Our potager is central to our enterprise, growing and raising produce for family and Bed & Breakfast – it is a work in progress.
You will have read about the Potager as Hilary reports her activities – such as preparing and planting and how they fit in with the Welsh seasons. The Potager is seasonal in another sense; it being a work in progress, we must take account of the weather because of sensitive building materials. It is my responsibility to complete this project in a reasonable time (I do most of it myself) while avoiding disruption to Hilary’s productive efforts.
When we arrived at Tyrannell (then The Old Vicarage) there was a manège where the Potager is now. Our predecessors owned horses and had levelled the lower part of a sloping area at the South extreme of the grounds for the manège. The remaining unlevelled area formed a cliff about 5′ high, beyond this they made raised beds and erected a polytunnel.
We do not keep horses, so the manège was left to itself while we settled in, producing lovely wild growth and copious frogspawn in the large puddles which persisted due to the hard clay and shale-chip soil.
Meanwhile, above the cliff we worked the existing raised beds and polytunnel with some success. However, the slope made it very hard work and we both eyed the level expanse of the manège with envy.
It was not long before we formed a plan to cultivate the manège, but our ambition was catalysed when we read Delia Smith’s article on her brand new walled garden.
I told Hilary I wanted to make her one. She said I was mad – perhaps overambitious, on second thoughts. I drew a plan (see above) and listed the advantages, glossed over the effort and timescale, and promised to prioritise the vegetable beds so we could cultivate things right from the start.
Hilary thought we should call it ‘The Potager’, which I liked because it didn’t take long to say. She said to get on with it, so I did. Although we are not finished we have much in place and working, including the first 20′ section of our 50′ x 10′ greenhouse.
You can see a picture of the Greenhouse in Hilary’s blog on restocking the apiary.