We have over 8 different varieties of chilli peppers growing in our garden and for sale on our nursery. They are really easy to grow outside because they do not suffer from many pests and diseases and will start cropping in July, last year we were still harvesting in November! You can download our list of varieties below the recipes, the plants are ready to plant out and starting to flower.

We love hot chillies but there are plenty of mild varieties too so we grow a mixture for different uses. We are self sufficient in chillies and make a variety of pickles and sauces, I am often asked to share my recipes for sauces, preserving, pickling and freezing them so that you can also enjoy all year round heat! Here are some of my favourite, easy recipes:

Pickled Jalapenos: This is super easy and gives you a supply of sweet, mild chilli slices for going on pizza, salads, sandwiches, veggi bakes etc. Sterilise some jars, slice some fresh Jalapenos into 5mm slices (they can be red for a hotter flavour, or green for a milder experience, or a mix of both) and pack them into the sterilised jars. Put sufficient vinegar in a pan to fill the jars – I use red wine vinegar or cider vinegar – add some sugar, about one dessert spoon per jar (brown sugar is best but white will do) and some spices such as a couple of bay leaves, a few black pepper corns, a couple of cloves, some allspice, a clove of garlic, whatever you have in the cupboard, bring the vinegar to a simmer and then immediately pour over the chillies to fill the jars, making sure the chilli slices are well covered. Allow to cool then store in a cool dark cupboard for at least a couple of months before opening.

Pickled Peppadews: These little round chillies are great pickled and then stuffed with cream cheese, or a mix of cream cheese and chopped cornichons or tuna, (or both) and served as an aperitif. They are slightly more difficult to prepare than the Jalapenos because you need to slice off the top end (with the stalk) scoop out the seeds and then soak in brine overnight before you can pickle them. After 24-36 hours you need to rinse them well, then the rest of the recipe is as for the Jalapenos.

Chilli Sauce: This is pretty easy, I put a variety of hot chillies in a roasting tin (I leave the small ones whole and cut the bigger varieties in half) with some onions chopped into quarters and some tomatoes chopped in half. This is a good way of using up the last of the harvest before the first frosts and the quantities will depend on how many you have left, the more tomatoes you add, the more liquid the sauce will be. Drizzle some olive oil over the mix of veg and add some herbs/garlic/spices to taste and roast in a hot oven for about 40-50 minutes until they are soft and starting to take some colour. Then add them to a pan, add some vinegar to about half the volume of the chilli/onion/tomato mix and add some sugar (I never measure, just a heaped dessert spoon per jar’s worth of the mix) bring to a simmer and let the mix simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Let it cool for a while then whiz up in a blender. I always then strain out the skins & seeds etc to make a smooth sauce, its a bit of a faff but it is worth the effort. Then pour into sterilised bottles or jars, screw the lids on tightly ……. and wait a couple of months.

Chillies also freeze really well so I always have a stock of cayenne peppers and other varieties, just put them in a plastic tub or zip top freezer bag, and then freeze, they will keep for up to a year. They can also be threaded onto strings and dried, I use a sewing needle and strong thread.

Chillies need plenty of sunshine to warm the soil for good root establishment and growth and also to ripen the fruits. They can suffer from blossom end rot like tomatoes where the base of the fruit goes black and sunken, this is due to a lack of calcium so they do best in mineral soils rather than in containers in potting compost where they can also lack water. When planted in the ground it is best to mulch them to keep the soil moist, we use grass clippings which also add nitrogen to the soil as they break down.

Download our chilli plant list here, we are open 10am-4pm on Saturdays:

Come along and learn how to use chicken wire for garden sculptures and make a cute little piglet!

This workshop runs from 10am – 3.30/4pm on Monday 26th July. All materials are included, the cost per person is 55 euros. We provide refreshments but you will need to bring a packed lunch.

This course is suitable for beginners, you will be guided through the various stages of making the basic piglet shape and then adding the features. Chicken wire is a malleable material and easy to work with but you will need a little dexterity and strength to make your piglet. We will support anyone who needs a little help to complete their sculpture.

Please get in touch using the contact form below if you would like to find out more or book a place. We have limited places available so they are offered on first come/first served basis.

JUST TWO PLACES LEFT on our two-day Stained Glass for Beginners course taking place on 2nd & 4th August 2021.

On this course you will learn about the materials, tools and equipment used to make traditional leaded glass windows and you will design and make a simple stained glass panel/small window. The course is designed for complete beginners who want to learn how to create leaded glass panels, windows and art.

The course costs 125 euros per person (materials are extra as they will depend on your choice of design but are on average around 20 euros). We start at 10am and finish around 4pm on both days, you will need to bring a packed lunch. We will provide light refreshments. To find out more and for booking information please get in touch using the contact form below the gallery. There is also a downloadable course information document below the gallery.

THIS WORKSHOP IS NOW FULLY BOOKED, WATCH THIS SPACE FOR ADDITIONAL DATES & OTHER COURSES! We have 4 places available on Thursday 29th July to come and learn how to use willow for sculpture and make a dragonfly ornament to hang on an interior or exterior wall. The dragonfly will measure around 80cm x 100cm.

This workshop starts at 10am and will finish around 4.30pm. The cost is 60 euros per person, including all materials and light refreshments. You will need to bring a packed lunch.

This workshop is suitable for complete beginners, willow is a malleable material and easy to use but needs a little dexterity, we will support anyone who needs a little help to finish their sculpture. You will also learn about the different types of willow that are suitable for weaving and how to prepare them.

Places are limited so please get in touch to request further information and booking a place using the contact form below.

Learn the traditional art of weaving with willow and create a pair of garden obelisks.

Saturday 3rd July 1.00-4.30 pm – 45 euros per person – including all materials to make a pair of obelisks (approximately 1 metre high x 30cm at the base)

THIS WORKSHOP IS NOW FULLY BOOKED. KEEP AN EYE ON OUR WEBSITE AND FACEBOOK PAGE FOR FUTURE COURSES

Come along and make three ‘Poppy seed heads’ garden sculptures using chicken wire: Saturday 19th June 2021 10.30-4.00

You will learn how to use chicken wire for sculpture/garden ornaments and create three seed heads on spikes.

THIS WORKSHOP IS NOW FULLY BOOKED. KEEP CHECKING OUR WEBSITE/FACEBOOK PAGE FOR UPCOMING COURSES AND WORKSHOPS This full day workshop costs 55 euros per person, all materials included to make 3 poppy heads.

We will provide tea/coffee/water but you will need to bring a packed lunch.

The workshop is suitable for complete beginners. Chicken wire is malleable and easy to manipulate but we will help anyone who needs a little assistance.

If you would like to book a place or find out more about the workshop please use the contact form below to get in touch. Places are limited so prior booking is required.

A couple of years ago we visited Monet’s garden in Giverny in late May. Until then I had never been a big fan of Iris, but the display of hundreds of varieties of Iris there all in colour co-ordinated blocks mixed with other early flowering herbaceous perennials was stunning! Since then we have been building our Iris collection in our garden and this year we have introduced some new named varieties for sale on the nursery.

We love purple, blue and bronze combinations here at Le Jardin Créatif and have grown a selection of Iris species and cultivars in this colour spectrum amongst perennials that compliment them well such as Thalictrum aquilegifolium and Lysimachia ‘Firecracker’ and ornamental grasses such as Pennisetum ‘Karley Rose’. Growing Iris amongst other perennials also helps to extend interest and hides the fading foliage once they have finished flowering.

Iris are easy to grow and the warm summer soils suit them well and they establish quickly. Their fat rhizomes allow them to survive periods of drought and they are hardy enough to survive the coldest winters. They need very little maintenance except to cut back the foliage as the leaves fade and deadheading regularly keeps them flowering for longer and promotes stronger rhizomes as the energy they use for producing seed is diverted to the rhizomes for storage.

We have 8 different Iris cultivars available and lots of perennials for a stunning May display available at the nursery. We are open Saturdays 10am-4pm. You can browse our plant list here:

Did you know that our nursery is totally off grid? Here at Le Jardin Créatif we have no mains water to our property or to our nursery and we do not have any mains electricity up at the nursery.

In the beginning we started with a couple of watering cans and one, 1000L water storage tank or ‘cuve’. We quickly realised that we needed more water and a more efficient way of watering. We now have over 25000L capacity for storing collected rain water – we have installed a simple solar powered system with a small solar panel, battery and a 12v pump so that we have pressure to use a hose – but we still do this by hand because hand watering is much more water efficient than any automated system and it means that we can assess all of our plants each evening when we water. It takes about an hour for us to water the nursery each evening during the hot weather. We rarely water our garden or potager and we use ‘grey’ water collected from our shower and sink for this purpose.

This winter we have also been experimenting with LED lighting. These low energy ‘grow lights’ can run off 12v and have specially adapted colours to provide the right wavelengths of light for plant propagation and the early stages of plant growth.

We propagate everything ourselves on the nursery using traditional techniques and we do not use pesticides so everything is low key and low impact on the environment. By producing all of our plants by hand in small batches we are able to be competitive on price and offer varieties that are a little bit different and our niche is hardy herbaceous perennials, ornamental grasses, herbs and aromatics, ‘ornamental edibles’ and a few unusual shrubs.

We like to be able to offer planting advice to our nursery customers who come along on Saturdays with a range of gardening questions, we love to share our passion for plants, our expertise and our years of experience.

We also do on site consultancy if you would like more detailed advice on your own garden – please see our web page ‘Garden design and consultancy’ for our range of services and prices.

This online course was first developed when our ‘hands on’ practical course had to be cancelled due to the first period of confinement in 2020. Now we have a full year of videos, articles and a calendar to link it all together and are publishing it as a package. The course is aimed at complete beginners and novice gardeners who want to improve their success in the potager and covers the cultivation of a range of easy veg crops as well as the principles of crop rotation, organic growing, soil management, companion planting, harvesting and storing techniques.

You will get access to a range of videos (currently 24 short videos) that take you through the gardening year as well as articles in PDF format to accompany the videos and give a little more in depth information. There is a calendar to help you to sequence the sowing and growing throughout the year.

You can also access additional support by emailing us with questions.

Watch a sample video: Seed sowing under protection

Vegetable Growing for Beginners

This online course allows you to access videos and articles that guide you through the year. Aimed at beginners the tutorials cover basic techniques to prepare, sow and grow a range of easy vegetables as well as looking at principles and techniques for successful organic growing. Once we receive notification of your payment, we will contact you by email with a link to our You Tube channel and attach our articles & calendar.

€35.00

If you have any questions or are finding it difficult to use the online payment or view the sample video please use the contact form below to get in touch:

Have you ever wanted to try the skill of grafting? This specialist propagation technique takes a little patience and practice but can be mastered by beginners with a little guidance. We are offering this half day course on Thursday 18th February 2021: 1.00pm-4.00pm. 40 Euros per person including all materials and light refreshments.

Graft2 (2)

You will learn a little about the science behind the technique and then have a go at grafting your own fruit tree. We will provide you with two dwarfing rootstocks and a selection of heritage apple varieties to graft (you will make two grafted trees to take home) but if you have your own tree that you would like to propagate then please bring some along, use the contact form below to contact us to find out how to harvest grafting material from your tree.

All tools and materials will be provided. Part of the workshop will take place outside so please wear warm work clothing. This technique does need some manual dexterity and patience! You will take home your grafted maiden trees with full instructions on how to care for them in the first year to maximise success. (Typical success rates for grafted trees is around 75% but if your graft doesn’t work first time you can use the rootstock again to have another go).

Places are limited so Please use the contact form to request booking information or  if you have any questions about the workshop or would like information on how to harvest grafting material from your existing tree: