Tel: 020 8450 8318 or Email: roberts@londonediblegardens.com
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ENTRIES

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PLANNING FOR WINTER
 

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AMAZING AUTUMN
 

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SUMMER IN THE GARDEN
 
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LATE SPRING &
WORKING HARD


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CHEF'S TABLE
IN VICTORIA GREENHOUSE


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HERB GARDEN AND BUTTERFLY HOUSE

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ORCHARD FOR WALDORF ASTORIA

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EDIBLE GARDEN FOR HOTEL AT SYON PARK

.......................................... RANDOM MEETING LEADS TO HOTEL CONTRACT

.......................................... WHY AN EDIBLE GARDEN?

.......................................... FUTURE TITLES HERE

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PLANNING FOR WINTER

NOVEMBER 2011:

Winter is almost here, although we have been incredibly lucky with the mild weather so far. Everywhere I've been the Autumn displays have been truely spectacular.
In the edible garden, if you plan well you can still enjoy fresh produce throughout the winter months, with sprouts, parsnips and cabbages. (You may want to protect your crops from frost.) Potatoes can be on a continuous rotation – when you harvest one batch think about planting the next... We are planning several potato areas at London Syon Park – there really is nothing like freshly-dug new potatoes all year round.
And don't forget to feed the ground and rest areas when you can, putting vital minerals and elements back into the ground with well-rotted compost.
If, like us, you're thinking of bowls of delicious soft fruit in the early summer sunshine then now's the time to be planting out raspberry bushes. Go to the BBC Gardening website for clear advice on the best way to support them and prepare the ground.
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AMAZING AUTUMN


SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER 2011:

The edible gardens at London Syon Park are almost a year old and they have exceeded all my expectations. Chef Lee and I are now planning to expand the range of fruit and vegetables ready for 2012. We are also looking forward to seeing the fruit trees in full blossom in the spring (right next to the lobby of the hotel).
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SUMMER IN THE GARDEN


JUNE, JULY AND AUGUST 2011:
Its been fabulous this year, really amazing. I've had no time to update my blog but you can catch up on  news of our large edible garden at London Syon Park by following me and Chef Lee Streeton on Twitter... Elsewhere, my team is expanding as we have been kept fully occupied over the summer developing gardens for several clients in North London.
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LATE SPRING AND WORKING HARD...


APRIL/MAY 2011:
It's an exciting time as the results of the team's hard work in late winter and early spring come to life in the gardens. We will be posting an update on latest developments very soon.
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 CHEF'S TABLE IN VICTORIAN GREENHOUSE

14th MARCH 2011:
Its been some weeks since my last entry and all the loose ends re the Edible Garden project at the Waldorf Astoria, Syon Park, have now pretty much been tied-up. As ever Alison and Julius have been brilliant in every way. The Kitchen Garden area has now been fully prepared with 20 tonnes of soil conditioner (supplied by West London Composting) and rotovated in.

The Fruit trees are going in this week, creating two orchard areas in the hotel grounds. Chef Lee and I are going to be installing our Greenhouse Chef’s Table within the next 10 days so that guests and day visitors alike will be able to enjoy excellent food and wine prepared in the rustic surroundings of a working greenhouse. Lee and I will be on hand to entertain the guests and show them how we work closely together to bring our fresh, in-house produce into our seasonal menus… something we like to call 'Landscape Cookery'.

The next task will be the preparation of those vegetables and herbs which need to be propagated in the greenhouse before planting out. MORE >

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 HERB GARDEN AND BUTTERFLY HOUSE READY FOR PRESS LAUNCH


28 FEB 2011:
With a major pre opening press event taking place tonight my support team (Alison and Julius) were hard at work finishing off the herb garden so it looks good… I do not know what I would do without them. Chef Lee is hard at work in the kitchen bossing everyone around. I must say, forget all the TV cookery shows, it is quite something watching a top chef in action! I was finishing off planting a Heliquarium (a special kind of butterfly aquarium for the Heliconius Butterfly), the largest of its kind in the world.

Another wet day. I must admit that I am so looking forward to getting the greenhouse into shape over the next few weeks so that we can really start really to plan the growing programme. MORE >

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 ORCHARD AND GREENHOUSE FOR THE WALDORF ASTORIA


27 FEB 2011:
Much planning has gone into planting-out the orchard and other areas to be planted with trees. The first round of Orchard trees will be Cox Orange Pippin Apples and Comice Pears. (Chef Lee tells me that they are great in desserts.) OOP’S the orchard is moving!! It goes with the territory. Plans made, plans change!! The area where the Orchard was is now being planted with 24 Populus Tremula Erecta as they are able to cope with the tough soil conditions. Still, by Friday, I will have them exactly where I want them – near to  the greenhouse, which actually arrived today. MORE >

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 EDIBLE GARDEN FOR HOTEL AT SYON PARK


10 JAN 2011: After 3 months of negotiation and planning, I am finally starting on this project that will, assuming all goes to plan, will result in the finest hotel kitchen garden in London. The project will include a separate Orchard, Herb Garden and a traditional Victorian greenhouse with a Chef’s table – where guests and visitors can eat and drink in the unusual setting of an operational greenhouse.

It is a little frustrating sitting in an office for several months (mind you December was not fun outdoors) planning, negotiating with potential suppliers and looking for experienced staff. That’s done now. [All my tools are from Fiskars and Sankey, and my Greenhouse is being supplied by Hartley Botanic.] MORE >

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 RANDOM MEETING LEADS TO HOTEL CONTRACT

NOV 2011: Last week I had a strange encounter with a mysterious black Range Rover. I was collecting my son from scouts when a big black car pulled up next to my van at traffic lights in North London (my van logo is quite striking thanks to my design guru!). The window wound down and the rather scary driver asked for one of my cards, took it and disappeared. You must be joking, I thought… Err, no. The driver of the Range Rover called me a minute later and started to tell me about a project that sounded to good to be true.

A week later, I'm walking around a building site in the extensive grounds of Syon Park where a 5 star luxury Waldorf Astoria Hotel has been built and is due to open soon. Today I met the Head of Group Hotel Operations (scary man in the Range Rover) and the Head Chef, Lee Streeton, who is a real character (more about him soon). I realised this was going to be a massive project and certainly much bigger than I had ever taken on in the 5 years since starting in the gardening business. As we walked around the grounds we started first to discuss the herb garden – then walked over to the area we thought suited the vegetable area and as we walked around I made suggestions about an orchard and a greenhouse... and the project took on a life of its own.

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 'WHY AN EDIBLE GARDEN'? ROBERT STOUTZKER REPLIES:

3 AUG 2010: Do you remember the 70's TV series The Good Life? (Its often on BBC re-runs if you don't). Well forget chickens, pigs and messy vegetable patches!

An urban garden in the summer months can be full of colour where you can wander out to find some fresh rocket, or other edible leaves, and serve them in your dinner party salad. Or pick a few Nasturtium flowers to add peppery flavour and vibrant colour [see our Nasturtium Salad idea].

Over the coming months as the seasons change, I'll be filling you in on what is happening in the garden where the kids can have lots of fun too...


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NEW BLOG COMING SOON:

DATE 2011: Text coming soon.



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