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

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nervous Planting Out!

Last Tuesday's disaster with the sharp frost has dented my confidence a little. The temperatures in London today are almost up into the 70s and set to go higher this weekend. So I decided to be brave and start to plant out some tender veggies. A few weeks ago I emptied the well rotted kitchen compost bin into a trench and cover with soil. I have now planted my runner beans. A few have been started in modules and a few more planted from seed. I am trying a new variety this year St George.
A few lettuces have started to grow well now, these are Winter Density and Labacher Ice. Very frost hardy and beautiful flavour. Note the Poached Egg plant in the foreground. Just a little encouragement for the pollinating insects.
I planted out these climbing beans Mrs Fortune's today as well. These are an old heritage variety kindly given to me last year by Celia at Purple Podded Peas. It is great to keep these old varieties alive and pass them on to other growers.
Chicken Patty (white) and Chicken Joloff (black) have come to stay for a week while DaVikka goes up North for a while.
Buddy was just curious, but as usual took everything in his stride and went about his business after a brief inspection of these new lodgers.
I think he was interested in the food scraps in their bowl! Doesn't his coat look wonderfully shiny in the sunshine!
Anyway, after a warm afternoon's planting out we sat down for a game of shove ha'penny. A couple of years ago I attended an evening class in French Polishing, I found this shove hapenny board at a car boot sale and restored it.
This is an ancient old English pub game, and like most other 'non screen based' table games, it is quite absorbing. The aim of the game is to gently shove the hapennys across the board and have them land exactly between the lines.
Official tokens were used in the game, in the absence of the real thing!


At 8:59 PM, Anonymous Damo said...

Hopefully we've seen the last of the frosts Matron. I'll be planting out a load of stuff this weekend, fingers crossed!

At 10:02 PM, Blogger Midmarsh John said...

Hope the weather stays kind for you Matron. Buddy certainly looks as though he is glowing with health. I regularly used to play shove ha'penny years ago. You did a grand job of restoring the board.

At 11:07 PM, Blogger Carrie said...

Fingers crossed for you and your newly planted babies!
I've never seen a real shove ha'penny board and token, that is so cool and I'm rather jealous. What a lovely object and to have the real tokens too, many hours of fun right there (plus congrats on French Polishing - no end to your talents?)

At 4:49 AM, Anonymous kitsapFG said...

Hopefully mother nature will give you a break and let spring/summer truly commence from here on out. Buddy looks great!

At 8:40 AM, Blogger Celia Hart said...

I've been following my instincts this year - and although I'm about a month behind schedule with planting out, so is our Wisteria - which is only just coming into full bloom (last year it was at its peak on 24 April!)

Have a look at, for our postcode it predicts north winds again and -3 frosts on 1st June!!! So keep the fleece/newspaper and cloches on hand ;-)


At 9:37 AM, Blogger Kath said...

Here's hoping the frosts are over. My beans are still in their pots. Long range says we might get another cold snap at the end of May/beginning of June. You should be safe Down South but I'm not risking it! I usually wait till June to plant out the tender stuff.

At 12:35 AM, Blogger Peggy said...

I hope we have all seen the end of the frosts.We had one great warm sunny day and then it rained and temps dropped for a whole day. warm and sunny with up to 22%cel is our forecast for the next few days so I will be following you with planting out, and take my chances with the weather ,we have to think positive!

At 5:03 AM, Blogger Fred said...

We have had some wacky weather here in Massachusetts, but hopefully the worst has passed and the real fun can begin!

I love the look of shove ha'penny. I wish I had a board game of that style to enjoy. I tend to stick with backgammon, which is quite fun but I always love discovering a new game!
Do find a new board and restore it for me, will you ;-)


At 10:00 PM, Blogger Bob said...

I'm trying St George this year Matron. I'm going to plant some stuff out next week, I'm hoping we will have seen the last of the cold and frost for a few months. Bob.


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