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  • Writer's picturegardengateproject

Open Day success & spectacular tulips

Updated: Mar 1, 2023

We were very lucky that a mostly sunny April afternoon enabled us to welcome a bumper crowd to a hugely successful Spring Open Day. It was wonderful to see so many friendly faces, both familiar and new, all enjoying our beautiful garden.

It was all looking spectacular, with its abundance of spring blossom and tulips, bunting fluttering in the breeze and our brightly painted papier-mâché eggs hanging magically from the trees. Thank you to everyone who came along, for eating all our home made cakes and pizza, buying our plants and crafts, and helping us to raise some much needed money for the garden.

Speaking of tulips, they are a real boost to our spirits at this time of year. The diversity of blooms and spectacular array of colours is stunning and one can appreciate how 'tulip mania' gripped Holland when this amazing plant was discovered. Who would think that the changing colours were initially brought about by a tulip disease unrecognised as such at the time!

Going forward in the garden, as bulbs fade and other plants and vegetables grow to take their place, it’s time to get back into our lawn mowing regime and take the chance to savour how lush and vibrant everything looks just before summer takes a hold.

It is with good reason that it’s the month of the Chelsea Flower Show, and one of the best times of the year for visiting gardens in England. Also, remember our Garden Gate Project is close to home, open weekdays from 10am until 3pm and we warmly welcome visitors!

May recipe

May is the month for Broad Beans. After the Purple Sprouting Broccoli, the Fava Beans are the second great treat of the spring. Ideally one would take a large crate of the young early beans to be eaten with a hunk of Pecorino Romano and a chilled glass of Frascati. This, of course, is best enjoyed sitting in the spring sunshine somewhere in the Alban Hills looking down across the aqueducts to Rome.

Back here in Thanet we can enjoy the once a year treat of Broad Bean tops. When the plants are of a certain height and enough of the fruit has set, the tops of the plants can be nipped off, primarily to concentrate energy to the beans, but also to ward off the dreaded blackfly.

The tops themselves are a rare delight with a unique and delicate almost smokey taste that deserves to be cherished.

We would suggest that you may wish to quickly sweat the tops down in just the water you washed them in, a pinch of salt and perhaps some garlic and pepperoncino. Add to some pasta – penne lische (smooth) would be nice, with a glug of olive oil and there’s a lovely little spring lunch.

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