With the West Dean Chilli Fiesta just around the corner and
celebrating its 20th year of scorching the tongues of countless
iron stomached patrons young and old, what better way to begin our
build-up of one of the biggest and best chili festivals.
I'm going to start with an invitation, well more of plea really
to come along to West Dean soon to admire the wild flowers in the
gardens and arboretum - it really is a delightful show and like all
good things will come to an end soon.
Sarah Wain, West Dean Gardens' chilli growing expert, grows
around 250 varieties of chillies in the Victorian Glasshouses in
the Kitchen Gardens. Here, Sarah shares her top ten chillies to
grow for their special qualities...
So, after all the planning processes and architect's meetings,
it looks like the creation of the Otter Farm Kitchen Garden School
will begin this summer. It's hard to imagine diggers, cranes,
be-hatted builders and daily deliveries will soon be busying over
this space, but hopefully they will.
One of the great advantages of gardening in Britain is the
opportunity to grow an enormous range of plants. For this we owe a
great debt to the plant hunters, who have furbished our gardens
with treasures gathered, often under considerable duress, from
around the world.
I'm a great believer in "an Englishman's home is his castle" so
I have no desire to proscribe gardening style. Equally I look to
nature for inspiration and guidance in how I garden and the first
comment in relation to the regimental approach above is that nature
doesn't "do" bare soil.
West Dean Gardens is joining the Royal Horticultural Society in
celebrating National Gardening Week (13 - 19 April). Launched four
years ago by the RHS it has grown into the UK's biggest celebration