That’s May sorted then!

Two events in the distant future that are well worth sticking in the diary or on that wallchart thingy:

Annual plant sale at The South London Botanical Institute, 323 Norwood Road SE24 9AQ. Saturday 12th May 11am – 1pm. Wide range of unusual, locally grown and reasonably priced plants and advice on how to grow them. Free entry. More info here.

Spring Plant Fair at Telegraph Hill Centre, Kitto Road, New Cross, London, SE14 5TY. Saturday 19th May 2018. 1pm until 2pm. Admission £2. More info here.

And for no other reason that finding this single on youtube at work this afternoon here is the excellent Big Youth with Gregory (Isaacs) with My Time.

And Bob Andy’s original from years gone by. Tunes to stick on loud this weekend while keeping warm indoors if the weather forecast is to be believed! Roll on spring!


Spring is just around the corner

Here’s an excellent mix from a good mate of weeds The Rhythm Doctor. It features some lovely tunes including one of a very rare nature; Joe Monsano – Haile Selassie Instrumental off Bullet Dub, a special Rhythm Doctor re-edit of Lizzard – Satta I and the damn right mad The Upsetter – Tipper Special. The full tracklistings are:

Alan Watts – Intro
Beris Bradley – Cool Rock (Slight edit)
The Upsetter – Tipper Special
Rupie Edwards – Feeling Irie
Big Youth – Jim Screechie
Augustus Pablo – Harmony Dub
Light of Saba – Collie Version
The Destroyers – Compass
Geffrey Chang & all stars – U.F.O
Lizzard – Satta I Dub (RD version)
Prince Buster All Stars – Boop
The Morwell – The Giant
Joe Monsano – Haile Selassie Instrumental
Michael Campbell – Home Guard version
Linval Thompson – Mariguana
Blackbeard – Cut after Cut
The Upsetters – Return of the Super Ape
Prince Far I & The Arabs – Homeward Bound
Augustus Pablo – Abyssinia Dub

It’s a mix to stick on loud while sowing those early tomato seeds under a plastic propagator on a warm windowsill indoors. But in the words of the song “Cool it, don’t rush it” as it’s still a bit t’wirley!

What will that weather bring?

Heading for a heatwaveIt was officially summer on the 1st of June but you wouldn’t have thought it what with the cold blustery weather at the moment. Everyone still keeps on saying about this expected heatwave. Don’t hold your breathe…

Here’s a couple of tunes to bring some sunshine and warmth. The first is a West African Disco crossover called Ta Lassa (Hide & Smile Edit) from the International Soleil Band from Guinea. It’s from the early 1980’s and out on a 12″ on Soundway records as heard on the Tom Ravenscoft show last week. It’s one seriously good tune!

The second is one I originally heard on a cassette tape of Red Dragon‘s Rambo Mango Sound system from Jamaica in August 1989 bought in Brixton for a few quid around that time. The tune featured on it, is from the great Frankie Paul called I Want You on the classic Mister Bassie rhythm. Recently bought on 7″ for £8 inc p+p on discogs. A bargain for such a big tune!

How do you make a Zen garden?

A big shout to Dr Strangedub and DJ Baby Swiss from the excellent radio show Echo Chamber on KFAI who every Wednesday from the crack of dawn play the best in reggae, dub and downbeat.

On this week’s show they played Dr Strangedub’s “In the garden of dub” mix (above) from a couple of years ago celebrating the “pleasures of gardening, the roots of life and the seasons of nature.” We here think it’s great stuff and includes Singers & Players (ft. Prince Far I), Madtone, Leroy Sibbles, Jah Wobble, Lee Perry and lots more, dedicated to the late great Peter Sellers (aka Chauncey Gardner). More proof that music and gardening do mix!

The rebroadcasting of the mix comes at an apt time where last week Graham Porter on Gardening with Tim Crowther on BBC Radio Leeds said that we’ve now reached the point where tender plants can be now put out. But that’s after the plants have had a period of being hardened off, a good watering and some slug protection has been put down first. But do keep that fleece handy just in case and watch those weather forecasts as you never know if/when those damn frosts will reappear.

Lock up your tubers

lock up your tubersLast weekend featured the fastest session of gardening in weeds up to me knees history! It was a quick pop out to the garden to stick something in the compost bin, feed those starving goldfish and to lift up a couple of Dahlia plants so they can be safely stored for the winter. My my my daliahThe frost earlier on this month had blackened the tops so I dug them up and cut off the stalks. It was then a case of cleaning off the excess soil, letting them dry naturally upside down and then sticking them in a cool place out of frost, light and heat which was under the stairs in a paper bag. I’ll keep a check on them over the winter just in case there’s any rotting going on. Graham Porter on Radio Leeds mentioned they can be stored in a tray of dry compost or the like as well.Adam and eveI’ve heard advice to the contrary but I do remember reading that Adam the Gardener (not a real bloke just a drawing in a book, above) starting them off in the spring and separating the tubers when new shoots appear thus producing a few new plants, how good is that?

Also James Wong mentioned that the Dahlia was originally brought to Europe from Mexico as an alternative to the humble Potato. Dahlia Dauphinoise anyone? Dahlia Chips with Cod and that pickled egg? Er, no thanks.

Respect is due…

Sad news as another great gardener goes to that big greenhouse in the sky.

Joe maiden RIPThis week the great Joe Maiden from Gardening with Tim and Joe on BBC Radio Leeds passed away with prostate cancer. Very sad news indeed, as he was a man who knew his onions… (and carrots, and brassicas, and beetroots, and chrysanthemums, and dahlias, and roses, and agapanthus, and foxgloves, etc, etc.) He’ll be sorely missed. R.I.P Joe Maiden.