Thursday is "T" Day..

 This is it! my first ripe tomato!
 This is my first Sungold tomato grown in a pot on the patio outdoors. Even the ones pampered in the greenhouse aren't this far ahead!
This is a momentous day in any veggie gardeners' calendar. Six long months without tasty toms are finally over!

And another new arrival on Matron's allotment this week are these strawberry runners. I couldn't believe my ears when I heard of this brand new, improved variety of strawberry. It is very high yielding, it has high resistance to powdery mildew, it has an excellent flavour, what's more it is a perpetual variety which means it produces fruit continuously from July through to October.  As if that wasn't amazing enough.. the name?   is BUDDY!  Bless the old fella! he would have loved them!

Warm and Wet

 The temperatures here in London have been fairly warm, but the rain is still with us.  My giant pumpkin is making really good progress outside now, planted on top of a specially prepared compost mound.
 The runner beans St George have started to wind around their canes.
 I did leave a couple of last year's leeks to set flowers this year. The bees really love them.
And the most exciting news of all... signs of my first ripe tomato.  This is sungold.

The Spice of Life....

 Yes, variety is the spice of life down on Matron's Allotment. Above are my Cairngorm Pot Leeks growing nicely. Pot leeks are short and fat, whereas the usual long leeks are 'blanch' leeks.
 I just managed to get my 'Dog Beans' planted out before they became too pot bound. These are an unusual variety of dwarf (bush) bean kindly sent to me by a fellow blogger. You might notice the large garlic plant in the middle.. this was one overwintered Elephant Garlic that I left in the soil after planting a crop last year. It has done brilliantly, and a few inches under the soil is a HUGE elephant garlic bulb.  Matron is unsure what to do with it when it is ready. Any ideas for cooking and eating Elephant Garlic please?
 And these Black Pearl Chilli are doing wonderfully in the greenhouse. Just look at this stunning foliage! Kindly sent to me by another kind blogger last year for my Buddy Morris garden (Black veggies). I can't wait to see these tiny little black chillis!
 And the greenhouse tomatoes are romping away. My preferred method here is to gently wind the stems around string. Here the varieties are Sungella, Sungold, Golden Jubilee, Chocolate Cherry and Quebec Beefsteak.
 Runner beanz are looking a bit yellow since I planted them out. I did prepare a super bed for them, perhaps it was a bit rich. Still, these St George runner beans are twining up the poles. I look forward to the red and white flowers.
And finally the 'Lazy Housewife' climbing beanz.  A wonderful old heritage variety that is a spectacularly good-do-er.  Hopefully making good progress if the slugs and the Labradors will stop eating them!

Picking Chickens!

 The time came today when my Sister was ready for delivery of some more chickens. We made our way out to Oxfordshire, to Cotswold Chickens just outside Banbury (where the cakes come from)
 Introducing Chicken Bhaji,
 Chicken Bhuna
and Chicken Balti..
Here they all are exploring Peckingham Palace (near Cricklewood!) These are all Bovans Goldline hens. A hybrid between Rhode Island Red and a Sussex Light. Very docile and highly productive.

Well, I just had to stop on the way back to buy some Banbury Cakes.  Actually they are quite similar to Eccles cakes... except they were made in Banbury and not Eccles.... Simples!!
And couldn't resist another snap of my Giant pumpkin.. climbing out of its pot and ready to be planted outside in the big wide world!

Broad Beanz!

 You know that Summer is just around the corner when you sit around a sunny table on the patio at home, shelling Broad Beans in the sunshine!
 But where's the sunshine? The rain has made these grow fast, and I picked a big bagfull today, but I had to shell them indoors instead of out. The rain will not stop! Where is Summer?

 Leo kept a lookout for any beans that popped their way out of the pod and dropped on the carpet! To my friend who thinks that all Broad Beans are , and I quote,"The Spawn of the Devil".. my friend, you haven't tried fresh, new, young, home grown Broad Beans.  Sensational!

Good Genes

This Paton Twins Giant Pumpkin only germinated a couple of days ago. Yet the two seed leaves are already 5" across.  Just goes to show the importance of good genetics. The roots are already coming out of the bottom of the flower pot.  Now all I need is a couple of sunny days to get it hardened off before planting outside.  Where is the sunshine?

The Giant Awakes...

Finally I have germination of my Paton Twins giant pumpkin!  I planted the first of two very expensive seeds on 30th April and nothing at all has happened, it failed to germinate.  Just a few days ago I planted the second seed and just one day after germinating the seed leaves are about 3 inches across!
I have been preparing a mound on which to plant it.  The contents of a compost bin, chicken manure, composted grass clippings and well rotted horse manure.  This lovely pile has been sitting for weeks waiting for lift off.  Stand by!

Fruits of Labour

 An eventful day yesterday, Leo won a 2nd place in our Jubilee street party. Here he is with his Pearly King costume. He managed to keep the hat on for the whole time, with the aid of some strong elastic under his chin and pieces of chicken on his nose!
 Meanwhile thing are starting to happen. These Gooseberries are coming along nicely.
 Broad Beans are further along than I had anticipated. It must be all this rain!
 There is even a sign of an outdoor strawberry changing colour.
And the first tomato!! Summer must be right around the corner.