How delighted I was that despite the heatwave conditions thrown at us these last few months (and though given the opportunity to opt out), last Saturday's eager participants stuck to their guns to attend the very first inThe Kitchen Garden for 2018. For although the kitchen garden may not be lush, green and heaving with the yield of produce to be expected in a good year.....it is filled with an honest representation of the cycle of a harsh summer season, so no less beautiful in its way. We picked plump grapes and exquisite figs, ate like kings, didn't draw breath for hours on end and everyone left with fresh plucked seed to plant in their own gardens. It was a real treat of a way to begin the year's events.
And so as all gardeners are inclined to do, I am looking to the season ahead (which naturally is going to be stupendously glorious in every single way!) and I invite you to join me to talk all things planning, and doing....getting to the real crux of beginning the autumn/winter garden anew at the next inTHE KITCHEN GARDEN WITH MICKEY on SATURDAY 3 MARCH.
Already I'm instigating the beginning of our seasonal crop rotation, though as last week's participants will testify, all was not lost during the high-summer weeks. I'm confident the good practices implemented will yield a happy autumn outcome, like the magical sunflower above which stands tall, commanding attention amongst romantic fading fennel flowers as I write. I very much hope you will join me to savour the delights of late summer, and learn how to plan and what to do for the season that awaits us next.
For all details and to make a booking, please click here where you can choose either the morning or afternoon session for 3 MARCH (mornings begin with morning tea and end with lunch....afternoons begin with lunch and end with afternoon tea). If you have any questions, please just contact me - it's only me at the other end! By the way, while I think of it, there won't be an April inThe Kitchen Garden because I've nominated the first Saturday of the month for these regular days and sadly that date clashes with the Collectors' Plant Fair where once again, I'll have a stall.
On an entirely different topic, I'm going to focus for just a moment on The Essential Dress: I had rather a lot of enquiries last year about the dress in the darker colour and as I'm about to place my first dress order for the year, I wonder how many of you might be interested? Perhaps you could contact me if the thought has crossed your mind? Don't worry, I won't hold you to it, but an indication of interest (or not!) would be valuable. You see I really never have any idea how many of each size to order - I just take a stab in the dark and hope for the best! So far so good, though I do run out of a size from time to time. But ordering meterage of the alternate colour puts me in a bit of a quandary for sizing. I love my dark one - it's a kind of mouse/donkey colour and very useful for visiting the big smoke for a work day or the Highlands once the chill sets in.....I wear it with chocolate suede ballet pumps and have an ancient, boxy, plaid Cabbages & Roses sludgy-tweed jacket that goes with it rather well. A few of you declare your wardrobe would be a disaster without it! So please let me know if it sounds like it might hit the spot - I can forward an image of the colour for you to see if you haven't already clocked me wearing it or seen it hanging from the bamboo rod in the Barn. Of course, I'll be ordering more in the natural colour too.
We still have places available for the GREAT DIXTER TWILIGHT SUPPER next week on FRIDAY 16 FEBRUARY with Aaron Bertelsen and Barbara Sweeney, on behalf of Phaedon. Oh what fun - I'm now planning the menu to tie Aaron's recipes in with our season and pouring over his delightful book - a must for all gardener/cooks. We'd love to see you as the day fades to night at the beginning of the weekend. For those further afield, why not tack on a weekend away in the Highlands? We're enroute from Sydney and only a hop, skip and jump of a country drive that wouldn't be too late to deliver you safe at the other end. Equally, I know there's no traffic heading back into the city by then! All details and the booking form here.
Very best wishes to all,
ps The Great Dixter Twilight Supper invitation can be viewed in the newsletter archive on the website (as can all previous newsletters!).