Congratulations to Megan who has now officially accepted the role of Head Gardener! Megan has a background in both gardening and ecology. She and her team live and breathe the Woolley ethos of being as kind to nature as possible whilst growing delicious produce for us all to enjoy.
Speaking to Megan down at the Potting Shed Shop (where she is surrounded by an abundance of fresh produce and beautiful bunches of home grown flowers ready to go in the baskets for the local weekly basket scheme), we asked her about what she hopes to achieve in her new role.
Gardening for Wildlife
‘Gardening for wildlife is so important’ Megan says, ‘Just doing small things like keeping different grass lengths to allow butterfly and beetles to survive in their different life stages; using pulled up weeds as a mulch around plants and composting kitchen waste can make all the difference to a garden that is sustainable for all. We are also starting a wildflower meadow to encourage more pollinating insects. Nature’s not neat…a garden needs to be a little wild around the edges’.
Heritage Fruit and Vegetables
The produce is grown to organic standards and many heritage varieties are grown for the hotel kitchen. ‘Recently the chef wanted us to grow Roscoff onions. We couldn’t find these in the UK, so we managed to get some seeds from France and have successfully propagated a crop.’
Teaching Children about Nature and Gardening
Megan talks passionately about the challenges and solutions to helping the vegetables grow without pesticides. She is equally passionate about teaching children about nature and gardening.
‘I really want to involve children. It is so lovely to see how interested children are in nature. At Woolley we have our Nature Connections – a treasure chest of nature games for families to play and really get involved in observing the natural world. I also plan to set up a Nature Trail around the grounds.’
In the school holidays the gardening team run gardening and nature activities. ‘This summer we did ‘Field to Harvest’ and also created flower garlands. This October half term we’re making witches’ broomsticks out of willow and also doing a Potion Class using fresh herbs from the garden’.
Prepare to be bewitched!