Rolling out the Green Carpet

Carole HEnson Testimonial

Location: Wales near Trefeglws, high up in the Welsh Hills!

“I live high in the Welsh hills and the winds can be wicked but nothing has ever moved the tiniest bit. And the real icing on the cake – it has proper doors that close tightly, and gable ends that don’t require difficult, ugly pleating. I love it, and have even carpeted it, and put a chair in there to sit and just enjoy it.” Carole Henson 

We visited Carole Henson to fit a new cover on her Garden Tunnel. Living high above sea level on an exposed Welsh hill, it’s incredible what she has fitted in to a 3m wide Garden Tunnel and how advanced the crops are inside. In late March an apricot tree was in blossom, along with a fig tree, pruned each year as a fan, and a couple of vines about to burst into life.

Many of the crops have overwintered well. Various herbs and the spinach have thrived through the winter. Carrots, spring onions, and tatsoi (just going to seed) have also survived. Globe artichokes are looking very healthy, along with 3 Sweet Peas sown last Autumn. Strawberries along the path and on the shelf look promising, and Carole plans to take new runners this year. The wire cages are protecting the onions and garlic from the cat Rocky, who’s prone to stomping over them. They’re also useful for throwing fleece over in the cold weather, and for protection from carrot fly. 

Carole uses bigger frames outside made from stock-proof fencing. The last 2 years half the onion and garlic crop outside were lost to rot in the rain, so Carole’s trying a few indoors. To save space, there is a plan to grow small things, like lettuce, pak choi, basil, coriander etc in between the onions and garlic. Hopefully they’ll thrive from a regular drink of Carole’s homemade Comfrey Feed to give them enough nutrients. 

Has anybody else grown onions and garlic in their polytunnel? We’d love to hear your experience!