Vegetable varieties from across the world are establishing well in RHS Garden Hyde Hall’s Global Growth Vegetable Garden, thanks in no small part to British Sugar TOPSOIL’s planting topsoil, HortLoam, which is the major component of the planting medium.
The new garden, which was designed by Xa Tollemache to celebrate the huge range of crops from across the globe that can be grown in the UK, was officially opened in July. The unusual circular design is divided into quarters, each representing a different continent. The garden is finished in Italian porphyry stone and many of the crops are planted in curved raised beds created from oak sleepers and filled with a blend of two parts HortLoam with one part native clay and green waste compost, providing an open, friable and humus-rich medium ideal for growing vegetables and fruits from around the world.
Whilst traditional crops are being grown, including carrots, potatoes, sweetcorn and peas, and some plants regarded as ornamental yet with an edible element such as hostas, dahlias and amaranthus, the garden is also pushing the boundaries by attempting to grow unusual crops and crops that are hard to grow in the UK, such as heat-loving chickpeas and Asian salad leaves such as mizuna and pac choi, which prefer a cool climate. More unusual crops such as tiger nuts, with their coconut-flavoured root nodules, and wonderberries, a relative of deadly nightshade, which can be eaten when fully ripe and used in jams and purees, are also doing well.
National TOPSOIL manager Andy Spetch said: “Seeing this project rise from plans to reality has been a great experience. We were delighted that the RHS chose HortLoam for such a high profile scheme and it is very satisfying to see how well the garden is establishing. It shows that HortLoam is a highly efficient planting topsoil, ideal for flower and shrub beds as well as vegetables.”
RHS Garden Hyde Hall, home of the Global Growth Vegetable Garden, is situated near South Woodham Ferrers in Essex, 20 minutes south east of Chelmsford.