June was a wonderful month for a garden visit to West Dean and
July looks set to be the same. Plenty of sun filled days after the
relentless winter rain have put a skip into the visitors step as
they come along to enjoy all aspects of the gardens and there is
certainly plenty here to tempt them.
Wow! What a difference warm weather makes to a garden! So far
this summer the flower display in the cutting garden and on the
borders in the Walled Garden is looking fantastic with the
rudbeckia trial taking pride of place. Beneficial insects and
butterflies are having a field day too.
After all the rain last year, this year's dry weather is capping
the growth of the garden, you know how it is - gardeners are never
really happy with the weather but our spuds, onions and their
allies have now been harvested in the kitchen garden.
With 9 days to go until festival time and with 180 stalls to
peruse through at the 20th West Dean Chilli Fiesta, there's an
almost endless supply of garden and chilli-based produce to enjoy
including food, drink, souvenirs and gadgets!
Malcolm Riley, a self taught chef, recipe creator and
entrepreneur behind 'The African Chef' brand, was born and raised
in Zambia. He moved to the UK 15 years ago carrying with him a real
passion for food, coming from his Mother's great love of