Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Isle of Wight

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.
Pumpkin, 'Potimarron'
Variety of fruit trees trained against the walls.
Conference Pears, Figs, Plums, and even some peaches inside the greenhouse. A good time was had by all!


At 6:50 PM, Blogger Green Lane Allotments said...

Rhubarb, pear and garlic I like as individuals but together in an ice cream - I'll pass! Did you try it.

At 7:07 PM, Blogger Peggy said...

I love browsing around walled gardens, they tell of a time long gone. The royal grandchildren's tools & wheelbarrows are unbelievable, could they not have shared ONE wheelbarrow between them?!
Hmmm...I wonder what you purchased in the garlic shop!!

At 9:05 PM, Blogger Chicken lover said...

Hi Matron
glad you enjoyed the IOW, I travelled there in July this year with my sister and loved the walled garden at Osborne House too - did you see the topiary pigs?
Your pics show it off really well, I loved the hot houses with all the Begonias and Fuschia plants.

we also visited Ventnor Botanical gardens and the Garlic Farm, brought some lovely garlic chutney and mayonnaise back - yummy!


At 10:50 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Green Lane - Yes, I tried the ice cream...if I didn't know it had garlic in it I probably wouldn't have guessed, but it was certainly different.
Peggy - I bought some fresh garlic cloves in olive oil, hot garlic and chilli relish, garlic fudge, and some early purple seed garlic. No vampires in this part of West London tonight!

At 1:20 AM, Blogger Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

Have only visited Isle of Wight once. This sounds a wonderful outing - an interesting jaunt. Just my cuppa tea!

At 8:01 AM, Blogger Rob said...

Hi Matron, it look a nice place, I like a well looked after walled garden, I also like it when the glasshouses are open too. Its amazing in this day and ages what they went trouble they went to back then just to get cold and wet.

At 12:06 PM, Blogger Jo said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful day out. I've never been to the IOW but it's on my list of places I would like to visit. How interesting about Queen Victoria ensuring that her grandchildren appreciated the land and had an understanding of the value of things.

At 3:48 PM, Blogger Dan said...

What a cool place. I really like the pear growing over the arch way... if I only had the space.

Hops are ready when they take on a papery feel and loss their grassy smell. You will also notice some dried brown hairs and slight browning on some tips. You can also crack one open and look for a bunch of yellow lupulin glands. The photo at the link below shows what the glands look like.

At 9:14 PM, Anonymous Damo said...

Looks great Matron, I haven't been to the IoW for ages.

At 3:21 AM, Blogger thyme2garden said...

Matron, I finally found the comment you left on my blog about chili peppers a few days ago. Blogger decided to hide it away in their new spam box! But now that I know about this feature, your (or anyone else's) comment will be lost no longer.

This looks like a really nice place to visit. I like all the fruit trees trained against the wall.

You have a nice blog here, and I'm always interested to see what other gardeners are growing in different parts of the world. Looking forward to joining the ranks of your followers and getting to know your garden!

At 8:51 AM, Anonymous Marian(LondonUK) said...

Great photos Matron. Think a visit is in order, funny enough some friends and family have been to the IOW this summer and said what a lovely peaceful place it is too!
Marian (LondonUK)

At 1:53 PM, Anonymous kitsapFG said...

I love the walled garden - how cool is that?!

At 7:58 PM, Blogger Anna said...

I have not visited the IOW since I was on holiday there as a child many moons ago but still have vivid memories of visiting Osborne House. Would like to return at some point in the future and would this time also make a visit to The Garlic Farm. Sounds like a great trip.


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