Aaron Bertelsen is the vegetable gardener at Great Dixter, where he also runs the kitchen. His gardening year starts on November 1st, with the closure of the garden to the public. Aaron discusses preparing the soil during the winter months for the next growing season and the practical side of vegetable gardening including stacking, watering and weeding.
A garden-to-table feast hosted by Great Dixter’s gardener-cook, Aaron Bertelsen, celebrating summer produce from the walled garden at Shankill Castle and from local suppliers, with a seasonal two-course menu from Bertelsen’s The Great Dixter Cookbook.
Shankill Castle has been described as a living museum in Ireland’s Ancient East. Home to the Cope family, a visit here offers a unique experience combining history, art and nature. It was first built as a Butler tower house beside the ruins of a pre-Reformation church.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the castle and a stroll around the gardens, before stopping for a delicious homemade lunch, tea, coffee and cake in the Coach House Cafe.
Venue: Shankill Castle, Paulstown,Co. Kilkenny, R95 T8X7
Time: Talk 11 a.m. Lunch 12.45 p.m.
Admission: Talk €10, talk & lunch €30, lunch only €22 Pre-booking essential.
Castle tours available on the day €5
Contact: 086 397 1748 / www.shankillcastle.com
Aaron’s love of gardening dates back to his childhood, when he would work with his grandfather in his vegetable garden back home in New Zealand. He studied Social Anthropology at the University of Otago before coming to England in 1996 to volunteer in the garden at Great Dixter. He subsequently studied for a Diploma in Horticulture at Kew and spent two years at Jerusalem Botanic Garden, where he is still a trustee.
He returned to Great Dixter in 2005 and has been there ever since. His role has evolved to focus on the vegetable garden; as house manager he is also in charge of the kitchen, cooking for study days and symposia, and for guests and visitors to the house. He is the author of The Great Dixter Cookbook – Recipes from an English Garden.
He is regularly invited to speak about gardening at events worldwide. Aaron is also the owner of Conifer, the latest in a long and distinguished line of Great Dixter dachsunds.