I haven’t posted a Journal entry for a while – apologies.
It’s been a busy few weeks. Spring has arrived here in Bampton and the Kitchen Garden is waking up. I’ve been busy chitting new potatoes, planting onion sets, sowing what seems like hundreds of seeds in the greenhouse, weeding and tidying up the beds in readiness for the planting process to begin.
I’ve got some exciting news. A new stockist for the preserves. Larch Cottage Nurseries.
Larch Cottage Nurseries is not far from here, in the pretty village of Melkinthorpe. It’s an amazing place. Peter and Jo Stott are the owners; over the years they have turned a garden landscape business and plant nursery into an Italianate secret garden with a vast series of garden ‘rooms’ enclosed by Romanesque walls, statuary and urns. Peter built all the walls and paths himself and at the bottom of the gardens is an Italianate chapel, also built by Peter and where Peter and Jo were married.
The gardens showcase a spectacular collection of plants, herbs, annuals, perennials with a spectacular array of azaleas, Japanese acers, magnolias and other specialist plants. Peter and his team are on hand to give advice and make recommendations. People travel from all over the world to explore the gardens and the plant collections.
Lovely buildings in the gardens house the Red Barn gallery which hosts exhibitions and there is an Aladdin’s Cave of a shop selling crafts, ceramics, clothing, bags, throws and much more.
Overlooking the gardens is ‘La Casa Verde’ a charming restaurant and café. The wisteria-clad upstairs terrace is a delight. Little birds visit the terrace to take cake crumbs from your hand. The menu is light Mediterranean, using the freshest of home-grown organic vegetables and salads, all other ingredients are locally sourced. It’s a really relaxing place to have lunch or a snack, as La Casa Verde put it, it’s ‘More Umbria than Cumbria’.
Anyway, the exciting bit about all of this for me is that they are now a full range stockist of preserves from Jeannie’s Kitchen Garden. I am absolutely delighted to be a part of this wonderful enterprise.
If you haven’t been already, go along, give yourself plenty of time to explore the gardens, browse in the Red Barn and tempt your tastebuds in La Casa Verde.
Oh, and buy a jar of preserves on the way out.