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, April 28, 2009

A Gift from Down Under

There was a whoop of excitement in the Matron household this morning when the postman delivered a letter from Australia. Scarecrow had offered to send me some Queensland Blue pumpkin seeds! Thank you! I remember my Father growing this variety years ago on our allotment, there is nothing quite like it - I remember a lovely dry texture almost like a sweet potato. These blue pumpkins have really hard skins and they keep extremely well through the Winter. Elsewhere in the greenhouse the tomatoes are being potted up almost daily. This Sungold tomato has flowers already, as do the Noir du Crimee and Great Wall of China behind it.
A great success from last year was this climbing courgette Black Forest. Extremely productive and grew to over 8ft tall. Wonderful variety if, like me, you are a bit short of space.
There is always space to grow sweet corn in between pumpkins and squashes. They are happy bedfellows and do not compete with each other. I might even grow a few climbing beans up them too. This variety Conqueror is one which will do well even in our milder British Summers. I had a good crop last year even in our wettest dullest Summer ever!
Now hold on to your hats... Matron does not do flowers... but... couldn't resist a snap of this beautiful French lavender. I have relaxed my principles only if certain flowers attract bees into the garden to pollinate my veggies!


At 6:15 PM, Blogger Nutty Gnome said...

All your veg seem to be that bit further on than mine - must be the southern latitudes that does it!

I like the idea of sweetcorn with squashes, I think I'll give that a go. Thanks!

At 6:22 PM, Anonymous mlc said...

Good luck with the "down under seeds" That is very cool. I used to say that I did not do flowers, but now I DO quite a lot of them. However, I am fortunate to have the space, and FOOD is more important. LOL. I am going to plant a few more of those bee attractors to my garden this year--they also attract some of those good insects to aid us in the war against our food stealing 6 leggers.

At 11:48 PM, Blogger Scarecrow said...

Great to see they made it over there!
Hope they grow well for you...they should be OK the seed comes from Tasmania which has the coldest climate in Aust.
If they do well remember to save some seeds to grow them again!

At 12:24 AM, Blogger Sandra said...

I'm glad you made an exception to the 'no flower' rule. That french lavender is a stunning flower. I've never seen that one before. I wonder if it grows in Michigan. I think I'll check it out! Thanks for posting.

At 4:23 AM, Anonymous kitsapFG said...

Well, I don't do flowers much either - but the "top hat" lavenders are always a pleasure to look at (and smell!). All of your plants look to be at about the same stage as mine - I really do believe we are in very similar growing environments. I have several tomatoes (Siletz and Stupice) which are blooming already as well. They are in a grow tunnel so they have protection and are quite happy it seems with their final home.

At 8:21 AM, Blogger Paul and Melanie said...

Love the sound of those pumpkins, will be very interested to see how they do.. Good luck :)

At 9:38 AM, Blogger Kath said...

I have a few toms in flower - the very earliest sowings. I have my sungold/heritage variety cross doing well and the brandywines too.

I'm glad to see you reccomending sweetcorn Conqueror. It's my first season with this variety and it's at about the same stage as yours.

Isn't that lavender something? I have a big one in a pot by the back door.

At 6:41 PM, Blogger gintoino said...

I do flowers and this year I sowed several zinias, cosmos and marigolds just to plant in the veg garden. They look nice and most important atract polinators. My wall of china tomatoes are now sprouting (they were incredibly slow to germinate when compared with others). The beans will be sowed this weekend.

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Maggie said...

Hi Matron Queensland Blue make the best pumpkin soup ever!

At 1:58 PM, Blogger tina said...

Matron, No one will blame you for allowing flowers in your wonderful vegetable garden! They can only help the veggies by attracting all those bees and birds and butterflies. Even the pesky ones that leave us those bad ole worms to eat our veggies. That lavender is really really lovely! And what a nice thing for Scarecrow to send you some special seeds. The pumpkin will taste all the better for it coming from a nice person! I just know it!

At 1:03 AM, Blogger Scattered Gardener said...

Thanks for the tip about companion planting squahs/pumpkins and sweetcorn - I'll try that this year.

I love your blog, useful and beautiful. Thank you.


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