It’s short notice, but this year’s Happy Seeds Festival/Tomato Planting Extravaganza takes place tomorrow, Saturday 16 May from 11am – 6pm at St James’s, New Cross Gate London SE14 6AD (next to Goldsmiths University and St James Hatcham Primary School)and it’s FREE!
The event will feature 90 varieties of tomato plants (90, how mad is that?) alongside 50 varieties of potted herbs and loads of seeds for sale. There’s lots of activities like making planting boxes, music, workshops on seed paper making, cooking, food, a beekeeping demonstration, local honey for sale and a fund raising book stall.
A big thanks to Lewisham Gardens and Golightly Gardens for organising the great seed swap in Deptford yesterday. I got nearly everything from my wants list and there were loads of great seeds available. These events are always good for meeting fellow gardeners, getting growing advice and for picking up those odd varieties of seeds.
I got sunflowers, sweet peas, hollyhocks, poppies, foxgloves and gaillardia in the flower line. I wasn’t looking for too much veg as I’m happily sorted for those after getting a bargain of mixed veg seeds on ebay the other month.
I did get a couple of varieties of basil (bush and sweet genovese), french beans and a beefsteak tomato called Marmande which looked like it could be an extra from that silly 70’s film Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.I was on my way out when I met a lovely chap who was looking for the seed swap who worked for Lewisham council. He told me later after a long shift at the council all he wants to do is spend the rest of his day up his allotment. Great stuff! Back in the seedswap he shared a wide variety of seeds (and I don’t even think he wanted anything in return as far as I can remember) and I got a tomato called Black Krim from Russia!
When I finally left I visited the new and improved Dig This Nursery in Clifton Rise, New Cross after being ribbed by Mihaly (who was doing a talk at the seed swap about growing veg in small spaces) for not being up to speed about knowing that their shop has moved. Sometimes I find it hard enough to keep up with what’s going in me own small world let alone outside it! They’ve even opened a new shop in Rye Lane in the parish of Peckham too.
In the New Cross shop is a second hand record section where I flicked through some old reggae singles (£3 each) where they had a copy of the late great Nicky Thomas tune Love of the Common People (to hear the original jamaican version without the strings click here). On the B side of that well-known single is the tune below which I was reminded about by The Rhythm Doctor when he span it at one of our events at Limewharf last year.
And thanks to the excellent Dancecrasher website (from The Tighten Up Crew) here’s the vocal version of the above from Slim Smith. Well I never knew that!
Thanks again to Lewiham Gardens and Golightly Gardens for this event. More seed swaps please!
A big shout to Lewisham Gardens and Golightly Gardens for letting us know about their next seed swap on Saturday February 21st at Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden, Reginald Road, Deptford SE8 4RS from 1pm – 4pm.
Last year’s event was great (a post all about that here) and this one looks even better. Alongside the seed swap there’s some interesting talks too, including one from Dig This Nursery (who know a thing or two about the humble tomato) and Alison Marsden from Garden by Design. The cost of the afternoon is only £1, talk about value for money. Spread the word!
Looks like I’ll be making more pasta sauce this weekend! Below is just the start of the tomatoes and hopefully there’s a few more to come. A big thanks to all at Dig This Nursery for giving us a good few tomato plants earlier this year.
The plums on the right are off the dwarf tree we bought a few years ago from Shannon’s. Some years it does well and some not, but who cares. Plum crumble the weekend, I reckon.
Don’t be expecting to strip down topless and throw gone-off tomatoes at each other (as they do in Spain) as that sort of thing is frowned upon in New Cross. But do expect a free day of fun, live folk music, kid’s stuff and Tomatoes galore! Any advice you need about the Tomato plant do ask there as they’ll be someone who’d bound to know!
I popped up to Forest Hill station this afternoon for the Edible High Road event. A good load of people braved the changeable weather, a kids school band belted out some tunes and there were a couple of stalls handing out free plants, how good is that for a Saturday afternoon?
I got some healthy pea plants off the Forest Hill Society and a handful of tomato seedlings off Mihaly from Dig This Nursery in New Cross (they must be the only garden centre in the UK with a record shop attached) who knows a few things about tomatoes (see the post above).
All the plants went in the garden as soon as I got home and put under some protection just to settle them in tonight (even though they’ve been hardened off.) I do hope the event got a few more people interested in that there gardening lark!
Thanks to Lewisham Gardens (it was great meeting you!) for inviting us to the Edible High Road event in Forest Hill last Saturday. Due to having a stinker of a flu combined with an argumentative child in tow, I turned up too early to see Matthew Wilson from GQT but I did see some of the fruit trees in pots with their accompanying herbs, great stuff! I also picked up a couple of freebies that are always appreciated here, three runner beans (from the nice people at friends of Hornimans or Forest Hill Society? sorry I can’t remember which one they were) which went in the back garden as soon as I got home. Only one plant survived the night though (slugs? moths? cats? I have no idea, but they ain’t there now!)
I also got some tomato plants (one a sweet cherry tomato called “Vilma”) from the nice guys at Dig This Nursery in New Cross which is situated next door to the Hobgoblin pub opposite the New Cross Gate train station. It’s a great place, they have plants galore, lots of varieties of tomatoes, their own brand of seeds (Happy Seeds – aimed at the younger market, all with great illustrations, bright packets and info you possibly wouldn’t have known about the plant), some gallery space (to Marc B and Marc G, it might be a good place to show your work) and to cap it all, some boxes of second hand records. What more do you want out of a nursery?
Although I only stayed a short while, it’s brilliant there are events like this, making people more aware of gardening and how easy it is to grow your own food! Big shout to all involved and for the free plants and seeds, ta!