Autumn menu, floral workshops from Bloom & Burn and news from Water Lane

Hello and welcome to our first newsletter from the team here at Water Lane, where, occasionally, we will share a few thoughts and update you on goings-on from the walled garden.

It’s been a busy first season here and we have been delighted to welcome so many friends and new friends through our bright green gate for breakfast, lunch and tea in the afternoon under the stretch awning, to purchase freshly harvested vegetables, cut flowers and honey from our weekend produce table, or simply to have a walk around the long border, sweet pea tunnel and dahlias. 

The end of September heralds the start of a new eating season, as Summer slowly succumbs to Autumn’s charms.

In the glasshouses we still have a few tomatoes, the ones which survived the horrendous bout of blight, plenty of chillis and at last, some aubergines. There’s chard and promise of some autumn broad beans, whilst our French beans just keep on giving. But we are now welcoming squash and pumpkins in all shapes and sizes as well as the first Water Lane cauliflowers that are being harvested for our Autumn Caponata.

Blackberries, tart and sour, from the lanes and the wilder spots around the site are being foraged for a delicious autumnal salad of kale, spelt, pickled beetroot and toasted breadcrumbs. On the larger plates are skate wings with freshly picked sprouting broccoli and capers and our crisp kohlrabi will be found in the creamy coleslaw next to our wood fired salt march lamb chops.

The cutting flower garden has truly flourished in the last few months of late season sunshine, and we can hardly keep up between dead heading and cutting long stems for arranging. 

 Visit our produce table at Water Lane on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays where our friend and local florist, Pia from Vetiver Wild, is creating gorgeous market bunches of dahlia, cosmos, achillea, rudbeckia, verbascum, antirrhinum, ammi visnaga and herbs such as lemon balm. Scented and seasonal, all bunches are pre-made, conditioned and ready to take home with prices starting at £15. 

We’re delighted to welcome our friend and neighbour Graeme Corbett from floral design studio Bloom & Burn to Water Lane.

In a series of floral workshops, Gee will teach how to style seasonal British flowers, freshly harvested from our own cutting garden. With workshops including How to make Hand-Tied Bouquets, Styling Flowers at Home, Dried Flower Centrepieces, Halloween Table Centrepieces and Christmas Wreath Making, there’s plenty to choose from.

With dates running from the end of September to December, each workshop will start with a short, guided tour of our garden, currently full of late summer blooms such as dahlias, sunflowers and rudbeckia, and will explain how Water Lane’s Ian James grows and cuts flowers for floristry.

All stems will be cut and conditioned ready for use in the Pelargonium House and under Gee’s careful guidance you’ll be shown how to create floral arrangements using pin frogs and chicken wire for naturalistic, wild and beautiful displays, showing off the flower and foliage texture and form. Classes start from £65 including all tools, materials, refreshments and cake. Participants are also invited to book a table for lunch at Water Lane’s restaurant.

We look forward to welcoming you to Water Lane,

Nick and Ian