How’s life in London?

It’s sweltering and it’s not even 12 noon yet! We’ve got KFAI on and tuned into the Echo Chamber and listening to the last few tunes of the programme played by DJ Baby Swiss AKA CAPNCOZY (who co-hosts with the one and only Dr Strangedub) and this one by Kliment & Tuatara called Super Moon was just played. Perfect for weather like this!

A garden update and a tune

Thanks to our good friend across the pond Justin Patrick Moore for the sending us a photo update of his back garden. That’s what’s brilliant around this time of year, the garden seems to grow overnight and at a fair rate too. We all should really appreciate this time as autumn will be here before we know it. Above are the “Tiger Lilies gone wild” and below is entitled “When the Compost Takes on a Life of it’s Own” and we all know about that when we get those potato peelings and old onions sprouting! Is that a cucumber/courgette growing and are there a few mushrooms in there too?

And below a nice patch of borage that the bees love and the leaves are a good addition to comfrey if you’re making a liquid feed.

He also sent us a nice tune to accompany the pics from Anna Nacher & Marek Styczyński off the LP entitled Throbbing Plants (the title sounding very Genesis Breyer P-Orridge meets Percy Thrower.)

Thank you for the pics Justin. Please send your garden pics, no matter how small your garden is, even if it’s just a couple of pots on a windowsill, send them in! The address is onedeckpete (at) gmail.com we’d love to see your garden!

Magical gardening advice

And here’s a wonderfult tip/warning from the “well interesting” or “well out there, man” (whatever your point of view about this kind of thing is) Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs” by Scott Cunningham (Llewellyn Worldwide) about the herb that is Sage. Personally, we love this book as it makes us smile during another weekend of lockdown. #gardeninginlockdown #losingourmarblesandpersonalityinlockdown

The answer my friend…

The weather has taken a turn for the windy this morning. Those cardoons we bought out of curiosity from Shannon’s as seedlings are on their second year now and well over six foot at the moment are swaying all over the shop. The flower heads are now starting to form, they really are something else when they come out. As for that Giant Russian Mammoth Sunzilla Big Massive and Broad 12ft Super Size Sunflower we bought on ebay…

Live from the town and comfrey show

Comfrey liquid, don’t we all just love it? Looks awful don’t it? Well imagine the smell is about 1000 times worst as how it looks and you’re close. Drain out the liquid from the above abyss into a bottle then transfer a capful into a watering can and add some H20 and you’ll have some top end plant feed, we kid you not. As well as being bunged into a 1980’s Boot’s homebrew bucket we’re use a leaf or two to put below tomato plants (and other seedlings) before they go in the ground. A very versatile plant and the bees don’t half love it!

The actual plants where we’re taking the leaves from are taking a hammering at the moment (and it’s not even June!) but they don’t seem to mind. If you’re going to get some go for the “Bocking 14” variety. As the song goes: comfrey, what is it good for?

 

A mountain garden from across the pond

You know we love seeing other people’s gardens and a friend of ours Thomas sent in some great pictures of his space atop a mountain in western North Carolina, USA and we love it!

His vegetable beds are at an early stage of growth he told us but they still look impressive, we love those logs! “We’re still not beyond our last frost date, so the veggie garden is still very young. Indeed, we even had a few snow flakes last night.” Being up in the mountains the garden is 2-3 weeks behind the valley below.

He said “Keep your expectations low, this is basic gardening”, wow keep them low, how can we do that with all that lovely scenery! Thomas mentioned “We go for what I call a “National Park” look. The sort of landscaping we find here at national/state parks: basic, using natural materials, and almost exclusively native plants.” 

Thomas’s space puts us in mind of Zdenko Franjic (DJ Zdena)‘s garden in Zagreb, Croatia another lovely spot which we covered a few years ago (more on Zdenko‘s garden here.)

Thomas also included a photo of his wood shed (above) “I’ve been spending an incredible amount of time this year sawing down trees and splitting wood. What’s in the shed is a fraction of it. Kind of back-breaking, but somehow satisfying at the end of a day.” What a lovely looking wood shed. We live in a place called Forest Hill but sadly there’s no wood-chopping done around these parts but if there were, we’d want a wood shed like that.

“We have made a few paths through the woods around our house this year, too. We do so not only to have more hiking trails, but it also makes it easier to see our flowering plants like Trilliums.” Thanks a million Thomas for sharing your inspiring outdoor space, it don’t half look magical!
We’re always up for seeing other people’s gardens, plants on windowsills or balcony spaces so please send us your pics and we’ll gladly post them up on Weeds.

Walk like an onion

The sun actually came out again today and it was warm, making it an alright day in the lockdown stakes. We noticed that the Egyptian walking onions (above) are starting to form their topsets. We really love these odd onions especially once they start to form their bulbils and drop to the floor ready to start their way slowly around the garden (below from a few years ago). Have a look at the website here to learn more about these strange plants!And through the post today we received a couple of packs of seeds  off Ebay including another favourite of ours, night scented stock. The plant and its flowers are nothing to look at and you could be easily be forgiven to think they were a weed but if you have some of these plants around a opened back door on a warm summer’s evening the smell is something else. Give them a go!

And give this a go, a bonkers version of Green Onions for your listening pleasure.

There’s good jobs and bad jobs!

Well we finished the big job of clearing the ivy off the front garden wall (there’s still a little bit on the top right hand-side but that’s covering part of the wall that’s fallen down) and getting rid of the weeds so we can start again from afresh. There’s still the odd bit of ivy root in the ground that when it starts to grow again will need knocking off with a hoe. Some parts of the ground were so hard we couldn’t get the garden fork in deep enough but on those bits we just ruffled the surface a bit. Once we have that bit of rain we’ve been promised this week it will hopefully look like it’s all been forked over well!

And a job we do hate is draining off the liquid from the bucket which houses the brewing comfrey liquid. To say it smells is an understatement. And for God’s sake don’t even get any of the stuff (even if it’s been diluted) on your gardening gloves or clothes.

More on making your own excellent (but stinky) comfrey plant feed here. Comfrey is a must-have in the garden as it’s great for the bees and for plant food! You’ll have to be careful though, as the plant has a tendency to take over if you don’t regularly check it.

B is for borage, L is for lockdown

It started cold and bleak today so we stayed indoors wielding a paintbrush this morning. The weather did improve and come about 1pm it was beautiful as this bee on the borage can testify.

We have borage popping up everywhere this year, we bought some seeds a few years back and it now self seeds all over the garden. It’s a plant well worth growing for the bees to enjoy and for the flowers you can put in Pims and also salads (and it has herbal medicine uses too here) but we love it for the leaves that can be chucked in into the compost heap or comfrey liquid for a bit of extra goodness.

Everything in the vegetable beds are cracking on at a good rate. We are packing a lot into the home-made raised beds but why not? The ones above contain potatoes, tomatoes, peas, carrots, peppers and whatever else can be crammed in. We only have limited space so we’re taking a chance on what’ll grow.

Also don’t be fooled with this present run of sunny weather, next week it goes down a few degrees and it always good to be aware that you may get a late frost which can wipe out a lot of stuff so regularly check the weather forecast just in case.

We’ve still got protection over the top of the tender plants at night (we close them up about 6pm so any further heat that the sun produces can be trapped in until the morning) and it ain’t anything fancy. We’ve got large jam jars, plastic cloches, an old window frame and recycled polythene tacked onto the cold frames. With this gardening malarkey you can’t take anything for granted, especially UK weather!

We hope the growing is going well in your garden. Anyone fancy sending us pictures of what they’re growing so we can post them up on the blog which’ll give us all more encouragement during this lockdown. Do get in contact if so.

#gardeningduringlockdown #lockdowngardening #sleepinginlatertocombatlockdown #sniffindisinfectant