Creating a vegetable garden was one of the first things we did when we bought the house. It consists of eight raised beds made from old railway sleepers which have a wonderful tarry smell when the sun is hot. It is immensely productive and much of what we grow finds its way on to the dining table – runner beans, French beans, broad beans, snap peas, mangetout peas, green peas, curly kale, courgettes, sweetcorn, shallots, garlic, everlasting onions, bronze fennel, swiss chard, salad leaves of many kinds, celery, asparagus, beetroot and rhubarb. And, of course, we grow herbs – thyme, parsley, rosemary, sage, lovage, mint, lemon balm and French tarragon.
We inherited a somewhat neglected orchard, but we are working on it. We have pruned the old trees and planted some new ones, as well as gooseberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants – not to mention a whole bed of raspberries. Some of the soft fruits make their way into Jennifer’s different jams which are served at breakfast and are also on sale in the kitchen.