A small family-run nursery in a Worcestershire village is celebrating 35 years in business this year, by building an edible show garden at the national Malvern Autumn Show (24 & 25 September).
Kim and Rob Hurst of The Cottage Herbery at Knighton-on-Teme, Tenbury Wells, are joining forces with innovative Worcestershire garden designer, Paul Taylor, of Alchemy, to create a centre-piece garden for the event’s popular Good Life Pavilion.
Paul will be in charge of all the hard landscaping while Kim and Rob look after the planting, and the garden will supply the Pavilion Stage chefs with a fresh supply of fragrant herbs, crisp salad leaves, succulent vegetables and some edible flowers.
Daughter India, a graphics graduate, will be using her artistic talents to enhance and stage the area, for a creative finish.
The Cottage Herbery’s philosophy over the years has been to recycle, reuse and re-invent, which marries well with Alchemy’s ethos and design style.
‘The Old Kiln Yard’ is a corner of a much larger hop yard. The walls have tumbled but still provide some shelter, and the area is something of a suntrap. A rill, with gently flowing water provides a sense of history and the garden is richly planted with a mix of old favourites and some exciting newcomers, all grown organically and without the use of peat, in keeping with The Cottage Herbery’s code.
Vintage containers will be planted up with vegetables and flowers and used around the garden, and structural plants such as Angelica, and climbers Malabar Spinach and runner beans, give height to a textured patchwork of aromatic herbs, salad leaves and edible flowers, which will step down naturally to the edge of a path with thymes, marjorams and Chamomile.
Kim was at the Malvern Spring Gardening Show earlier in the year, and met up with Mark Diacono, Head Gardener at River Cottage, whose idea of growing young salad leaves in guttering as a kind of ‘renewable feast’ table centre, has made its way into The Old Kiln Yard Garden.
The dining area will be dressed with the ‘Tansy Tulips’ range of vintage home and garden accessories; an eclectic collection of beautiful fabrics, china, galvanised containers and more.
Said Kim: “I intend the garden to tantalise the taste buds, and prove to be a real feast for the eyes. Of course, 35 years is a long time to be in business, but we relish new challenges. I think building a garden at Malvern will help stand us in good stead for the next project.”
Paul Taylor, whose exquisite permanent show garden at the Three Counties Showground has been insitu for eleven years, is ‘coming out of show garden retirement’ to work with Kim and Rob.
“It’s important that the design of this garden captures the essence and the soul of what the Cottage Herbery is all about”, said Paul. “I am really excited to be working with Kim and Rob and I believe that the public will adore the end result.”
The Old Kiln Yard is one of five gardens in the popular Good Life Pavilion this year, and produce from the garden will be used in the cookery demonstrations taking place over the weekend.
Other attractions include the Royal Horticultural Society Flower Show, the Harvest Pavilion with its monster vegetables, cut flowers and programme of talks, perry and cider, delicious locally produced food, landscaping demonstrations and cooking from The River Cottage team and celebrity chef Gino D’Acampo (Sunday).
The Malvern Autumn Show takes place on Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 September 2011 at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern in Worcestershire.
Tickets are available on the Hotline 01684 584924 or via the website: www.threecounties.co.uk