Rebecca Smith - Garden design & consultancy

Bank Holidays & the Garden at Wyck Farmhouse

Wednesday was actually my 20th wedding anniversary. Unreal. Really unreal. And in true Smith fashion, we did not celebrate on the night, as I was at the Garden Museum with daughter Miranda for an evening hosted by the London College of Fashion. 

Garden Museum

It was an interesting evening and nice to see some familliar faces. I am now an avid follower of hairdresser Sam McKnight's photos on instagram. He tries to capture the moment the blooms or blossoms turn and I find this really interesting, that slight decay of his tulips in his London garden has been captured beautifully. Alistair O'Neil who teaches fashion history gave an incredibly interesting and informed talk about shape in fashion. Did you know that Dior's New Look was originally inspired by the neck of a flower? It was originally called the 'Corolle'. The tiny waist and exaggerated hip have the same shape of an upside-down flower. Photographer Tim Walker had some lovely examples of his work and spoke of how American photographer Bruce Weber inspired his choice of career. 

My favourite part of the Garden Museum is actually the garden. There is a beautiful knot garden at the rear, which made a fabulous spot for a glass of champange in the evening sunshine. 

Garden Museum

At the front, the garden was designed by Dan Pearson, but I haven't got a photograph that does it justice!

Garden Museum, front garden

The weekend started Thursday night. Neighbours came to dinner and we finally cleared up late. Or early...

We were gardening in earnest though now. The rabbits have discovered the raised beds and although I am loath to put 'proper' rabbit proofing around the beds. I devised a cunning (I thought) plan. I bought from the local garden centre eight willow trellises. They expand to over 2 metres in height and I lay them on their sides. Hey - presto! Nice-ish looking rabbit proofing. Of course, it will not keep the pheasants from the fruit but I will address that problem later in the season. 


The lovely wire and copper cloches are from Crocus and are very nice and heavy. They are protecting my sorrel from the rabbits and slugs. 

I also made a trip to Alitex in Hampshire to look at different glasshouses. We will be installing a glasshouse here at the end of the orchard and I know roughly what size I want, it was great to be able to see them first-hand. This is what the view from the porch of the greenhouse will be, looking through the yew hedge into the orchard. The bonfire pile will be moved somewhere less conspicuous. 


Alitex - lean-to glasshouse

The above is an example of their lean-to style glasshouse, designed to go against a wall. I could move in. 

But I also like their paving in the carpark - 

Alitex paving

Food played a large part of this weekend too. We had stewed rhubarb with ice cream and freshly whipped double cream both for supper and I had it this morning with buttermilk pancakes. The recipe is easy (taken from Caroline Conran's 'Delicious Home Cooking':

500g (1 lb) fresh rhubarb

250 g (8oz) sugar

wash rhubarb and trim off ends and leaves. Cut into 2.5cm pieces and put in pan with 2 tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Heat very slowly, covered, so the rhubarb softens and thins down to a puree. Then add remaining sugar and cook, uncovered, until the puree is thick but soft. 

stewed rhubarb

FInally, we decorated for Easter. My children may be teenagers but I still like to have an Easter tree and we still have Mr and Mrs Bunny running around. And there is still far too much chocolate!

Easter Tree


Comments (2)

  1. elizabeth:
    Apr 22, 2014 at 05:40 PM

    your weekend sounds like a great mix of family and fun which is a perfect way to mark 20 years. also, your raised beds and garden are so great looking - it's so much fun to watch this all progress without having to do any of the heavy lifting!

    and thank you for that rhubarb recipe!

  2. Rebecca Smith:
    Apr 25, 2014 at 09:40 AM

    Elizabeth - always a pleasure to share recipes with friends. The garden is a work in progress.

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