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!

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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.

Meet me at the trippy greenhouse

greenhouse classics_MiloBig thanks to our good pal Reverend Milo Speedwagon for his contribution to the second of Greenhouse Classics, a spot where one and all get to choose a tune to blast out while in the potting shed, down the garden pond or while stirring your Comfrey liquid.

The good Reverend picks a lovely tune from C Duncan (who’s been featured on Weeds  here before) called “Garden” aptly enough. It’s one to enjoy loud while putting your feet up after turning over those beds you’ve been meaning to do for years.

As Milo explains “Imagine a bunch of hippy gnomes slowly emerging from the undergrowth…they sing this song while gently stroking your weary head, pampering your inner soul and softly sending you off to the end of the garden to fetch their cup of tea that’s just right for drinking now…..that’s where this tune takes me.” Just wonderful Milo!

We’d love to hear your Greenhouse 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 and we’ll take it from there.

Remember as that long forgotten punk group sang, “No Genesis, Cliff or The Rolling Stones… in 2015!” as a refusal often offends.