Episode 166 - Show Notes & Advice

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episode 166 | show notes & advice

episode description

For those with a vegetable garden, The Pig’s offering is a source of inspiration and envy among many, all of which thrives under the watchful eye of Group Head Gardener, Ollie Hutson.


This week’s ‘grow, cook, eat, arrange’ brings us a fantastic array of tips and recipes to take from Ollie’s expertise and bring into our own growing and cooking, drawing on a love of the natural world that’s spanned his entire life.


In this episode, discover

  • The Pig’s humble beginnings and the exciting expansion of its gorgeous hotels
  • How Ollie, as Group Head Gardener, approaches the natural world and focuses on creating a ‘25 mile menu’
  • What to sow in March and April to fill the ‘hungry gap’ in the kitchen garden
  • Some of Ollie’s favourite recipes, taking inspiration from The Pig’s luxury menu

links and references

Ollie Huston: https://twitter.com/olliehutson85

The Pig: https://www.thepighotel.com/


Order Sarah’s new book - A Year Full of Pots

Order Sarah’s book - A Year Full of Flowers

Order Sarah’s book - A Year Full of Veg

Shop on the Sarah Raven Website


Visit our Instagram

Get in touch: info@sarahraven.com

Episode 166 advice sheet

The origins of The Pig chain, and the joys of being a family business (2:10)

Many listeners will be familiar with The Pig, and may have visited at least one of its characterful rooms, but Ollie first takes us through the business’ early days, expanding from its first location in Brockenhurst into a revered chain.

Ollie’s philosophy taking on all the veg gardens throughout the chain (5:00)

As Group Head Gardener, Ollie is able to indulge his childhood where he was always in touch with the natural world surrounding him. Organic gardening is central to The Pig’s ethos, and a particular passion point for Ollie is the focus on local growers - they strive for a ‘25 mile menu’, where 95% of produce is sourced within that radius.





How to fill the gap in the veg garden for March-April (9:00)

March and April are known as the ‘hungry gap’, being a particularly tricky time for the vegetable garden. That said, some Kales like Red Russian are fantastic for their provenance during such a challenging period.


Looking ahead to things we can sow in April, Ollie’s vegetable garden wouldn't be complete without Winter Squashes - they’re best harvested in September, but the wait is well worth it for a tasty addition to the veg garden.

Ollie’s favourite recipes (12:45)

Returning the focus to our own spaces, Finally, while Ollie modestly says he’s a home cook and not a chef, we find out his favourite recipes and things to cook at this time of year - Ollie particularly loves using Cavolo Nero in a roast, and Wasabi Rocket in a fiery salad.

Episode 164 advice sheet

Easy edibles and a classy, colourful Zinnia (3:10)

Top of Jemima’s list is the Calendula Touch of Red Mix, which is such a simple way to bring a fiery flair to any mixed jug of simple flowers, and they’re so productive as cut and come again flowers.


Following those up with a flower that’s beautiful at every stage of its cycle as a half-hardy annual, Zinnia elegans ‘Queeny Red Lime’ is a classy blend of green and red worthy of any beginner’s garden.

A Linaria perfect for instant impact (10:45)

The Linaria maroccana ‘Sweeties’ earns its spot on this list for being such a quick plant to grow - you’ll have amazing flowers in 10-12 weeks, and with seared stem ends they’ll give you nearly two weeks of dazzling vase life.

A bold, brilliant cut-and-come-again Cosmos (16:50)

Cut and come again flowers are some of the most rewarding for new gardeners for just how much they give you, and Cosmos Double Click Cranberries tops out as one of the best. It’s like a handful of ruffled silk with striking colour, and they’re a hit with pollinators too.

How to make Icelandic Poppies thrive (24:50)

Perhaps the most challenging of the beginner plants on this list, the Champagne Bubbles Mix of Icelandic Poppies is a wash of watercolour that’s well worth the extra effort.


Jemima and Sarah share why Icelandic Poppies can be tricky, and how to treat them for best results - it’s a flower that doesn’t like root disturbance, so taking care when transplanting seedlings will help them shine as they flower all summer long.

A stunning selection of Sweet Peas that couldn’t be missed (30:10)

For their universal charm, Sweet Peas couldn’t be missed on this list, and among Jemima’s favourites are the Spanish bullfighter red of ‘Prince of Orange’, more saturated pink-red of ‘Scarlett’, and fragrant violet presence of ‘Cupani’.