Yesterday I left the smoke of London and travelled down South to the Isle of Wight.
The island is such a peaceful haven, and in my mind it is like the clock has stood still for 50 years of so. One of the places on my itinerary is The Garlic Farm
. Expert garlic growers and breeders and producers of the finest seed garlic. A wonderful shop selling every conceivable garlic product including a strange rhubarb, pear and garlic ice cream.
Next stop was Osborne House. The favourite home of Queen Victoria, set in 140 acres of beautiful parkland overlooking the Solent. Queen Victoria loved her dogs, here she had made a bronze statue of one of her favourites.
Queen Victoria was keen that her Grandchildren learned to appreciate the land so she had made a complete set of gardening tools, including these monogrammed, miniature wheelbarrows
for all the Grandchildren. They all grew vegetables and they learned about commerce by selling the vegetables that they had grown (via Prince Albert) back to the Royal Household kitchens.
At the end of the gardens down by the coast is this magnificent Victorian 'Bathing Machine'
. Victorian women would preserve their modesty by changing into a full bathing costume inside this hut on wheels, it was then pulled down into the water on the beach and the ladies could bathe and swim, in the cold waters of the Solent!
There is a magnificent walled garden at Osborne House, so of course Matron made a B-line for it!
Flowers and vegetables grown side by side in the walled garden.
Variety of fruit trees trained against the walls.
Pears, Figs, Plums, and even some peaches inside the greenhouse. A good time was had by all!