A risqué Dahlia

BurlesqueIn the winter months it’s almost easy to forget you actually tinker around in the garden what with the weather and that. Today braving the cold, I popped into Shannon’s to spend a couple of quid and remind myself I am a gardener. And look at this great looking dahlia (with a brilliant name too!) they had in there amongst some great tree lilies and the like.

Do it in the mix

Tomtato_CloseI can’t remember what radio show I heard about this mad plant above (possibly Graham Porter on BBC Radio Leeds) but it’s called a TomTato ® aka ketchup and chips and available from Thompson & Morgan. At first I thought it was some sort of joke but they’re available for a tenner a plant if you fancy one in your garden. scotch eggThey also do egg and chips, an aubergine crossed with a potato but at nearly £15 a plant I’d be making sure those blooming garden pests wouldn’t get to them first. I’d have evening and dawn anti-slug patrols guarding my veg beds if I shelled out that much for a plant!

Ain’t it bonkers what they can do today? Me, I’ll be sticking with my leggy tomato seedlings.

Friday night mix-up business

Norwood Soul PatrolHere’s a great podcast featuring a right mad mix of tunes from the greatly named Norwood Soul Patrol on Rinse FM. One to whack on loud the night before your daughter’s 18th birthday party while thinking “where the hell has the time flew to?” and a show well worth listening to for some great musical eclecticism. Download the 15th February episode here and as they say on Soundcloud, “Track ID at 1.34.55 please.”

Songs to sow seeds to

Songs to sow seeds to

Here’s the first in a regular monthly series of tunes to accompany your seed sowing. It’s February and still a bit early, but for the eager beavers out there you can sow a few in the greenhouse or on that plastic propagator on the kitchen windowsill.

We’ve got our tomatoes just on their seed leaf stage at the moment and there’s some mini-peppers coming through too but you could also start off your aubergines, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, calabrese, onion seeds and start chitting your spuds if you haven’t already.

And here’s a tune by Digid called Revolution Sound out on the Lion Charge label to crank up loud while preparing your seed sowing (making sure the compost has been warmed up a bit by being indoors for a few days beforehand rather than stone cold from the outside.) Sow on and sow forth.

The awakening

It’s just gone the month of February, maybe it’s because I’m a little bit impatient and I have a touch of the twirlies but there’s already some spuds chitting and seeds sprouting indoors. Also if I get a minute this week, I’m going to stick a double layer of fleece over a couple of patches of the garden to warm the soil up for the big kick off in the next couple of months.chitting 2016 styleeI bought two types of spuds from Shannon’s, who have loads of varieties in stock from the different cropping types (first earlies, second earlies, main crop and second/late main crop) the terms of which used to confuse the hell out of me. A simple explanation about all of that is here. The ones “chitting” in the back room (above) are Sharpe’s Express (first early) and the good old Maris Piper (main crop.) seed starting 2016 styleeAlso in the back room near the window, is a covered propagator with tomatoes (Moneymaker) and sweet peppers off to an early start, which will be no doubt be leggy as hell before they’re ready to go out.foxtail returnsAnd talking of Shannon’s, this is where I bought the Eremurus aka foxtail lilly or desert candle bulb from and it looks like the monster is ready to resurface again for it’s year long reign of terror (above.) It might be not even be an inch at the moment but before you know it, it’ll be 6 foot tall and will be sending up a lovely flower spike like last year (below.)

But be warned, don’t get on it’s wrong side as it might come into your home and take over your life! On afoxtail 2 tip