March Letter from ‘The Ferns’ veggie B & B chatting about Percy Thrower, Mediterranean nutroast and Spring

Percy Thrower

Here in Shropshire Percy Thrower has a special place in our hearts. The first TV gardener and the person responsible for garden displays in Shrewsbury’s Quarry  by the river Severn. He moved to Shrewsbury in 1946, as the Parks Superintendent, becoming the youngest parks superintendent.

percy thrower

.He was also Shrewsbury Flower Show’s chief horticultural advisor and lived in Quarry Lodge  while parks superintendent.

Percy’s daughter, Margaret,  will be appearing at a lunch and fund-raiser for our Newport Cottage Care Centre on Sunday 17th April 12.30. Her talk is entitled “Three Generations of Gardeners”. It cost £12.50 which includes lunch.  See website

cottage care

From a historic view-point, the Cottage Care Centre is quite unusual. Lady Annabel Boughey, a local landowner from Aqualate Estate,  gave the money in 1914, for building a hospital for the town. It didn’t get built till 1930, however, it is a lovely building. It is chiefly now a day centre for the elderly but the NHS still uses it for X-ray work and physiotherapy.  Very useful for the town not to have to travel all the way to Wellington to our nearest hospital.  I myself have had the benefit of the physiotherapy unit-  and its only 100 yards down the road. Excellent!

Mediterranean Nutroast

And now here is my regular feature on ‘Thank Goodness!’ products.mediterranean-nutroast ‘ This month I tried the Mediterranean Nut roast

Bernadette, whose brainchild this company is – and who lives in Newport –  suggested a novel way of serving the nutroast as a stuffing for Mediterranean peppers. The ingredients in this nutroast include:  cheese, onions, courgettes, cashews, Brazils, peanuts, eggs, olives, tomato purée, sun dried tomatoes, red peppers, quinoa, gram flour, garlic, butter, basil, mushrooms and herbs. Don’t those ingredients look interesting?

It was dead easy to cook the stuffed peppers. For two people I used two peppers  –  Romano this time. I had never tried Romano before, but   an unusual shape which is something of a talking point in itself.romano pepper


I cut the peppers  lengthwise and took out the seeds. Divided the nutroast mixture ( defrosted but not cooked)  equally . Added  a little Cheshire cheese to the top- optional. Brush peppers lightly with olive oil and bake at 190C for 45 – 50 mins.



I served it with a rice, pea and leaf salad with lemon & lime dressing. The  texture was crunchy which went well with the rather soft  peppers. I could see pieces of olive in there. The olives and tomatoes gave it a tangy flavour. The recipe was easy and very impressive. Will certainly do this again.

stuffed peppers3

How to get your Mediterranean nutroast? If you live near to Newport Shropshire, go to Greenfields Farm Shop at Donnington. if not,  have a look on the internet at  the ‘Thank Goodness’ website, where stockists all around the country can be found.

Well done Berni! Healthy, full of goodness and tasty.


Well, Sunday was the first day of spring. We have blackbirds nesting in our  evergreen honeysuckle bush and frog spawn in the pond. The broadbeans are coming up in the greenhouse, and I am trying to get Mike to dig up the rest of the  Pink Fir Apple potatoes before they start to sprout again. They are a lovely potato – very knobbly  so you can’t peel them. Just  wash them.



Is a this  a  sign of global warming?  For two years running I have had English marigolds surviving the winter Here they are in the garden on Sunday.


Best wishes, Linda