News – Page 4


If you haven’t been to our restaurant Belle & Joe’s Kitchen since the reopening and seen all the measures we’ve put in place for a safe dining experience, then August is the month to give us a try! People have been understandably cautious about returning to cafes and restaurants and as a result the Government has introduced the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme. Running throughout August, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, you can save 50% off your bill in participating restaurants and cafes. Alcohol is excluded and the maximum discount per person per bill is £10 but no vouchers are needed and you can use the scheme as often as you like! We will be taking part and hope you will take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to save money and experience safe dining in our individual ‘booths’ and expanded restaurant, now that we have relocated the gift area and dedicated the entire top building to the restaurant. We will soon be introducing a booking system so keep an eye on our facebook page and website,

With face coverings now mandatory in shops and ‘enclosed public spaces’ please remember to bring your mask along when you come to visit us (you can take them off once seated in the restaurant). As certain people are exempt and disabilities are often hidden, it wouldn’t be appropriate for us to question people who are not wearing a mask but do ask you check the government website if you’re not sure whether you are in an exempt group, prior to visiting us. Staff are exempt but we are asking them to wear face coverings as this becomes the norm in enclosed public areas. However they may remove their mask when outside or away from other people as wearing a mask all day can be a bit hard-going. We also have good stocks of disposable and reusable face masks in a variety of designs available to buy!

Finally, our Monday-Saturday opening hours return to normal this month, 9am – 5.30pm. Enjoy the rest of the summer and we look forward to serving you soon, very best wishes Sophie, Greg & the Timmermans team.


July was a proper mixed bag of weather with autumnal conditions, thankfully no local flooding, mini-heatwaves and classic warm and showery spells. It has resulted in plenty of growth and lots of activity ahead for us gardeners.

Lawns: grass is growing like crazy and may need cutting twice a week to keep things in order. It’s better to nip off small amounts on a regular basis than to hack great lengths at any one time. If however your lawn is looking a bit peaky, this is the last month to apply a high nitrogen fertiliser. When you do it will green up and produce lush growth within a day or two. There are fertilisers specifically formulated and easy to apply. Keep the mower busy when this happens.

Veg: keep picking your peas and beans to persuade plants to keep flowering and producing. If a few pods get to maturity the plant can switch off production and fade away before your eyes – and younger veg tastes better. Potatoes will either be finished or main crops will be bulking up for crispy roasties and floury jackets later on. If plants are still growing ensure they get plenty of water. If finished you can leave tubers in the ground but they do run the risk of slug damage. It’s best to lift, dry for a day and then store in hessian sacks or old potato sacks in a mouse free shed or garage.

Flowers: as flowers fade nip them off to encourage bushy plants and more blooms – nemesia maybe going over but cut hard back and you will soon see fresh growth and more flowers. Leave flowers to fade if you want seed heads later for the birds.

Hanging baskets and containers: compost in containers potted up with bedding plants in spring will now be running out of steam. Add fertiliser according to the manufacturer’s instructions (usually once a week and never be tempted to add a bit more as a misguided ‘treat’) to keep everything looking lush. A balanced fertiliser is useful. Phostrogen, Miracle-Gro and others are easy and clean to use. Maxicrop seaweed plant stimulant is also great, especially if you are missing the smell of the tide on holiday.

Planting; keep re- planting the gaps that appear in your beds, borders and pots. Just remember to water where necessary. If you plant something looking good every month of the year you wil know your display next year will have year-round interest. It’s also a good time to start thinking about early autumn display – chrysanthemums are already looking great now and will last well into early winter. Nothing beats a cushion of bloom in a spare pot.

Greenhouse: keep your toms regularly watered and fed. If you don’t chances are you will see rotten ends to the fruits – called blossom end rot. Just get into a routine and that disorder will be one for the text books. Cucumbers can get wayward and feral in August – keep picking fruits when young, tie in to strings and canes, nip off the faded, papery leaves near the base of the plant to allow you to get the watering can where it should be. Peppers are best grown on the drier side – water when necessary – as this increases the flavour of the fruit (and keep picking them as well) Think about a net curtain to drape over open greenhouse door spaces to stop birds flying in and causing damage to themselves and your plants. It helps everything stay cool on warm sunny days.

Bugs and beasts: aphids are an ever present distraction to sitting back and enjoying the garden. Sort them early. Slugs and snails retreat in warm dry weather but crikey, don’t half get cracking when it’s wet. Again, take precautions early. Blight of tomatoes and potatoes spreads like, well, blight, when we get a week’s worth of warm and humid evenings. Not much you can do other than ensure any water you apply to crops stays off the foliage. Warm and humid air plus wet leaves = potential disaster. Keep the leaves dry.

Finally, after all the watering, nipping off faded flowers, worrying about blight, giving your wisteria a light prune of the whippy shoots to allow air and light to reach next year’s flower buds, checking on your pond and weeding please find time to flop into a deckchair (spruced up or new) and actually enjoy August. Chances are you won’t be away on holiday so make the most of your garden.