Tag: food


This week I planted out 40 Kale plants in the Batty Langley vegetable garden that have been quietly growing along in the greenhouse since September. We are trying three varieties, ‘Red Russian’, ‘Cavolo Nero’ and ‘Borecole – Green Curled Dwarf’.

Kale does well over the colder months, so will hopefully add some interest in the garden over the following darker months. As pigeons take a fancy to stripping the foliage off plants in the Brassica family, the precaution of placing net over the kale plants has been necessary to stop them becoming just tattered stems!

I have used two beds to grow the kale in, with 20 plants in each one, and to create a neat formal look the use of a tape measure was implemented to ensure even spacing.

The botanical name for kale is Brassica oleracea var. acephala, ‘Brassica’ being the genus consisting of cabbages, ‘oleracea’ meaning that the plant can be used as a vegetable and ‘acephala’ meaning ‘without a head’, i.e that the plant is loose leafed rather than with a head as many cultivated cabbages have. Kale has a long history as a food crop, being one of the most important green vegetables in Europe up until the end of the Middle Ages.


Autumn Harvest: Apples, Potatoes, Vegetables

A day to celebrate all the good things nature has brought us…
Apples, veg and potato displays, excellent food, cake and bread sales, cob-oven cooking, foraging walks, storytelling from the Green Man, dancing with the Glorishears of Brummagem Molly Dancers, snap apple, apple printing and other family craft activities.

Bring a bottle to fill with your own juiced apples. Bring any apples from your own trees or have harvested from trees on common land.
A day of sharing, swopping recipes, sharing cooking secrets and making. 

Our apple harvest hasnt been great this year, but there is still plenty on common land trees. You are welcome to bring apples to share or to crush and take home in your own bottles…
(we cant guarantee your success, but lets have a go)

Join Dr Rob Tilling for a foraging walk around and outside the Gardens and outside the walls (1.30 ish for 40mins).
Food from Change Kitchen, our local jam and cake wizards and more.

Normal entry prices

(RHS and Garden Members £3.50)



The Gardens are blessed with 2 apple and pear orchards and espaliered fruit fences all planted with over 60 heritage varieties dating back to the 1500s.

Like many fruit growers we’ve had a mixed year.

Normally we are able to produce a goodly number of single variety fruit juices for sale to our visitors. A radical pruning of the trees last year combined with the weather, has meant the crop this year is almost non-existent. (don’t worry it’s all to the good,we hope for an even bigger crop next year.

Undaunted, our annual Apple day this year will turn its focus to the urban harvest within our local community and the abundance of crab apples and other apple trees on the public land hereabouts. On 15th October it will be ‘Bring a Bottle’ and ‘juice your own’ – our three donated apple presses will be hard at work all day.

Our large veg plot – in 18th century ‘stylee’ the Batty Langley,usually provides a good crop of Cardoons, Artichokes, Squashes and Rhubarb. This year our younger visitors also planted up a runner bean tunnel …their effort have been rewarded with a great crop.

Earlier in the year visitors also helped us plant some special heritage potato varieties.

Early potato varieties, reputedly planted by local hero Sir Matthew Boulton, were re-introduced in the Garden but we have yet to test the taste of the tiny Yam and Congo varieties..

A good crop of Arran Victory, the potato named to celebrate the end of the 1914-18 war, has also been harvested – so we have plenty of seed potatoes for 2018 commemorations.

Together with Highland Burgundy red and Salad Blue, we’re hoping to produce red, white a blue mash!

Come along to our Harvest day Sunday 15th October 2017, 12.30 -4.30

(dont foget bring your apples, some clean bottles… and hopefully after a little elbow grease on the apple presser you’ll take home your very own juicy drink :_)

More details soon



National Gardens Scheme: Charity Activity Day

Saturday July 8th 12:30 – 4:30

Our multiple charity day: You give – we give away.
Lots of goodies to sample or take part in, including :

  • Change Kitchen doing a pop-up of vegan and veggie food,
  • Our friend Trevor from Hosta Groundcare will lead our popular- Summer Baskets Workshop (£20).
  • And, to celebrate Wimbledon; Some informal coaching from Pype Hayes tennis club coaches and a spot of croquet on the lawn too.

Join in and make a difference to one of the many nursing charities supported by the National Gardens Scheme
Usual Entry prices
We will be donating to the NGS National Charities
To find out what these are visit the NGS site HERE


Pop-up cafe with music on the Lawn

Relaxed afternoons in the Gardens … a little time to ‘take time for me’. a pop-up cafe from local, artisan and quality food businesses and some live music to chill out

This month we are delighted to welcome the award winning Indian takeaway specialists ‘Chutney Express‘.
Based in Castle Bromwich, they have in just four years been crowned King of Curries in the West Midlands and been national finalists twice for the national Curry awards.

Meet them and try some of their yummy food in our relaxed pop-up cafe.
Dave – who is also one of our Garden guides, will be providing some gentle background guitar music too.
Good prices, good food and good company .
Usual Garden entry prices 


Music and Tea on the Lawn – Afternoons for relaxing

A new series of gentle, relaxed afternoons where you can take full advantage of the Gardens for some ‘me-time’.
We’ve asked some of the best local or artisan food businesses to run a one day pop-up cafe in the Orangery at the Gardens.
This month you can try some truly luscious cakes made by Bakes and Bits.
They currently operate in the city centre but hail originally from Castle Bromwich.

To put the ‘cherry on the cake’ of your afternoon experience we are also offering aspiring local musicians a chance to entertain our visitors while they chill and chomp on their cupcakes. We may not have a bandstand.. but we’ll have handpicked buskers to bathe your ears.
Good prices, good food and good company ..

Usual Garden entry prices
PS – We are still offering music slots – contact us if you are interested in knowing more
(Sun May 21st, Sat June 17th , Sat. July 8th & Sun July 23rd)

1940's Weekend

1940s Weekend

Another weekend full of nostalgia, stories, music and vintage fun.

Seriously good entertainment from Kevin Mack, George Formby Experience, Harmony Belle and many others.

Re-enactors from the home front: Peggy Skivvy, Victory Belles WI, Bevan Boys. Reminders of the fighting forces: Pathfinders, Red Caps and many many more.

Vehicles, encampments and vintage sales.

Get your hair done 40s style (KDB Vintage Hairstyling), try on some frocks…

Enjoy cakes, ale (from the hotel bar) and hog roast.

Fun for all the Family.

Buy your tickets on the door. Normal everyday entry prices to the Gardens. See HERE

Please note: The Saturday night dance is ticketed separately – SORRY, we’re all sold out !