What’s in the mix?

Life is all about what’s in the mix and the above is what we recently found after clearing out our compost bin of its organic matter. There’s some surprises: a sonic screwdriver (for God’s sake), a silver teaspoon and a plastic bag with some Caesar Salad mix in it! It’s frightening as we think we’re really careful of what we put in the heap.

As for our latest bit of listening pleasure: the Rhythm Doctor’s audio mix for FatCat records (above), there’s no unwanted rubbish in there! Listen out for the following!

 

Fast and (free) bulbous

A big thanks to our good gardening friend Lewisham Gardens for letting us know about the offer of free spring bulbs (delivered free as well!) to communities in London by The Metropolitan Public Gardens Association and Taylors Bulbs of Holbeach.

It’s first come, first served and they’d probably appreciate a picture of the bulbs in their flowering glory in the spring which is no big deal.

So if you’re part of a community gardening group, a street or school, fill in the application from (available here) and keep those fingers crossed. Big up free bulbs!

Free seeds, ferrero rocher and protoje

Back bedIt was an afternoon of good weather today so I tipped around in the garden and finished off clearing the back bed and it was nice to see it clear of weeds for once.

CornflowerI’m giving the bed a bit of a rest of veg this year so unusually it’s going be full of flowers if all goes to plan. This afternoon I sowed a load of cornflowers called ‘blue boy’ in the first quarter of the bed (600 seeds off ebay for £1.50 including p+p, cheap or what?)

Talking of seeds and good value, earlier this morning I picked up a copy of “Grow your own” magazine for £4.99 for the free packets of veg seeds (little gem lettuce, basil, courgette, kale, carrot and celeriac) from the WH Smiths in Lewisham. They were also selling cut-price Terry’s Chocolate Oranges and Ferrero Rocher on a special make-shift stall outside the store because of Mother’s day tomorrow. Aaahhhhh!

Grow your own

And to end on, a lovely tune in a hip-hop/reggae style from the great Protoje called Criminal. A tune to play whacked up loud while searching magazine emporiums for gardening mags with free vegetable seeds as it’s “that time of year”. Big up Rodigan for playing this the other week. More of the instrumental version please.

And thanks to youtube, a nice live version of the tune.

The best things in life are (nearly) free!

Seed swap_1_Edit
A big thanks to Lewisham Gardens and Golightly Gardens for organising the great seed swap in Deptford yesterday. I got nearly everything from my wants list and there were loads of great seeds available. These events are always good for meeting fellow gardeners, getting growing advice and for picking up those odd varieties of seeds.

I got sunflowers, sweet peas, hollyhocks, poppies, foxgloves and gaillardia in the flower line. I wasn’t looking for too much veg as I’m happily sorted for those after getting a bargain of mixed veg seeds on ebay the other month.

I did get a couple of varieties of basil (bush and sweet genovese), french beans and a beefsteak tomato called Marmande which looked like it could be an extra from that silly 70’s film Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.Seedswap deptfordI was on my way out when I met a lovely chap who was looking for the seed swap who worked for Lewisham council. He told me later after a long shift at the council all he wants to do is spend the rest of his day up his allotment. Great stuff! Back in the seedswap he shared a wide variety of seeds (and I don’t even think he wanted anything in return as far as I can remember) and I got a tomato called Black Krim from Russia!

When I finally left I visited the new and improved Dig This Nursery in Clifton Rise, New Cross after being ribbed by Mihaly (who was doing a talk at the seed swap about growing veg in small spaces) for not being up to speed about knowing that their shop has moved. Sometimes I find it hard enough to keep up with what’s going in me own small world let alone outside it! They’ve even opened a new shop in Rye Lane in the parish of Peckham too.

In the New Cross shop is a second hand record section where I flicked through some old reggae singles (£3 each) where they had a copy of the late great Nicky Thomas tune Love of the Common People (to hear the original jamaican version without the strings click here). On the B side of that well-known single is the tune below which I was reminded about by The Rhythm Doctor when he span it at one of our events at Limewharf last year.

And thanks to the excellent Dancecrasher website (from The Tighten Up Crew) here’s the vocal version of the above from Slim Smith. Well I never knew that!

Thanks again to Lewiham Gardens and Golightly Gardens for this event. More seed swaps please!

Eats, shoots and leaves

I heard two great gardening tips this week. The first was from Penny Golightly (of the great Golightly Gardens website) who mentioned the free tomato seed offer from Heinz. It’s only a limited thing but have a look at their Facebook page here and see if you’re lucky!

Also on last week’s Gardening with Tim & Joe show on BBC Radio Leeds, Joe Maiden mentioned rather than buying a pack of seeds especially for pea shoots from the major seed sellers (around £2.50), go to the supermarket and buy a packet of dried peas which are the same thing and a whole lot cheaper!Bulbs in the greenI had a day off Thursday and managed to do a little bit of gardening before the rain came and it was so nice to be back out there. I cleared the bed next to the pond (Pic above – fish courtesy of Lewisham pet shop, bought a few years ago and they’ve multiplied a bit since then. God knows how they survive in a rusty old water tank!)

The reason I was out there was I bought a load of bluebells a fortnight ago which were bought “in the green” (as I missed the proper bulb planting time in the autumn) so when the postlady delivered them on Thursday morning they were live (with roots and shoots and all) so they had to go in. Let’s hope the birds or the squirrels don’t pull them up!

onions under glassThings are on the move, the onion sets, garlic and parsley under the top half of the old kitchen door are starting to show signs of life and the tomato and pepper seeds I stuck in a few weeks ago indoors are on their way. It won’t be long now, roll on the warm weather!

Tray of seedlings

Free seeds with Kitchen Garden magazine!

Free seeds kitchen gardenPopped into our local Co-Op on Friday evening and saw a gardening magazine with free seeds on the front so I had to get it, anything free me! The July 2013 issue of Kitchen Garden costs £3.99 but it’s got two packs of seeds on the front (Beetroot-Bolthardy and Beet, Leaf – Bright Lights) and there’s some good articles in it (Bob Flowerdew has a spread in it, tips on how to grow Basil, perfect Peas and growing Oca, the New Zealand yam) so, it’s a bargain!