We’ve had some cracking weather in London of late and combined with the rain last week things are coming on strong in the garden. The Crimson FloweredBroad Beans started to bloom at the weekend and they’re looking great! They’re a nice alternative to the black and white flowered ones (which we love as well) and there’s a interesting post about the variety on the Daughter of the Soil (“Adventures in experimental horticulture”) blog here. The blog is well worth having a look at if you love heritage vegetables, seed saving and experimental gardening.The bed at the bottom of the garden is bursting into life as well with the seed potatoes, onions and strawberries starting to reach upwards. It may be a tad early but we’ve already made use of our home-made comfrey liquid which will help them on their way. The bamboo canes that were used as a cat deterrent have now been commissioned elsewhere (helping some tomato plants) and the spuds have been earthed up even more.
Music accompaniment this week is firstly a couple of versions of the excellent pressure and slide rhythm by Hubert Lee then Sugar Minott. On the Rt Hon David Rodigan show last week he played a mini-history of the rhythm including a couple of choice cuts of it by the great Prince Buster here and here.
Also secondly a big shout to our mate Will who recommended the LeMellotron/Pierre Wax 30 mix below. It’s a right musical mixture and one to turn up loud so it can be heard while out in the back garden. The great 2 hr mix is a slice of audio goodness and includes I:Cube, The excellent Mothers “Faith (Yilwani Imfazwe”) with a nice Lee Perry sample and Dennis Coffey and a whole lot more. It also includes the breakbeat/falsetto vocal disco classic “Come into my life” from The Supremes.Roll on more tunes and more sunshine!
Yesterday morning we awoke to sight of this fantastic Danish Flag Poppy which has been over-wintering on the patio in an old pond-plant basket found in the street a while ago. The Poppy seeds were originally procured from ebay a few years ago and this plant was grown from seeds collected from pods last year. The flower only lasted a day, closed up in the evening and (possibly because of the downpour in London today) it has now gone but boy it was worth it!
Also yesterday while listening to a Stones Throw podcast from Breakbeat Lou this corker of a tune from Dee Edwards“Why can’t there be love” was played. This put us in mind of the seriously barmy Pillooski mix of the tune from a few years ago. Tune(s)!
It was some bamboo canes and a couple of old Belfast sinks that saved the day at Weeds HQ last weekend. The builders are in next door and they’ve erected a 8ft high chipwood berlin wall type structure between us. To say it was initially a sight for sore eyes is an understatement so something had to be sorted.
A couple of the heavy Belfast sinks left behind by the previous owners were moved about a bit. The climbers that were growing a bit wild in them were given a prune with some secateurs and then trained around some bamboo wigwam canes. Then after a good water and a bit of a wipe down a visual compromise was reached early Saturday afternoon (above). Bamboo canes are also in use at the veg patch at the bottom of the garden as a bit of a cat deterrent thrown over the now “earthed up” seed potatoes that have now started to come through the surface. The canes will hopefully keep out the local moggies (including our own) that like to use the bed as a cat loo.
Also last weekend we put in some seeds of the Echium ‘Snow Tower’ which we bought off ebay. We love anything here that is described as “rare”, “giant” or “unusual” and I reckon this flower might at least fit two of those descriptions. It’s a hardy biennial that in the first year grows a large rosette of silver-grey leaves and then in the second a tall white flower spike of up to 15ft high. Now you’re talking!
And here’s a couple of tunes that will come in handy if you ever have to move a couple of heavy sinks. The first is a 12 minutes well jazzed out tune from Kamasi Washington called “Truth” as heard on the Tom Ravenscroft show and over a redo of the Queen of the Minstrel rhythm Sycorah with “Undercover Lover” as played on the Rt Hon David Rodigan show. Both are tunes!
There was a frost here Wednesday morning (as we’re sure we saw a white veil over the local cars on the way to work) and hopefully that’ll be it now, even though it’s still a bit parkie outside today.We’re not taking any chances here for a few days at least, the tomato plants that were outside in the upside down terrarium are now in the back room (that might have to be hardened off a little before they go out) and there’s still fleece over the Easter Sunday sown spuds. And then there’s the brassicas, runner beans and peppers that want to go out, finger’s crossed it won’t be too long now…And if you have lost a plant or two in the recent frosts here’s a tune for you…
It’s a corker from the great Mongo’s Hi-Fi (which we’ve featured a few times here at Weeds) with Johnny “Move Out Of Babylon”Clarke called “Rain keeps falling” which comes back with a lovely dub as well. The 7″ single is a special record store day release and you can get it hereand if you fancy the download go here. Tune!
The last few days haven’t been that warm but they’ve been nice enough to go out and catch up on a few jobs in the garden. I know we mentioned we weren’t going to put in those pre-chitted spuds on Good Friday as per tradition but we cracked yesterday (Easter Sunday) and stuck in a couple of rows of maris pipersjust down from the onion sets and broad beans just peeping through (pic above). Some comfrey leaves were put in the hole beforehand and some bamboo canes and rose prunings flung on the top to keep the cats off. More on how you sow seed potatoes from an older post here.
Typically a couple of hours after the spuds went in we heard that later this week it may get cold at night (below) so it might be out with the fleece or those old net curtains.
Talking of protection there’s a couple of tomato plants under the tipped up terrarium (pic above) we found in the street a few years ago but if it does look like it’s going to be really cold we’ll be bringing them back indoors.A couple of rows of spinach and basil seed even went in (yes we’re well optimistic about the weather) under a homemade cold frame type affair made out of an old window and some old wood. It was really a ploy to get rid of a “bargain” obtained at B&Q the other day; a massive sack (125L) of multi-purpose compost for £6.50. As soon as we opened the bag we knew why it was so cheap, it honked to high heaven and it’s not something you want to be putting in pots indoors for certain. As the old saying goes “there’s no such thing as a free lunch (or a compost bargain).”
Last weekend was a corker when it came to sunshine as on Sunday the temperature in London reached 20 odd degrees. The lawn was cut and a good load of jobs were completed and we even gave the seedlings (tomatoes, brussels sprouts, peppers and walking onion) that are on their way indoors a bit of a break in the sun.
Very much influenced by (episode 4 of) Jane Perrone’s On The Ledge podcast combined with the fact that in our seed tray were a few dealer bags with a tiny amount of seeds in them (cress, peas, beetroot, lettuce, coriander, basil and more) that needed to be sown, we filled a large pot full of multi-purpose compost and threw them all in. Come a couple of weeks time we’ve have some micro-greens to accompany our dinner!Traditionally this week (Good Friday) is the time for putting seed potatoes in (so the late great Joe Maiden used to say on his radio show with Tim Crowther). We aren’t too sure if we’ll be doing ours as it’s still cold out and as someone once told us at a potato fair, as soon as it’s warm enough to put your hand in the ground for ten seconds without it feeling cold that’s when you should put your spuds in. Sounds like good advice!
And while you’re waiting for your ground to heat up here’s a nice bit of mix-up business from one Mr Andrew Weatherall on Rinse FM the other week (8.04.2017).
Here’s a great podcast discovered this week called On The Ledge by Jane Perrone (gardening editor at the Guardian) about the pleasures of indoor gardening. There’s three episodes up at the moment covering the subjects of terrariums, the Swiss Cheese plant and office plants and it’s an entertaining series with a great format and some nice suprises. Indoor plants and us here don’t really go together (we’re far too keen on watering them) so we learnt a good few things from On The Ledge. Well worth a listen here!