Sha-na-na-na, sha-na-na-na-na, get a job

Here’s last night’s broadcast of WORK on Imaginary Stations on WRMI on Shortwave. There’s an hour of work related tunes from DJ Frederick and Justin Patrick Moore and at 7 minutes in there’s a mix from One Deck Pete called “Work (The old fashioned way)”. Here’s the tracklistings:

Eric Coates – Calling all Workers (excerpt)
Willie Hutch – Brothers gonna work it out
The Blue Orchids – Work
Culture – Work on Natty
Chairmen of the Board – Working on a building of love
The Silhouettes – Get a Job (Extract)

So ditch the sarnie box, kick off the Toetectors and interview slacks and tune into WORK.

… you’ll sing again, shal-lots in Forest Hill*

We’ve had some shallots sitting about in a bag for weeks and noticed they were looking like they had to be put out soon or they’ll go mouldy, so yesterday (on the eve of the official start of spring) we undertook a little job in the garden.

Years ago we found an old window frame on a skip and over the years it’s had many uses but since lockdown it’s been lying up against the back fence in retirement. The weather’s so changeable at the moment we knew those shallots had to be put in under cover, so the window frame had a bath in warm soapy water and is now back in service.

We got some bricks to make a simple support to put the frame on and then dug out a good bit of soil out of the space within, then made a small compost trench with a little bit of kitchen waste pinched from the top of the compost heap (whilst we were there, we gave the heap a bit of a fork over and a mix). Also using a trowel, we fished out about two buckets worth of decent compost (Black Gold as they call it) from the bottom of the heap which we put on top of the compost trench and then covered that with the soil we initially took out and there you go, we’ve now got some shallots “under glass”!

All of the shallots went in, had a light water and then we gave the bed around it a little hoe over (top pic) and then gave the path next to it a good old sweep. This gives a nice contrast between the bed and path making the bed look like it had a good few hours work on it. A trick learnt from the council. Now we have to wait and see. Springtime weather, do your job!

* To the tune of “Tulips from Amsterdam”.

And they’re off!

Spring may be springing or maybe not but we’ve got in and sowed some seeds in the propagator on the windowsill. We’ve done some miner’s lettuce, giant sunflowers some tomatoes and some chillies along with some rows sowed outside (we’re pushing our luck but having a try anyway, what we got to lose?)

Years ago we bought some wild garlic bulblets on ebay and they’ve popped up yet again down the shady area behind the pond and are kept safe under the watchful eye of a plastic dalek. And the second lot of the giant garlic we bought is starting to peep through the inch or two of the leaf mulch in the raised bed. We don’t know if it’s the plastic protection on the top that has helped or the the fact that one of the Weeds cats spends a lot of time sleeping on top of it! Who knows but something is working!)

And here’s some spring inspired dubs to get those plants on their way.

Ain’t it sprung yet?

Sunday was lovely for a spot of gardening after a rather wet and windy Saturday. The lawn was cut, the beds got a bit of a tidy up and we even got caried away sowing some borage under the tree. It’ll probably won’t be the best spot for them and God knows if they’ll even germinate as it may have been sunny Sunday but who knows what the future weather has got in store for us.

And we even had a peek under the plastic covered raised bed and the elephant garlic is coming on a bit and the foxgloves that were once plugs have even survived after a bit of a change from the warmth of the kitchen windowsill to outside in the freezing cold.

Come Monday morning it was back to the cold weather again and we went down to the compost heap to stick a couple of tea bags in and to give it a turn. What was well suprising was how much heat was generated in the heap even overnight with the grass clippings, there was even a bit of steam coming off the heap after forking it over. Covering the heap with cardboard certainly keeps the heat in. Let’s hope we can get out there again this Sunday.

And here’s a wonderful tune for a Wednesday night from Les Mamans du Congo & Rrobin called Loango Weaver. It’s from last years set “A Guide to the Birdsong of Western Africa by Various Artists” well worth checking out here.

Who’s in the garden tomorrow?

We took Friday off work hoping to do few jobs in the garden but we didn’t actually get around to it as it was a bit cold and tried again this afternoon but the weather was rubbish again with some light rain. The forecast looks great for tomorrow though so we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

And here’s a nice bit of chilled business, a track from GORE in Tokyo, Japan with Bills are piling up. Get some rest tonight as we all may busy in the garden tomorrow.

And talking of spring which we weren’t directly, here’s a favourite of ours from a long time ago. Very apt!

Seed swapping in SE15

This morning we popped into Glengall Wharf Gardens SE15 for their seed swap. We picked up some Orange Pumpkin, Chard, Hollyhock, Cherokee Vale of Tears Beans, Tree Spinach and American Pokeweed seeds so it was well worth popping down.

The garden itself is interesting and well worth visiting. They also have regular sessions and workshops which are very good by all accounts. Check their twitter here for what’s on and have a look at their website here. By the way on their seed swap table we saw a nomination for possibly the best rock band name ever (above).

And here’s a few pictures taken whilst walking around said gardens. There’s some great gardening ideas dotted about which are inspiring and could be adapted for use at home.

And there’s even some hens. We love that hanging cabbage feeder!

Garlic update, garlic update

We took the protection off the raised bed this afternoon so we could pop the foxgloves in pots in there. No idea if the cold nights will knock them for six but we’ll take a chance. When we took the frame off we were chuffed with what we saw of the giant garlic. They’re starting to make a break for it.

On a seed swapping tip

We’ve just heard of a great seed swap from Incredible Edible in Lambeth next month at The Garden Museum, 5 Lambeth Palace Road SE1 7LB on Saturday 18th February 2023 from 12-3pm. Get those spare seeds in a packet and get on down there and see what’s available to swap.

Know of any good Seed Swaps in the London area? If so do get in contact and we will post up the details as we love a seed swap here.

What a difference a day makes (again)

We popped down to the compost heap just and the whole garden is well frosted over (above).  We wonder how those giant garlic bulbs are doing? Will a couple of days worth of a covering of polythene actually help save said bulbs? The foxglove plugs are still in pots on the windowsill waiting until we “build” a coldframe.

It’s funny as yesterday was a bright and sunny day and nowhere as cold as today. We went out with our good mate Mark B for a south London stroll which took in the only pedestrian railway crossing in London at Angerstien Wharf (here), Jools Holland’s studio and the Saxon Tumuli at Greenwich Park (top half of the above photo above). Even though in this John Rogers’ video here (at 20 mins in) the artist Andrew Kötting mentions Julian Cope told him they were pre-Paleolithic.The change in the weather today reminded me of many years ago when we went to Fordham Park Festival (here). We met an old punk bloke in his late 50’s wearing a biker’s jacket with a well faded Crass symbol on the back. He was ranting and raving about all of the estate agents, coffee companies and cupcake vendors who were fuming that they couldn’t have stalls at the site (“We don’t want all those capitalist b’s ruining our festy”). He reckoned they all got together the day before and with a bit of alchemy, influenced some bad weather to fall on the site (It was tipping it down all day even though it had been glorious sunshine the days leading up to the festival). We love that idea that with a bit of influence and getting around a table you can change the weather. Can we have some heat this week then?

A frosty reception this morning

It’s always the way, awoke to a frost this morning (above). Typically a couple of days after planting the elephant garlic out under a thick mat of leaf mulch. We reckon we may have lost them but let’s see if they survive. That’s the trouble with gardening, just like life you get good days and bad days. We’ll update you about the garlic.

At lunchtime we got some plug plants through the post, some White Foxgloves off ebay (below). Expertly packed or what? They’re not going out just yet even though it said on the supplied notes they can be overwintered in a cold frame. Possibly, but they’re staying on the windowsill for a couple of days before we can knock up some sort of cold frame-like structure with protection outside in the garden. We’re talking an old piece of glass on some bricks or something, it won’t be pretty but it may work. Trouble is we don’t want the plugs to get too comfortable indoors even though they’ve probably come from a greenhouse before being posted.

And below is the latest episode of Imaginary Stations, KBUS which was broadcast last night on WRMI (also home to This is a music show and Radio Northern Europe International). The show’s theme is travel which features all sorts of eclectic goodness as ever featuring this tune below by Wesley Willis “Harmony Joy Bus Ride” which we’ve never heard of, shamefully we’ve never of the artist before either. We must do some more research on Wesley Willis as he was an interesting fellow by all accounts.

And at 43 minutes in on the show is One Deck Pete’s “Where’s me travel card?” mix.
Here’s the tracks:
John Harvey – Automated Announcement, Platform 7, Shewsbury station
Ceramic The Band – Tickets, Please
Tabasco Driver meets Delroy Wilson in Dub
N&L – Metropolis
Inteus – Angry Bus Driver
Phil Pratt – Safe Travel
kK4P M3TR0 – NEXT STOP – Riverside – Town Creek

Fingers crossed those garlic bulbs survive!