CompleteKitchenGarden banneredited
Sissinghurst Castle Garden - The White Garden - - 26686

Sissinghurst Castle Garden. The White Garden

"The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well." -- Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford 1717 – 1797


Hello Everyone.

It's a bit of a mystery the way we each start with the same three things: seeds, plants and soil, but then all of our gardens are different. Creativity comes from a source that we can't explain, and yet it reflects our own unique personality. I recently taught an online design workshop with the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden, and we started with an exercise of looking at the landscape as a whole, before breaking it into individual garden areas. This allowed students to focus on one small thing and get it right, before moving to something bigger.

The same is true for how we move about our lives, finding bits and pieces that pique our interests. Take reading books for example, only a fraction of my overflowing bookcase contains books that I have read completely to the end, although I have read a few chapters from most. My garden is a culmination of design practices I've read about, learned in classes or observed in others gardens. By taking one small section to refine each year, maybe one day I can step back and say "done!" That's unlikely, and honestly, I hope never comes true. What I love most about gardening is the discovery and the unexpected partnerships that happen between people and plants.

During the month of October, I'll teaching an online class, How to Write a Family Cookbook. Each week we follow a carefully outlined lesson plan, yet it is the spontaneity that truly inspires. Together, we'll become a "learning pod" as we get to know each other by talking about food, sharing recipes, and reminiscing about family memories - the best kind of escape from world news. I'll be offering a free introductory class on Wednesday, October 7th on How to Write a Family Cookbook with the new series starting on October 14th.

Contact me and I'll add you to the list and send you a Zoom invite. This might give you just enough time to complete your family cookbook before the holidays. Plan to bring your own style to the class, through your recipes and find your voice with compelling, narrative food writing. As always, my goal is to inspire you to grow a beautiful food garden and encourage you to share your creativity, and your individual garden style with others.

Grow beautiful food,
Ellen Ecker Ogden
Kitchen Garden Designs

Author of The Complete Kitchen Garden and The New Heirloom Garden plus other books for Cooks who Love to Garden.

IMG 5252

Become a Seed Explorer

This fall, I let my garden go to seed. It's teaching me to become a better gardener. I am beginning to understand how plants grow, not just in the spring and summer, but how they disperse seeds. It’s pretty easy to rip open a seed packet in the spring, plant a seed, watch it grow, and then savor the harvest. Yet let that plant grow until it is covered in dry seed pods, then collect and save for next years garden and you might never need to buy seeds again.

If you were to ask me what I love most about seed saving, it's the simple fact that a single seed produces so many seeds. Inside the hard coat of a seed is a fragile embryo that will become the next generation of my garden, and a cherished variety because I saved the seed. From a single sunflower, I can harvest over 100 seeds; a head of lettuce 1000 seeds: a single pepper far more than I will ever grow. Not only do my seeds look beautiful displayed in glass jars, but I plan to share with my friends.

If you still have plants growing in your kitchen garden, allow a few blossoms to turn into seed heads or scavenge fruits to dry the seeds. Label and store in a glass jar. Here's a short list of some of the easiest plants to collect for next years garden:

1. Bean
2. Pepper
3. Calendula
4. Sunflower
5. Tomato
6. Lettuce
1. Bean
2. Pepper
3. Calendula
4. Sunflower
5. Tomato
6. Lettuce

‘Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.’
--Albert Einstein

Instagram September

Recent Instagram posts.

News about Books and Lectures:

The Complete Kitchen Garden | designs and recipes

I've recently partnered with our local Indie bookstore, to be the main source for my autographed books. If you are interested in purchasing The Complete Kitchen Garden for yourself or a friend, follow this link.

Lectures for Spring 2021 | The New Heirloom Garden

Teaching via Zoom is fun! That's my new attitude and hope yours. I'm offering discount on my lectures for garden clubs looking to offer zoom classes to their members. Visit my website for more info.


‘It is uncertainty that charms one. A mist makes things wonderful.’
--Oscar Wilde

Powered by Mad Mimi®A GoDaddy® company