It will be very interesting to see how well crops do; it breaks every rule about no-dig system, where good quality top-dressing supplements high quality initial soil preparation.
Though it was a shame we weren't quite able to get enough people for the guided tour to run, our group trip was very jolly indeed and Sissinghurst in the full glory of its spring show. The Lime Walk, Nuttery and Dleos (the areas designed by Vita Sackville West and Harold Nicholson specifically for spring colour) were absolutely spectacular. A bright breezy day meant it was warm and dry enough for outdoor picnics but there weren't the hoards of people who can sometimes make a visit a bit overcrowded.
Some of us were particularly keen to see the newly-established vegetable and fruit garden, which is intended to provide produce for the restaurant and was started in 2009. It was clear that most of the work had been done very recently, with the fruit bushes only planted a few weeks before. A huge amount of effort had gone into the various support structiures - showy and expensive, with flashy techniques - but it was agreed the soil preparation seemed to have been lamentable.
The garden is advertised as using 'no dig' beds. It would seem they use a pared-down version of this where dusty, poor-quality bagged compost made mostly of composted bark is simply poured a couple of inches deep over the heavy, unimproved soil of pastureland which has had the turf stripped off. There was no topsoil as such to be seen - very strange. As my old granny would say, "All fur coat and no knickers"
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