forage for food across our lawn.

This year, with the coldest of Springs and a record dry April, it will be interesting to take part and see just how much our lawn has grown in height and diversity.

The plants we choose to have in our gardens have a huge impact on the insects that will come and visit or live on them, and this, in turn, will affect the birds, bats, mammals that choose to make our gardens their home.

We are all busy making sure our gardens are blooming with bright cheery summer flowers, but it will benefit your garden wildlife as well as the planet if you spend some time planning before plundering the garden centres. Not all flowers are equal. As a general rule, simple flowers provide pollen on the stamen and sugary nectar for visiting insects. The fancy doubles have been bred to turn stamen into extra petals, which in turn make the nectaries inaccessible, so no pollinator food. These cultivars are also rarely pollinated so the flowers tend to remain open for longer, another plus for the gardener. However, although they may appear attractive to us, they offer little for wildlife. Of course they are fun to grow, but it pays to consider making sure you include some flowers for the bees too. For example we have dahlia ‘bright eyes’, loved by bees throughout the summer, but the snazzy cacti varieties offer little to pollinators. Just spend some time watching which flowers are buzzing with insects and you’ll know soon what to choose.

By visiting out plant sale kiosk you will be able to pick up some interesting summer annuals, perennial border plants or interesting herbs and edibles to grow at home. These have all been grown here so have had to put up with our erratic weather conditions and will be fully hardy. We don’t use peat in any of our compost mixes and we are introducing take away cardboard containers for you to decant your purchases into. This way we get to keep our plastic pots to reuse time and time again, and you don’t end up with stacks of used pots taking up space in the back of your shed, and less plastic is good news for the climate.

Create a Runner Bean and Nasturtium Tower!

Flowers for pollinators and edibles for you to enjoy! Runner beans and nasturtiums planted in the last few weeks will be too big for their pots now – learn how to pot them on and create a beautiful tower to benefit people and wildlife in your sunny back court or garden.

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Flowers for pollinators and edibles for you to enjoy!

Runner beans and nasturtiums planted in the last few weeks will be too big for their pots now – learn how to pot them on and create a beautiful tower to benefit people and wildlife in your sunny back court or garden.