Bottom end veg and garden fetes

The lower veg bedI’ve just spent an hour between showers weeding the veg bed at the end of the garden, it’s ideal for lettuces, spinach etc as it doesn’t get full sun all day so they tend not to “bolt” (go to seed quickly). Apart from the lettuce and spinach, there’s a couple of cabbages, climbing french beans, one purple sprouting broccoli, early spuds (that are nearly ready to dig up) beetroot and a pink tree stump (don’t ask!) Also in shot, a couple of dalek compost bins procured off the council, a wheelbarrow which was left out on a local street with a note saying “take me” on it, the wormery (the white bucket) and the comfrey liquid fermenting in a bucket with a council garden waste bag on top filtering out the toxic gasses.

Peter Tosh – Johnny B Goode

At the same time down the road the local church fete was in progress. I knew it was on because earlier I popped to the shops and saw local firefighters decked out in face paint (imagine them turning out like that to a shout!) showing kids around their appliance and a bouncy castle was in full swing. While I was tending to the veg patch a RnB band started up with the amps cranked up really high (much to the disgust of the neighbours). They banged out “Route 66,” “Johnny B Goode” and a cover of The Subways “Be my Rock n Roll Queen” with lots of added shouts, iggy pop-isms and yelps which made me laugh while I pulled out weeds and filled in the gaps with more sowings. Mid-set the lead singer read out the results to the Tombola (“The star prize of £200 goes to…”) and then into a another rocking version of “Johnny B Goode”. Brilliant! What do you reckon the vicar thinks to all this rock n roll behaviour? “Jolly good” I hope is her reply.

The best dressed chicken in town

Notis & Iba Mahr – Diamond Sox Movie

One for a Saturday evening, the excellent promo movie for Notis & Iba Mahr’s new single Diamond Sox which even has a little bit of gardening interest in it (leaves being raked up, a never ending task come the autumn when I worked for the council!)

It’s a tune celebrating old time fashion wear featuring the great Max Romeo in a cameo role. Big shout to David Rodigan for tipping us off about this one on his show the other week. Some lovely suede boot (a nice pair of Clarks by the way) cleaning techniques on show here (in an old school toothbrush style, brushing over a boiling kettle with a hard wire brush works wonders too!)

Max Romeo – Sipple Out Deh – Upsetter

I’ve got the side bed blues…

Augustus Pablo – Thunder Clap/ Ken Boothe – Ain’t No Sunshine

In the video above there’s a scene from a pub called The Enterprise which I’m convinced was the one in Camberwell where in the 1980’s I had my first “sunday afternoon stop back” to a soundtrack of old reggae, classic soul and clinking beer glasses plus a free plate of chicken, rice and peas from the generous landlord Louis when everyone else was going home to their sunday roast. In the good old days London pubs used to close at 2.30 then reopen at 7, bonkers!

Talking of which, the weather’s also been bonkers today, while I’m writing this, it’s tipping it down with added thunder and lightning. Yet at just gone 9 this morning the sun was blazing, so a bit of early “tipping about” was in order so I tidied up the beds down the left hand side of the garden. This can you believe was once where a couple of greenhouses stood before one of the previous owners smashed them up. Criminal isn’t it? I’d love a greenhouse (with heating, hi-fi and disco lighting of course!)side bed blues_2The beds nearest the house contain peas, one solitary cabbage, onions, rhubarb, parsnips, beetroot and carrots. There’s not much rhyme or reason to the beds, (I mean just one solitary cabbage!) some rows go north to south and some go east to west. The raised bed to the side of them (made from a couple of scaffolding boards found in a skip) contain runner beans and raspberries (I was given a bag of roots with shoots that a friend of mine was going to chuck out when he was thinning out his raspberry patch on his allotment.) The bed furthest away has a dwarf plum tree, three tomato plants, a couple of courgettes, a pumpkin which is now starting to wander, some borage for the bees to the side and a couple of houseplants that are having a “summer break” in the terrarium/fishbowl thing in the middle. Pick and mix jazz-gardening or what?Side bed blues_3 Talking of tomatoes, I heard a great tip on last week’s episode of The Dirt, don’t forget to give your tomato flowers a light shake to help the pollen on it’s way. Good eh?

Boards Of Canada – Saturday Sun – Warp

When the echo chamber dishes the dirt

beingthere copy

Big shout to our good friends Dr Strangedub and DJ Baby Swiss for the rebroadcast of “In The Garden Of Dub” part 1 of a mix for all dub gardeners, on this week’s Echo Chamber on KFAI. Before the mix is a rerub of my appearance on The Dirt the other week. Cheers for airing that!

Also on the show there’s some great new music from Phil Harmony, Nate Wize, Alpha Steppa, and more… Download it here.

Download the updated “In The Garden Of Dub Part 1 & Part 2” (dedicated to the late Peter Sellers aka Chauncey Gardner) here:

The best veg is yet to come (vertically)

Bessie Banks – Don’t You Worry Baby The Best Is Yet To Come

What a tune! Heard on this week’s episode of “the gardening show like no other” The Dirt on Radio Fab International (22nd June on listen again.) Some great stuff on there this week as per including Mark Ridsdill Smith of the excellent Vertical Veg who picked this track and who is big into growing food in containers.

Mark mentioned some great tips like using those black plastic buckets that get chucked outside Florist’s as containers to grow in, he advocates wormeries (big up the brandling worm!) and says on his website, “there is no reason why most of our fresh salads, herbs, fruit and vegetables cannot be grown on our streets, window sills, balconies and back yards.” Too right! Have a look at his website as it’s great stuff. Who needs a blimmin’ garden!

Dub like shower

Sizzla – Rain Showers (Bronx Dogs Dub Mix)

A nice super-fast Sizzla remix from many moons ago by Bronx Dogs (personally, I play the dub at 33 and pitch it up) but still a tune! Lovely speeded up tubby “squawky” high pass filterisms in the mix too. Sounds fast the first time you hear it, but after a few plays it makes sense!Rainy night in SE23The tune does sum up tonight well though, I’d just finished watering the garden and low and behold the heavens opened! Here’s a pic mid-shower (above.) Not too much colour in the back at the moment just shades of green but it won’t be long until that starts changing. Notice the fence has now been completely painted, that didn’t take too long to finish did it? Only 2 years!

I’ve also stuck in an old photo (below) of what the garden was like when we moved in six years ago. Talk about nervous breakdown material, bonkers was not the word!

Mental mental radio rental!Below: An old sink, the plastic greenhouse back in business after the £10 replacement cover (Ta Penny Golightly for sparking the idea!), a sunflower, tomato and a dahlia in some reused ready mix cement tubs and just in shot, one of those blue mushroom trays. Give it up for the (multi-purpose) plastic mushroom tray!Pat Roach in the corner

Sizzla – Rain Showers (Bronx Dogs Vocal Mix)

Olla, olla, olla. Oi, oi oi!


A shout to Mihaly at Dig This Nursery for telling me about this mad watering device. An Olla used in the garden is a terracotta vessel buried in the ground for keeping plants well irrigated without wasting water. More info on the humble Olla here. Pics taken from the Oyana website who produce them.

olla into the ground

They’ve got some Ollas in the window boxes on The Hobgoblin next door to the nursery with some well healthy looking plants in them and Mihaly told me that they haven’t been watered for a couple of weeks. No idea how much they cost but it’s an ingenious idea. Invented by the chinese many moons ago I was told!

Marvin Gaye – Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) – Tamla Motown


I’ve just had an email from Guillermo from Oyana:
“The Ollas I am producing now will all have glazed tops. The reason for this is because they lose even less water as the water doesn’t evaporate through the neck. Also, they won’t have any stains of fungi or mould growing which may happen if not glazed.”

“Dig this Nursery prices of glazed top ollas are: £9 for small and £15 for the big one and It will be London’s first stockist.”

Brilliant stuff! Thanks for getting in touch!