I’ve moved some posts over but will be adding to it weekly from now on.
or have a tweet on my new twitter feed @anteggsoup
best wishes Natacha
Some of Britain’s most distinguished and celebrated garden experts are descending on Bowood House & Gardens this June 5th & 6th with a range of enthralling talks and ideas to inspire all garden enthusiasts. From nine to ninety, novice or seasoned veteran, gardeners will receive superb advice from some of the very best experts and growers in the country. Read more about the festival here. More about the talks below.
Headlining will be horticulturist and gardening broadcaster, Toby Buckland, giving talks on herbs and other useful plants including advice on planning and planting. Other garden stars include: Anne Swithinbank of Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time; James Wong discussing his new Book “Grow for Flavour”; Roy Lancaster, distinguished tree expert and plant explorer and BBC 2’s The Big Allotment Challenge presenters, Jim Buttress and Jonathan Moseley entertaining us in the Speaker’s Marquee.
The ‘Inspirations Marquee’ will also have over a dozen gripping slots filled with gardening treasures during the two day event: Graham Harvey agricultural story adviser to The Archers will be speaking out for earth in this ‘International Year of Soil”, learn how to become bee friendly with Paul Jupp of ‘Meadow in my Garden’ or join the debate about the value of our allotments, fast disappearing under pressure from land developments; and if you haven’t heard of Mexican Mouse Melon then stop by and hear all about them from Pennard Plants, a Somerset nursery with one of the most remarkable collections of “Incredible Edibles”….
See the speakers schedule below and book your tickets. All talks are free within the ticket price and there are many other demonstrations and activities throughout the festival www.tobygardenfest.co.uk
FESTIVAL SPEAKERS SCHEDULE 5th & 6th June 2015
Festival opening times from 10am-5pm both days
FRIDAY – SPEAKERS MARQUEE
10.30 TOBY BUCKLAND welcome and intro to the festival
10.45 Roy Lancaster a lifetime in gardening and plant exploration
11.30 James Wong Ethno-botanist, enthusiast of unusual vegetables . James talks about his new book “Growing for Flavour”
12.30 Jim Buttress – interview Gardening Great, RHS Judge, ex-superintendent Royal Parks, BBC Big Allotment Challenge judge
1.15 Kevin Croucher – well known and sometimes controversial nursery owner and plantsman. “Killing them with kindness. How not to plant trees”
14.00 Toby Buckland, President of The Herb Society, talks about “Herbs and other Useful Plants”
14.45 Jonathan Moseley, floral artist, famous for creating amazing flowery displays and floral judge on BBC2’s Big Allotment Challenge
15.30 Q and A with Toby Buckland, James Wong, Jim Buttress and Kevin Croucher
10.45 George Plumptre, Chief Executive of NGS, talks about his fascinating book “The English Country Garden”
11.30 Graham Harvey, agricultural story adviser to The Archers and soil expert. UN designated International Year of Soil 2015.
“The multiple roles of soils often go unnoticed. Soils don’t have a voice, and few people speak out for them. They are our silent ally in food production.” José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General
12.30 Roy Lancaster, world class gardener, arborist and plantsman
13.15 -14.15 Saving Our Allotments Debate: Allotments are disappearing due to rising land prices and pressure of housing needs. Good for our health? Community asset? Encouraging young gardeners? We discuss.
14.30 James Wong – interview – An opportunity to learn more about the life and work of ethno botanist and champion of growing flavoursome vegetables
15.15 Paul Jupp, Paul Jupp runs “Meadow In My Garden” a company offering a range of wild flower seeds and practical products designed to connect with nature, stimulate the senses, soothe the spirit” “Creating a wild flower meadow and bee friendly garden”
SATURDAY 6th Main Marquee:
10.30 Toby Buckland welcome
10.45 Anne Swithinbank “SHOPPING AT THE SHOW” Much respected, Anne is a gardener with huge experience. Regular contributor to Gardeners Question Time and successful author, Anne will be talking about her favourite finds at the show
11.30 Jim Buttress – Interview – Gardening Great, RHS Judge, ex-superintendent Royal Parks, BBC Big Allotment Challenge judge
12.15 Toby Buckland, President of The Herb Society, talks about “Herbs and other Useful Plants”
13.30 Jonathan Moseley, floral artist, famous for creating amazing displays
14.30 Anne Swithinbank – “My Devon Garden” Anne has created a very special garden in Devon filled with her favourite plants
15.30 Q and A with Toby Buckland, Anne Swithinbank, Jim Buttress
SATURDAY 6TH Inspirations Marquee:
11.00 Chris Smith, Pennard Plants. Chelsea Gold Medal Winner and grower of extraordinary plants ”Incredible Edibles”
11.45 Rosy Hardy, Hardy Cottage Plants “Seasonal Perennials” Another Chelsea Gold Medal winner, Rosy is a vastly experienced and respected plantswoman, producing the prettiest of cottage garden plants.
12.30 Marcel Floyd, Floyds Climbers “Clematis” Well known grower of beautiful, showy clematis and other climbers
13.15 Jane Moore, Head Gardener Bath Priory and now Exec gardener of all Andrew Brownsword Hotels “All year round colour and form in the garden”
14.00 Steve Hickman, Agapanthus, holds National collection of these glorious flowers
14.45 Jim Buttress interview (30 mins) Gardening great, RHS Judge, ex- Superintendent Royal Parks, BBC Big Allotment Challenge judge
15.00 Anita Nowinska is best known for her sensuous big flower paintings which have found international acclaim with private and corporate collectors. Her work focuses on the intricate detail of flowers and nature blown up on a large scale.
Clients claim that the paintings have deeply emotive properties, changing mood, providing relaxation, invigoration and change their perspective of how they view nature. Anita will share her thoughts on how to create atmosphere, mood and change emotions through the use of flowers and colour in the home and a share a few anecdotes of some interesting projects.
Toby Buckland’s Garden Festival at Bowood House and Gardens on Friday 5th June and Saturday 6th June 2015
10am- 5pm £12.50 or advance booking online £10. Kids under 16 Free
Toby Buckland, horticulturist, writer and TV presenter brings his brand new Garden Festival a “Celebration of Summer Gardening” to Wiltshire’s Bowood House and Gardens on June 5th and 6th.
Join Toby in Wiltshire this summer, at Bowood House and Gardens to see the very best of gold medal winning nurseries. Enjoy a spectacular display of extraordinary, unusual and beautiful plants with over 100 exhibitors across the estate, children’s gardening activities, local food and craft stalls, and live music in a garden party atmosphere. Bring your picnic blanket and make a day of it.
Toby Buckland will be joined in the main speakers’ marquee by:
In addition to our gardening stars there will be be many other talks, crafts, activities and the best of food and drink.
10am- 5pm £12.50 or advance booking online £10. Kids under 16 Free
Our vegetarian friend came to stay so I made this tasty little supper dish which only takes about twenty minutes to cook and assemble. I didn’t have many varieties of mushroom on hand but adding interesting species like chanterelle and hairy little enoki makes a more beautiful plate. Grilled asparagus on the side? Oh yes.
Ingredients – serves 4
500g selection of fresh mushrooms
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 sheets of lasagne
salt and pepper
300g soft MILD goats cheese
350g cheese bechamel sauce. Recipe in link or use a pot of good quality sauce from the refrigerated section at the supermarket.
1. Place a large pan of water to boil.
2. Fry the mushrooms with the butter and olive oil and fresh thyme. Don’t over cook the mushrooms, better a little raw than sweaty and collapsed. Set aside and keep warm.
3. When the water is at a full boil, drop in the lasagne quickly, a sheet at a time and follow the time on the packet. Stir them gently to stop the sheets sticking together.
4. Drain the lasagne in a colander and carefully add half the cheese sauce.
5. Start with a folded sheet of dressed lasagne, followed with a couple of slices of goat cheese, a spoon of mushrooms and a few shaves of Parmesan.
6. Repeat with a second layer as above.
7. Finish with a last folded sheet of lasagne and top with cheese sauce (shared amongst four servings). Finally, top with shaves of Parmesan and a few thyme leaves (rosemary flowers added a bit of colour).
After last year’s outstanding success, Toby Buckland’s Garden Festival is back at Powderham Castle on Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd May and heralds a new style of gardening show, combining expert horticultural knowledge with plenty of delicious local food, craft, live music and family fun – a great day out for everyone.
10 Things ………..
This is where to get best advice straight from the growers who really know their stuff. If you love gardening, this unique access to so many knowledgeable nurseries is gold dust. Whether you are looking to plant the perfect pond, discover rare raspberries or pot some pinks, you’ll find a plants-person to talk about it with here.
Toby will be joined in a packed programme of talks and demo’s by gardening broadcasters: Christine Walkden, down to earth again after ballooning adventures over Britain; Bob Flowerdew, organic gardening aficionado and Gardener’s Question Time veteran; Jim Buttress and co-judge Jonathan Moseley, both fresh from BBC2’s successful series The Big Allotment Challenge, plus many other fascinating specialists from the festival ‘family’ of nursery exhibitors.
Powderham Castle is one of England’s oldest family homes and been home to the Courtenay family since it was built by Sir Philip Courtenay in 1391. Powderham Castle is located in a beautiful setting just outside Exeter, beside the Exe estuary. The Castle is open to the public from 27th March to 30th October 2015, and provides a perfect history-laden family day out.
For the first time the festival will host a fun “pop-up” restaurant BOOK now for a delicious Devon lunch from Burnicombe Farm, in High Hat tipis set in the heart of the deer park. The tipis are just one part of a whole new selection of caterers who have been hand-picked with the same care as the specialist nurseries.” Dearly loved Devon producers such as Hunters Ales, recently seen on BBC2’s ‘The Fixer’: Victoria Cranfield, famous condiment maker and winner of the “World’s Best Marmalade Award”; Pipers Farm, best butcher and meat producer at the Devon Life awards plus newcomers like ‘Two Birds Kitchen’ in their vintage caravan and ‘Just Pigs’ who do amazing and delicious things with pork. There will be talks on growing edible things too from Christine Walkden, and many others during the two days.
There’s a new dynamic element to our event as “Teign Trees and Landscapes” have climbers in the trees at the festival main entrance gateway throughout the day doing exciting tree climbing demos and challenges and will be part of our spectacular entrance ceremony. They’ll also be offering harnessed, supervised tree ‘climbs’ for children and be on hand to answer tree surgery questions and discuss conservation.
“Growing Devon Schools” will have a marquee with ‘mud kitchen’ ‘musical vegetables’, ‘compost corner’ and more, providing an opportunity to wonderfully support young children’s natural desires to explore and discover, imagine and create, relate and interact with soil. Bicton College will be in the marquee at the festival, building a garden live on site.
From botanical cooking to urban mushroom farming, the ‘Kitchen Cuttings’ talks & demos take place in the Castle’s Victorian Kitchen and cover a diversity of topics that take gardening into other realms of interest. Meet Chris Greenman who took inspiration from heritage tools in his grandfather’s shed to create ergonomic implements that help the gardeners back; learn the tricks from Steven Hickman, the Agapanthus Man, who runs the only nursery which dedicated to agapanthus and tulbaghia, and discover how GroCycle turn old coffee grounds into blooms of oyster mushrooms – just some our popular and intimate sessions with exceptional exhibitors.
Toby Buckland is the new President of The Herb Society, an internationally renowned educational charity, so as part of the festival we are celebrating history, fragrance and flavour of these plants. The Herb Society are bringing a 1636 leather-bound volume of Gerard’s Herball, giving visitors an opportunity to view this 400 year old book, on a rare outing from the Society’s vaults. The St Nicholas Priory “Tudor Herbal Wives” will be demonstrating their many uses and Toby will be discussing practical modern applications of herbs with useful tips and ideas on growing and enjoying them.
Everyone’s invited to Toby’s festival from novice or seasoned veteran, from nine to ninety. This year a bloom-bedecked Tuk-Tuk taxi will take those less able up the Castle ramp and over the moat to the flower filled courtyard.
Toby welcomes everyone to his festival at Powderham Castle in Devon and is also delighted to announce a second, new festival, at Bowood House and Gardens, Wiltshire on 5th and 6th June 2015. The duo of festivals will be celebrating gardening throughout the South and West.
Toby Buckland’s Garden Festival at Powderham buy tickets here
Friday 1st May and Saturday 2nd May 2015
10am- 5pm Tickets £7.50 (or £6 if you book online now) kids under 16 are free
Directions here: Powderham Castle, Kenton, Near Exeter, EX6 8JQ
A year has passed and I’m posting this again because my husband and I still share a green smoothie every morning and I’m glad I bought this little gizmo. Speed, that’s what I love about our NutriBullet. I used to have a juice extractor that took over an hour to produce one cup of juice – you had to chop the vegetables, ram the bits into a narrow feeder tube a little at a time, then take it apart and clean 8 different pieces with a toothbrush thingy. Ahhh! and you don’t even get the fibre. I sold it on Ebay with great joy. Now I make a fabulous fruit and veg smoothie every morning in about 30 seconds, with a nifty little machine that pulverises everything to such a smooth consistency I can suck it through a…
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Just made divine lemon curd with the girls in 1/2 an hour. It’s liquid gold and really easy to make, with a few ingredients stirred in a bowl over boiling water.
4 lemons, zest and juice
200g vanilla sugar
100g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3 free-range eggs, plus 1 free-range egg yolk
Zest and juice the four lemons into a heat-proof glass bowl, then add the sugar and the butter.
Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl. Stir the mixture every now and again until all of the butter has melted.
Meanwhile, break the eggs and yolk into another bowl and whisk lightly, then stir them into the lemon mixture.
Whisk again until all of the ingredients are well combined, then leave to cook for anything from 10-20 minutes, stirring every so often, until the curd is creamy and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Remove the lemon curd from the heat and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally as it cools down.
Once cooled, resist drinking it straight from the bowl, and spoon the lemon curd into sterilised jars to eat later.
This delicious elixir is much richer and sharper than shop bought curd. We recommend it on toast, stirred into Greek yoghurt, poured on porridge or just eaten straight from the jar with a big spoon.
Keep the jars in the fridge. Makes Two 250g jars
This dish tastes of the sea and makes a superb supper dish in just 15 minutes.
1 kilo of small washed clams
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 shallot sliced finely (optional)
3 tbls Virgin olive oil
1 a knob of butter
250 ml good, dry white wine
15 cherry tomatoes (small ones are tastier)
400g of spaghetti
1 handful of chopped fresh parsley
1 chopped fresh green chilli (optional)
Take a look at the packet instructions of your spaghetti and notice the recommended cooking time because you will need to know ( in this case,11 minutes). You will also need a timer.
Take a large pan and put it on the heat to boil.
When the water is boiling, add the spaghetti with some salt, swirl it into the water and bring back to the boil. Start your timer. At the same time, place another empty pan on the stove to heat up.
With 5 minutes to go on your pasta (6 minutes into the cooking time for mine), add the olive oil and butter to the hot, empty pan. Throw in the garlic and chopped shallot, wait for a few seconds then tip in the clams and the wine. Shake them about. Place a lid on the pan, give it a last shake and replace on the heat. After 3 or four minutes the clams will start to open and release their juices so shake the pan to move them around.
When your timer rings, drain your spaghetti,
Remove the lid of the clam pot and check the clams are all open, then add the spaghetti and tomatoes.
Stir and toss for another minute or so to let the delicious juices become absorbed into the pasta.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve scattered with the parsley.