One for the autumn collection

Heard on Tom Ravenscroft’s show this week, a tune from Deerhunter called Snakeskin out on 4AD (home to the US Girls we featured a while back here). Loving the instrumental section three quarters of the way in. The tune takes a little while to sink in, but it will! One to play loud while you realise it’s near enough autumn.

To squash or not to squash

They must be firing chemicals into the atmosphere again (see post here for explanation) as it was lovely this morning, now the weather’s taken a turn for the worst.Butternut squashes away!Before it did rain I harvested the first of the (two so far) butternut squashes on one of the plants grown from seed. It might have the odd mark on it and a light slash down the side, but who cares!

It didn’t take much effort either, I sowed the seeds in May and popped a couple of them in each pot (of seed sowing compost) just in case only one germinated, as they were part of a job-lot of seed packets on e-bay where some had passed their “use by date” and pulled out the weaker of the two seedlings when they appeared. I waited until the first proper leaves appeared and put them in various parts of the garden after “hardening them off” first. Apart from weeding around the young seedlings and giving them a semi-regular feed of comfrey liquid (beware, it pongs a bit!) that was it. squash plant all over the placeThe plant that really took off was in one of the side beds which stalled for a couple of weeks then went absolutely mad, covering all the area and now trying to climb up the small plum tree and travel across the lawn. It’s an ideal plant if you’ve got a sunny corner or plot you want to cover for a season, just watch it though, as it will takeover!

The moral of this post is, butternut squash, it was easy, it was cheap (well cheap in fact!) GO AND DO IT (next year)!

My leeks are no Usain Bolt’s, let me tell you!

Rakim – It’s Been A Long Time [DJ Premier – Original Version]

It was sunny yesterday morning so I went out early in the back to tidy up the bottom bed, weeds were beginning to sprout there and bindweed was finding it’s way in too. I do like a bit of clearing and weeding as it also gives my headspace a chance of a clear-out too (man)!one clear bedFunnily enough I was going to “rest” that bed this year, but in February I obtained a great selection of stuff from the seed swap organised by Lewisham Gardens and Golightly Gardens (post here.) Then there was that bargain seed job-lot I won on ebay too (post here) and that’s apart from packets bought from the garden centre, so those seeds had to go somewhere!on a cheery tipIt started with some poppies, then it was beetroots, carrots and a couple of salad crops. Then I added a couple of different varieties of sunflower, parsnips, rocket, cornflowers and not forgetting there were some strawberry plants in already. It looked like a garden designer’s nightmare (below pic: the plot in the summer). So much for a “resting” bed with nothing in it!June_2015_2It’s like gardening itself though, once you start it’s difficult to stop. You go out for ten minute’s “tipping around with a hoe” and you return a few hours later after finding “another job I just had to do”.Tarrium and garlicOne thing though, a row of leeks that I started off from seed (above, in the seed tray in the “found in the street” terrarium taken around late February) are just about ready if I wanted to use them small. How long do they take to grow?Back bed leeks

Harvesting in harmony

greenhouse classics_Phil Harmony

Thanks to our good friend Phil Harmony of the Dubnight Radio Show out of Berlin for sending us this Greenhouse Classic. It’s a tune in a suitable vegetable growing vein from Israel Voice called Farm up the land. It’s a tune and a half and one for blaring out whilst out in the garden!

As  well as DJing and producing some rather fine tune-age, Phil grows his own produce organically on his 2.5m x1.50m (approx) balcony outside his flat in Berlin (see last year’s post here). For a small space it’s great how much he grows which includes peppers, raspberries, strawberries beans, basil and tomatoes.Phil Harmony Balcony_1

Phil Harmony Runner beans

Phil harmony a fistful of toms

Phil Harmony_balcony2

phil harmony strawberries

And a ginger plant started from a sprouting root from his kitchen, look at it now!

Phil Harmony _ GingerPhil Harmony PeppersThanks again Phil for the great greenhouse classic and the brill balcony gardening pics!

Any advice for an Edelweiss?

A big shout to our friend and musical collaborator Jazzmin Tutum out of Freiburg, Germany for getting in touch and sending us a photo of her ailing Edelweiss that she’d love to get back to it’s former glory after receiving it off a friend a few weeks ago.

EidelweissLooking online the general consensus is most of the species are short-lived (2-7 years) anyway, they thrive outdoors or in a big container with well-drained/loose soil (neutral to alkaline) rather than indoors, prefer dry than wet conditions but hardy as anything. If anyone out there has any advice to get this one (above) back to this sort of condition (below) please add a comment below.

Nice eidelweiss

Thanks also to Jazzmin for letting us know about her latest musical output called “Ci Ca Run Come” a great tune over the Celebrity Fever rhythm released on the Dub-o-phonic netlabel from Cyprus. The whole EP including Jazzmin’s track is well worth getting and is available free here.

The label has some other great free releases on it including artists who’ve had their gardens/plants mentioned on weeds, notably Med Dred (post here) and Haji Mike who also appears on the EP (post here.) It’s great to have another one of their artist’s up on here!

Any advice on the Edelweiss appreciated!

Jazzmin Tutum – Ci Ca Run Come – Dub-o-phonic Netlabel

In a Sunday morning (greenhouse) stylee

greenhouse classics_JFThanks to our friend John F for very kindly sending in his top suggestion for our regular spot of tune-age to blast out while gardening. As John says “Here’s a tune perfect for a Sunday morning in the Greenhouse!” and indeed it is! A classic from the late great Joe Higgs called “There’s a reward for me”. And what a tune! Thanks again John!

We’d love to hear your greenhouse/garden shed/potting shed/coal shed classic, never mind the genre, anything considered as long as it’s good. Send it to onedeckpete (at) gmail.com or comment on this post with a youtube link. Remember “No Marillion, Genesis or Yes as a refusal often offends.”

Ozzy Osbourne tinkering around in his greenhouse

HM crocosmia

Popped into Shannon’s today for a few bits and saw on sale a variety of Crocosmia called ‘Lucifer.’ How mad is that? This variety wins our “heavy metal plant-name of the week” competition. What next, a crocus called “fake leather jacket and biker’s boots?” The NWOBHM revival starts in this greenhouse!

A surrealist style summer

Here's gone summerAKA Is this the summer or are we in a perpetual state of hoping for one?

I’ve haven’t long got back from a family break in Camber Sands. The night before I left for the seaside I gave the garden a good old dousing with a hose, thinking it wouldn’t get another drop until I got back. All through that evening and during the night it tipped it down, great eh?

Yesterday I popped into my local supermarket to “get some bits” and said to the chap behind the till, “where’s the sun gone, mate?” as it wasn’t the best of days weatherise.

I thought I’d just get a smile or a jokey reply but he came back with a long bonkers theory that the british government are firing chemicals into the atmosphere during the evening (so no-one will see) to make sure our summers only last a few weeks or even days. The conversation went like that for a few minutes much to the disgust of the long queue forming behind me (he was the only one serving!)

I nodded and picked up my shopping bags. Judging by the weather forecast for the next few days, perhaps he’s right! Solitary squashOne thing in the garden that seems to like the rain, is the mad butternut squash that has filled the square bed at the side of the garden (only one squash on it though) and now trying to climb up the plum tree. Madness!

The world this week

cheap herb gardenThis evening I popped into Robert Dyas where it’s half price seed time again. I was told by the assistant that the offer is only for another week or so, get in there quick!  I bought a mixed pack of herbs (basil, coriander, chives and parsley) for the bargain price of £1.50. Not bad for an indoor herb garden for winter!

I also learnt a new word this week courtesy of Gardening with Tim & Joe on BBC Radio Leeds. The excellent Graham Porter who was standing in for Joe mentioned that Petrichor is the word for that earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. Well, I never!

Here’s a great tune as played by Tom Ravenscroft over the past few months which has been on my mind this week. It’s by Rozi Plain called Actually on Lost Map records. Apart from being a lovely tune with a video that’ll put a smile on your face, the video features a bit of T’ai chi sword form and what looks like a bit of Yang style. More T’ai chi in music video’s please!

oh what a dramaAnd finally on the subject of China here’s what arrived through the post after three month’s wait (plus free gift!) Possibly the best name variety of Poppy there is!

Zucchini and I

Paul's courgetteIt’s all gone a bit courgette-centric around here at the moment. A big shout to our good mate Paul W for sharing with us a pic of his first ever courgette (above). It was grown in a raised bed from a plant bought outside Charlton train station in May this year on his way home from work (four plants for two quid, a bargain or what?) Great stuff Paul! weeds courgettesOur courgettes are doing are doing well too (above) not bad from a packet of seeds from the seed swap earlier this year.

Last weekend another good mate was telling me that the two things on his allotment that never fail are courgettes and beetroot which incidentally are two great crops for someone who fancies starting out gardening. As long as you give them enough water and a feed every now and again you’ll get good results. In the case of courgettes, keep picking them when they are young (and watch they don’t turn into a marrow-like affairs) and you’re onto a winner. Don’t blame me though if you get a glut of the things though!

On the subject of gluts, anyone out there have any good recipes for courgettes? Send them to onedeckpete (a) gmail.com or leave a comment on this post.