Robin Gray’s shore-side garden can be reached walking along the beach from Whiting Bay. With a serene view over to Holy Isle and its southern lighthouse, this is an off-the-beaten-track site where herbs and vegetables grow in polytunnels as well as in a large open field nearby.
Robin supplies to some of Scotland's top restaurants including Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles - check out the Andrew/Journeys section of his site to see more of Robin and Andrew.
Having trained and worked as a chef both in Scotland and abroad, Robin understands the cook’s need for good supplies of interesting fresh greenery for salads and cooking. The deep flavour and pungent aroma from these naturally grown herbs, salad leaves and vegetables, is largely to do with their system of growing. None are forced with artificial fertilizer, which may produce a faster growing leaf, but at the expense of flavour. There is also the health advantage of their freedom from chemical pesticides.
It's late August and he's collecting seaweed from the beach for next year's compost. Meanwhile, inside a poly-tunnel there is a carpet of bright green, aromatic leafy basil, filling the air with its heady scent. Outside there is thyme, tarragon, parsley, and bay leaf. Other less familiar leaves, such as feathery Japanese mizuna, succulent New Zealand spinach, curly red Russian kale, strong spicy red mustard; peppery rocket and tangy cress are the lively ingredients for his 'salad bags'. Radishes, garlic and several rows of Arran Victory potatoes add yet more variety.