What’s it like to grow an edible garden?
Nestled in West Surrey lies The Nutrition Garden, owned and designed by registered nutritionist Dr Trevor George. Trevor has a passion for edible plants, from growing, cooking, preserving and processing them to researching what happens to our bodies when we eat them. As a result, the garden is designed to produce and display a wide variety of edible plants, including fruits, vegetables, herbs, and plants for infusions.
We visited The Nutrition Garden ahead of its opening on in September (pre-booking essential!) to meet Dr Trevor George and to find out more.
How does being in a garden make you feel?
It’s really relaxing, very calming. I have quite a stressful job so it’s really good to be out in the garden. You can really lose yourself and it’s almost like meditation when you’re focusing on what you’re doing in the garden.
What is your favourite part of gardening?
It depends on the time of year. Because this is an edible garden, I suppose my favourite part is when things are ready to harvest. I like all aspects of harvesting, for example, taking dahlia cuttings is really nice. Although it’s also lovely to see things come through in the spring as it feels very rewarding when you start to see all of your hard work pay off.
What are your top tips for growing edible flowers, fruits and vegetables?
It definitely depends on how much time you have; growing vegetables takes a bit more time. Whereas growing edible plants or berries for example, can be more low maintenance. The only work you might need to do is cover the berries before the birds get them. So yes, the berries and shrubs are a great place to begin for people starting out.
If you only have a small garden, what would you suggest growing?
Daylilies are one of my favourite edible flowers because they seem to cope in so many conditions. They cope well with the dry weather but can also grow in boggy parts around a pond. With the current climate we’re getting very hot summers with a deluge of rain afterwards, so daylilies are ideal to cope with that.
What encouraged you to begin your journey with nutrition?
It’s two fold. When I was growing up my grandad used to grow vegetables in the garden, so I grew up with that. When I went to university, I studied nutrition as I was interested in fruits and vegetables and how they affect health. Then I started looking at growing plants with nutritional benefits and quickly became interested in how the different colours of fruits and vegetables affect health. After a while I started collecting weird and wonderful coloured fruit and veg. Once you start getting into that world you gravitate to anything that says it’s edible which has made me a bit of a collector.
Discover more about the incredible range of edible plants when The Nutrition Garden opens for the National Garden Scheme on 25th June and 3rd September 2023. You can pre-book your tickets by clicking here.
This story originally appeared in The Little Yellow Book of Gardens and Health as part of our Gardens and Health Week 2023