JOHN’S JOURNAL

Tales From The Reading Room Kitchen

Time seems to have flown since 2020 and on the 20th March 2020 the Garden Kitchen at Holden Clough closed its doors along with many businesses, at the time we didn’t know that it would be closed for so long and would also close for good! However we always knew that something new would open later down the line….. In the meantime it was a chance to embrace the al fresco living that suited our natural lifestyles and now with that all behind us it’s time to reveal the new food offering we’ve got on the way for opening up in the old cafe space! 

Gardening is all about knowledge, and when you look back there’s a huge amount of gardening know-how that comes from books, with tricks, tips and many tales from a previous gardening era! With Holden Clough dating back to 1927 it only seemed logical to bring the two together, something that harks back to the 1930’s era and what better way than food to enjoy in The Reading Room, decorated in heritage gardening colours with vintage shelving filled with books and memorabilia. A space where you can enjoy a tasty snack sheltered from the Lancashire weather outside and at the same time pick up a book and immerse yourself in a world of gardening, and it will open its doors very soon, towards the middle of October.

Recently we’ve also welcomed a new chef on board at Holden Clough, it’s not good news for my belt buckle but my word there’s lots of tempting things already available from The Shepherds Hut in readiness! Cream Scones and Homemade Soups and Sausage Rolls to get the ball rolling!

We’ve been very lucky this summer to have had such great weather but we all know how the Ribble Valley can become the Dribble Valley overnight so it’s all perfect timing, there’s lots of other exciting things happening in the gardening world aswell at Holden Clough including an abundance of Winter Shrubs in The Frameyard, many new varieties of Pick Your Own Spring Bulbs along with Autumn Colours and flowers across the nursery, its a real haven at the moment and you’ll always find some inspiration for your own garden at home!

There’s also something new on the way for The Botanical Room at the nursery which adjoins The Glasshouse with the welcome arrival of some reclaimed indian furniture along with the addition of lots of new houseplants so watch this space!

An exciting few weeks lie ahead for us at the nursery which makes a nice change with all the doom and gloom on the news, it’s amazing how simply getting outside and enjoying our beautiful surrounds can lift the spirits and The Reading Room Kitchen will certainly give you something to look forward, a new place to meet and pass the time with a bite to eat whilst reading a tale or two! 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE READING ROOM KITCHEN

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Here you can send in and find out the answers to those gardening problems

Do I plant Alliums in clumps ?

You can do but we always recommend planting them individually, as in time that single bulb will reproduce and more flowering stems will appear, the scattered planting initially gives you a great impact throughout your border and then when they bulk up they will thicken out.

Is it a good time to plant a tree?

Now is a perfect time for planting any hardy plants allowing them to get their roots down into the nice warm soil and establish before the Spring returns. Liquidambars look great at this time of year as they have a leaf like a Japanese Acer however they are wind resistant and also don’t mind a moist soil. Then their autumn colour is out of this world, the leaves go from ruby to orange, and then to yellow before they fall.

Are Actaeas hardy?

We had a magnificent display of these at the Harrogate Show forming the underplanting to the Hydrangea urn and yes they’re an unusual but very easy Autumn perennial. They’re drawing to a close now on their flowering but their black foliage throughout the year looks beautiful and when they flower from September to October the flowers are sweetly perfumed as well! The perfect Autumn plant in a very unusual colour combination! Very hardy and they will reliably come back every year flowering more and more each year.

 

JOBS FOR THE WEEKEND

 

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Hydrangea Trees

Very unique and perfect for in a pot, as a feature in the middle of a bed or either side of a path way, they are beautiful! With them being of the paniculata type they flower freely on their new growth and you simply cut back the flowering stems in February and they then double the amount of flowers they produce annually