Thursday night style

It’s been a funny old week weather-wise here in London, sunny one day, rain the next, culminating in hail the other day. So to celebrate the lovely bit of sunshine we had this evening, here’s two oldies but goodies for your listening pleasure.

Bob Andy – You don’t Know – Harry J Blank 

The first is a cracker of a tune from the great Bob Andy, which I first heard on the Rt Hon David Rodigan‘s show a while back and revisited on a youtube clip played by Gladdy Wax only the other day. The above is the vocal on the original Jamaican release from 1970. A tune!

Karen Young – Hot Shot – West End

And the second is something I first heard this week on an excellent vintage mix from Grandmaster Flowers recorded at a Brooklyn Park Jam from 1979. It’s a tune by Karen Young called Hot Shot on the excellent West End Records ran by Mel Cheren. Have a listen to the Grandmaster Flowers mixtape recorded in 1979 which is a great piece of musical history and available here. It’s got beat mixing and some great collaging of sounds from a DJ innovator now sadly passed away.

International gardening round-up

pumpkins in australiaThanks to a couple of good mates of ours for sending in some great gardening pics this week. First is from our good friend and musical collaborator Paul Greenstein formally of the East Dulwich parish now based in Melbourne, Australia of his (Jap or Kent) pumpkin harvest from only two plants, how good is that? Brilliant stuff Paul, hope you’ve got some good recipes to use them in!

phil H seedlingsAnd also to our fellow dub gardener Phil Harmony in Berlin for sending us pics of his tomato (from the free Heinz seed offer earlier this year) and peppers seedlings that he has on the go at the moment. Great stuff Phil, they’re looking good!

Tomorrow never knows

Dig this 2015

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.

Happy Seeds/Dig This Nursery know a thing or two about growing tomatoes and sounds like a great day out, so pop down if you get a chance!

On a bargain tip!

courgettes on a bargain tipBig shout to our good friend Paul W who on his way home from work tonight, bought four courgette plants for £2 (that’s 50p each!) from a plant sale outside Charlton Station. How good is that?

If you are buying plants now, do make sure they have been “hardened off” and can go straight out into the garden. The plants may have been started off indoors/under glass and won’t be used to the ever changing weather outside and there’s always a risk of frost that might knock them for six too!

So just to make sure, leave the plants outside during the nice days and take them in at night so that seedlings become accustomed to the strong sunlight and varying weather so toughening them up a bit. Then in a few days they can be planted outside and if you’re still in doubt that there may be frost about, wrap some horticultural fleece (net curtains or newspapers) around them at night.

Also watch out for those slugs and snails, as they love those young plants too!

So keep em peeled (for cheap plant sales and the slugs and snails) as Shaw Taylor (RIP) used to say!

Ideal Guest House (Part 2)

Flame vine

A big shout to our good friend Phil Harmony from Dubnight Radio Show, Berlin for alerting us to this great flower pic taken at the Prince Valley Guest House in the beautiful surroundings of the Blue Mountains, Jamaica.

A big thanks to the owners Jackie and Robert for getting in touch with the name of the plant which is the flame vine (Pyrostegia Venusta). Just how brilliant are those flowers? If you want to know more about this rampant climber have a look here. It says in some parts of the world it grows as a weed! Beats ground elder anyday!

jamaican jade

Last year we featured the Prince Valley Guest House and the great plants that are on-site. There’s some out of the ordinary stuff growing including (above) the Jade Vine (a member of the pea and bean family, can you believe?) The posts are here and here.

So if you’re travelling to the “the land of wood and water” (as Rodigan says,) spend a couple of nights at the guesthouse (with an adjoining coffee farm) as it looks a great place! More on the guest house here. Thanks to Phil, Jackie and Robert again! We love that tropical flower madness here!

On a gardening home-brew tip!

Today I popped out and did a few hours in the garden in glorious sunshine can you believe! One of the jobs I did was to make some plant food with some Comfrey leaves (Bocking 14 Comfrey is the best as it doesn’t set seed) which I steeped in water in an old fermenting bucket from my days of wine-making (which weren’t that successful.)

Bin_2Comfrey is a great plant to have in the garden, it spreads like wildfire, the bees go bonkers over it and if you rip off loads of leaves and stuck them in a bucket of water for a few weeks it makes a great plant feed. Stick in some nettle and borage leaves into the mix too and it’s even better.Bin_4

Bin_5For God’s sake don’t breathe in the stuff as it’s lethal! I repeat do not smell the liquid. Keep the lid on for a few weeks and when it’s done (It’ll turn into a sludgy black liquid) water it down and apply it to your plants. More on how to make it here.

A pre-gardening reggae apéritif

We’ve woken up to a bright and sunny day here in London and just before a day of pottering about in the garden (or more likely, before the clouds go in!) here’s a wonderful bit of music to get you going.

It’s Chronixx doing a live set over some classic Studio 1 rhythms from his first appearance at Miss Lilys in New York City in 2012. Miss Lily’s looks a brilliant place, a restaurant, record shop and radio station, all they need now is a little garden centre at the back and it would be an ideal place for us here at weeds! Also, here’s a set Chronixx did there from back in 2014.

Some tunes to get you in mood for weeding, watering and taking off that horticultural fleece from the cold night just has gone (which you’ll more than likely be putting back on come this evening!).