Sunday 21 September 2008
Oxford - the bloggers' big day out
What finer setting could you want for a real-world get together of garden-allotment bloggers than Oxford University's beautiful Botanic Garden? The tower looks like it's rising up out of that building but it's actually the Magdalen College tower on the other side of the road.
Apart from me there were: Bifurcated Carrots - Veg Plotting - Spadework - The Plot Thickens - Fluffius Muppetus - Soilman - Manor Stables Vegetable Plot - Mustard Plaster - Hills and Plains Seedsavers - The Real Seed Catalogue
And here we all are, assembled in the corner of this beautiful historic garden.
Guest speaker Ben from Real Seeds 'urns' the respect of the assembled bloggers as he shows the various points where crops were domesticated along the agricultural blue nylon timeline. Seen stretched out like this, it really brings it home to you how much history and how many centuries of work and care have gone into every seed we have today.
And he continued to enthral everyone with his knowledge and enthusiasm as we enjoyed lunch on the lawn, replete with multi-coloured tomatoes, apple pie and exploding cucumbers. In fact, Oxford University's vegetable collection wasn't half as diverse and exciting as the contents of Patrick and Steph's home grown tomato bowl.
Emma (Fluffius Muppetus) photographs Michelle (Veg Plotting) and Kate (Hills and Plains).
There's never any shortage of things to look at in the Botanic Garden ... like this incredible lily pond.
Or this rather nice banana leaf.
The greenhouses were somewhat bigger than mine ...
And the flower borders somewhat tidier...
And neither is my greenhouse overlooked by dreaming spires, but you can't have everything.
I still think we could teach 'em a thing or two about vegetable diversity.
Many thanks to Patrick for all the work he put into making this meeting a success and a pleasure.