February at Water Lane

The slowness and lethargy, that always seems to mark a grey January, has disappeared as quickly as a light dusting of frost now we are racing into February. Sights are set firmly on Spring and there is much to be done in the walled garden as bulbs push up into the light, and there are seed trays and potting compost, seemingly, on every available surface. We have an exciting few months’ ahead at Water Lane and will share some details with you here. As ever, please follow our journey and more details on dining and events, on our Instagram page, here.

In the quiet of January, we’ve been busy making plans for the walled garden, meeting with friends and experts and generally getting excited about how we improve what we’ve already begun as well as making sure we enjoy the potential that the garden and grounds here have to offer us.

We’re by no means horticultural experts, although everyday, we learn a little more with the help of our garden team. But when it comes to exploring the potential of what our site can offer, we knew we had to call on our friend Jo Thompson to work with us. Jo’s an award-winning designer at Chelsea (four Gold Medals and five Silver Gilts), as well as winning the People’s Choice Award at the inaugural RHS Chatsworth show in 2017. She plays an important role at RHS sitting on various panels and committees. She’s also a neighbour having lived in nearby Ticehurst for the last nine years.

So, we’re pleased to announce that Jo Thompson Landscape and Garden Design are now working with us to oversee the development of the garden. At the moment, we’re at the very early stages of the process, but there are lots of exciting ideas flying around. At the top of our list is enhancing what’s already here and ensuring that sustainability and biodiversity will be at the heart of all that we do. Ensuring the garden stays true to its productive roots, while creating something undeniably beautiful too. As our plans develop, we’ll be sure to share them with you.
We continue to be inspired by the makers and creators that we stock in the Water Lane shop. One of our favourites, especially after a long day in the garden or cooking, is the Farm Soap Company, who make small batch botanical soap and skincare products, fresh from farm to face. In Autumn and Winter Silvana uses plants from warmer climes for essential oils and in the Spring and Summer, she grows and distils skincare herbs and flowers from an organic walled garden. Dorset sea salt and seaweeds are sourced from the shores of the Jurassic Coast. Silvana’s soaps are rich in borage seed oil, a wonderful skincare ingredient rich in moisturising and anti-inflammatory properties. Originally a native plant of the Mediterranean, the little blue flower, with its distinctive star shape happily grows in the UK. We have swathes of it in the raised beds at Water Lane and value it for cooking and cocktail decorating purposes, as much as the bees love its nectar.  Do try Silvana’s beautiful, traditional and handmade soaps and bath salts and let us know what you think.


Thank you and we look forward to seeing you soon at Water Lane,

Nick and Ian