Gar­den­ing tal­ent Meet Ol­lie Hut­son, se­nior kitchen gar­dener at the Pig Ho­tels’ group

As se­nior kitchen gar­dener, over­see­ing grow­ing for the Pig Group, Ol­lie Hut­son is key to the suc­cess of the food-fo­cused ho­tels that de­scribe them­selves as restau­rants with rooms

Gardens Illustrated Magazine - - Contents - POR­TRAIT JA­SON IN­GRAM

Who has in­spired your ca­reer the most? My grand­fa­ther Derek Hut­son, who showed me his al­lot­ment and shared his skills with me as a child. My friend Michael Ed­wards, a tree of­fi­cer (and tree guru) who fos­tered my love of grow­ing in my teenage years and early twen­ties. James Wong and Jekka McVicar, two mas­sive in­spi­ra­tions in my pro­fes­sional life and my two favourite gar­den au­thors. If gar­den­ing is a ca­reer change, what did you do be­fore? I orig­i­nally trained in coun­try­side man­age­ment at Sparsholt Col­lege with a par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est in wood­land and river man­age­ment. I have had var­i­ous roles in con­ser­va­tion and coun­try­side man­age­ment in­clud­ing cop­picer, ma­rine war­den and vine­yard man­ager. Three worth­while tips for gar­den­ers Plant your veg closer to­gether than you think you should. This re­duces evap­o­ra­tion, mean­ing less wa­ter­ing, and helps plants out­com­pete some weeds, which will also save on labour in the gar­den. Only plant what you will use: there is noth­ing worse than grow­ing some fan­tas­tic cour­gettes, only to re­alise that no­body in the house­hold likes cour­gettes. If you can, choose crops that will re­peat to keep your plot pro­duc­tive for longer. Dream plant des­ti­na­tion The US west coast: they have fan­tas­tic trees from the mas­sive red­woods to the an­cient bristle­cone pines. There are also amaz­ing vine­yards and they have a pro­gres­sive at­ti­tude to kitchen gar­den­ing. Un­sung hero of the plant world Ed­i­ble weeds, such as hairy bit­ter­cress, net­tles and dan­de­lions. They can all be used in the kitchen. I love plants with a pur­pose, ei­ther ed­i­ble or medic­i­nal. What is the hard­est gar­den­ing-re­lated thing you’ve had to do? Sin­gle-hand­edly grow­ing the veg­eta­bles for a func­tion at­tended by 1,200 peo­ple. Our aim was to be self-suf­fi­cient with the veg. It was seven months of hard work, but very re­ward­ing in the end. Favourite gar­den­ing books The Herb So­ci­ety Jour­nal; Jekka’s Com­plete Herb Book by Jekka McVicar; Grow for Flavour by James Wong. What’s the next big task you’ll be tack­ling in the gar­den? Plan­ning for next year’s grow­ing is due to start soon, which will in­clude con­struct­ing some mush­room-grow­ing houses. Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion There are five Pig Ho­tels, all in the south of Eng­land, of­fer­ing rooms and kitchen gar­den food. thep­igho­

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.