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

Friday, February 21, 2014


 Those lovely people at the Royal Horticultural Society are really getting the message that growing fruit and veggies is NOT a poor relation to pretty flowers.  Today I went to a fantastic display of seed potatoes at RHS Lindley Hall in London.  This weekend you can choose from over 75 different varieties of seed potatoes from Pennard Plants. 
 Here at the Spring Plant and Design Show you can choose single potatoes for 22pence each!  What a joy!  So often I just want a few of one, and a few of another to try new varieties. Most of the time in the shops you have to buy pounds and pounds at a time when you just want one.  It is on this weekend in London if you want to make your way down there.
 Popular varieties were selling out within hours of opening.  The ultra first early potato 'Rocket' was all sold out, so the staff at Pennard Plants were amazingly knowledgeable and were able to recommend other first early varieties.  I bought 5 seed potatoes of 'Vanessa' a waxy first early. I've not tried them before. Has anyone tried them?
 And I was thrilled, over the moon, and sick as a parrot that they had my all time favourite 'Epicure' on sale here too.  This is a very old traditional Ayrshire potato, a first early that has the bestest ever taste in the whole wide world!  Hard to come by sometimes, but Matron most highly recommends them if you can get your hands on some.  They do have quite deep eyes, they are round and wonderful new potatoes.  I just dig them, cook them and eat them with nothing on..........
 Now I've always wanted to try growing Oca - so I have now taken the plunge and bought some tubers to try this year.  There were two different colours on sale, does anyone know if they are different varieties, or just varied in colour??

 If you are feeling rich you could always buy some of these wonderful hand made bronze gardening tools. Never tarnish, never blunt and worth every penny!
.. or how about a Buddhas Hand citrus?   Spooky!


At 9:41 PM, Blogger Caro said...

You must have been there nice and early! By the time I got there, the potato pots were only a quarter full but luckily they still had what I wanted.
Those copper tools are gorgeous - I already have one of their trowels and will have to save for more from the range! As you say, worth every penny.
I had some great advice from the citrus lady about growing my lemon tree. Definitely a good day out!

At 7:32 AM, Blogger Mark Willis said...

I'm trying hard not to think of Matron eating Epicure potatoes with nothing on! :)

The event sounds similar to the one I attended at Whitchurch at the end of January. It's so nice to be able to buy tubers individually so that you can try more varieties than if you had to buy them a kilo at a time.
I wonder what the Oca will be like. I've read about it, but never tried eating or growing it. I imagine the yield will be fairly small compared with the potato.

At 6:40 PM, Blogger Robert Brenchley said...

Those are different varieties of oca.

At 11:39 PM, Anonymous Jean said...

Matron I can't believe of all those potatoes at the RHS show I bought the same variety as you - Vanessa, will be taking an interest in how yours get on.

Like Caro I wasn't there till later but what a great show.

Also bought some heritage tomato seeds,Tiny Tim Red Cherry to try.

At 9:20 PM, Blogger Mal said...

I'm another Epicurean, Matron.

It originated in Hampshire but made its home in Scotland!


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