Bumper crop in the Piermaster’s House garden

2 August 2007 by Sam

hands holding potatoes

Freshly dug King Edward potatoes from the Piermaster’s House wartime garden

Over the last few months I’ve been keeping an eye on the garden at the Piermaster’s House, where green fingered attendant Brian Jones grows an incredible range of vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers, as an example of the types of things people might have grown in their own gardens during the war.

When I first visited the garden in May the crops were barely out of the ground, then in June the runner beans had grown about halfway up their poles. It was incredible to see the difference this morning – the runner beans are now taller than Brian! The recent wet weather has really done the garden good, at least there were some benefits to all that rain last month.

Brian’s already planning to cook up some of his produce for a meal with his colleagues at the Maritime Museum. There have been glowing reports from people who have tried some of the peas and runner beans already. It’s all organically grown, which Brian feels adds to the great taste. He says the salty air at the docks keeps the slugs away naturally, which is a benefit of the exposed city centre site. People are always surprised by the quantity and the huge variety of things that he grows in the tiny garden in such an unusual location. He hopes that he has inspired some visitors to see what they can grow themselves at home.

There are more photos in a Flickr slideshow of the wartime garden that show how it has developed since May, as well as some of the strawberries, peas and other things Brian has grown there.

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