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The Wiggly Garden at Hay Festival 2011

By Heather 8 years ago

Our garden has a bugbox with solitary bees nesting in it :0)
The Wiggly Chicks on tour at Hay Festival.
Wildflower patch from Turf originally at Hay Festival.

Nigella on the Wiggly Garden at Hay Festival.

By Heather 8 years ago


Not the normal view of Nigella - but San was concentrating on making sure her goody bag was ready with a Wiggly Bouquet and some Wild Marjoram....
Anyway, Nigella planted lots of Marjoram on our garden. Not only is it great for making tea or adding to potato salads, it is a fabulous nectar source for bees. Getting Britain Buzzing!
Having planted the wild herbs she went on to speak at a sell-out audience at Hay Festival.

Its perry, NOT pear cider!

By Heather 10 years ago

Those of you who came to visit the Wiggly Garden at the Hay Festival, might have had the chance to sample some delicious local cider.

But even if you didn't, I thought I'd share with you an interesting conversation I've just had with one of the producers whose cider and perry we featured.

Paul Stephens of Newton Court Cidery makes some of the best cider and perry around. His bottle fermented (that means slightly sparkling) perry went down especially well during the long hot days of Hay.

But he has a bee in his bonnet. Certain national cider producers have brought out a drink which they are calling 'pear cider'. Now I thought there was no such thing as 'pear cider' - and that what they were actually selling was perry, an alcoholic drink made by a process similar to cider (which is apples), but from pears. And that's what I was telling people at Hay.

Now Paul tells me that 'pear cider' is a real drink, made from desert pears, the sort you can eat when they are juicy and ripe.

But it's not what he produces, which is real perry, and can only be made from perry pears, which have names like Huffcap, Nailor and Merrylegs. These pears are also rock hard and totally inedible when raw. The history of making perry goes back hundreds of years and thanks to the artisan producers like Paul and Ross-on-Wye Cider and Perry Company (another popular taster at Hay!) and many more in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, it still survives and thrives.

The Slow Food movement have even named Three Counties Perry as a unique product, just as certain cheeses can only come from one location, in order to protect and promote it. I love their tagline for it: A curious drink for a slow world!

So we reckon, rather than confuse things, we should just say NO to 'pear cider' and YES, PLEASE I'll have another pint, to real perry.

Free Tickets to Hay Festival...

By Heather 10 years ago

We have several pairs of free tickets to events at Hay Festival. If you would like to go into our draw for tickets all you need to do is sign up for our e-newsletter Wiggl-enews which is packed full of offers and gossip and handy hints!

Hay Festival

By Heather 10 years ago

We are building a Wiggly Garden right in the middle of Hay Festival. It includes a rain garden, a veggie patch, wildflower meadow, some willow structures and.... 100 planted up Joules wellies! Why not come along 21st - 31st May.

Here's what Rich has written about a little bit of it....

Apple tree graveyard!

Dead wood is essential to support many types of life, it also makes for a great feature as these intertwined apple trees demonstrate. If you take a close look you will notice an inundation of small bracket fungi growing from the trunks. Decomposers in their own right, fungi make a wonderful addition not only to the wealth of biodiversity in a garden but also the overall aesthetics. If you lifted the bark on these trees a host of scrambling millipedes, woodlice and centipedes could be seen making a break for cover. Invertebrates like these are food for birds and small mammals like shrews and even hedgehogs, if you get the inverts into your garden everything else will follow!

More later...
In our garden we will have a potter, and a gardener and various childrens workshops.