International Herb

Suprise Chefs – Rosemary Hemphill – Big Crown Records

Thanks again to The Rhythm Doctor for pointing us in the right direction of another great tune, this time within a week of the last one! The Suprise Chefs bring us some bright vibes with a great track called Rosemary Hemphill which he played on his show (below) on IDA Radio (Tallinn) last Monday at 50 minutes in.

While the track was playing he decided to google Rosemary Hemphill and to his suprise what he found was another music/gardening connection (and as you know there’s a fair few of them about!)

Turns out Rosemary Hemphill is an “Australian writer of cooking and gardening books, who has long been recognised as one of Australia’s leading herb and spice experts.” She was born at “sunrise” on “April Fool’s Day” in 1922, in Broome, western Australia and in her childhood spent some time at her grandparents in Bromley, UK who had a big herb garden which was a big influence on her. More on the great lady here. She’ll be 101 tomorrow. Happy Birthday!

The big question is are the Suprise Chefs keen gardeners then?

Can you get a better view than that?

Big shout to Rich R for getting in touch with us after a good few years with pictures of his garden in the Lake District. We don’t think you can get a better view than that from a back garden. We all moan about the winter but there’ll be no more moaning if the pic below was the view from your front door.

We get a bit frustrated here with the Ladywell Fields Heron, Lewisham Parakeets and the south London sliced-bread snaffling Fox posse but up there they have proper wildlife to contend with: badgers, deer and rabbits which eat everything veg wise if they were to grow it. So Rich grows wild fruit and strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and a bit of marjoram. The back garden is literally on the side of a mountain, made up of 5 terraces and rises to about 500 ft. How good is that?

It’s a good looking garden Rich and the carpet of bluebells look great and we’re loving it here, more pictures please as the season cracks on!

Tune of a Thursday lunchtime

Cheers to our good mate Gerry Hectic for sending this deeply dubby recommendation (above). It’s from Aspartate and it’s called Apart (Version). All we know about it is produced by someone called Mark Bailey and it’s on the D.Construction label out of Germany and their Bandcamp is here.

And talking of chilled out dub, here’s another lovely example. It’s by Dub Addiction and it’s called Ecological Dub (Calm Down Remix). It will be featured on a lounging mix on the shortwaves very very soon.

London Bridge is burning down

Big shout to our very good friend The Rhythm Doctor (of The Rhythm Doctor’s Waiting Room on IDA Radio – Tallinn on a Monday morning here) for telling us about this excellent collection on Bandcamp from Don Cavalli.

It’s called Don Cavalli chants down babylon and what an EP it is! There’s 4 top tracks including this above, his interpretation of The Wailers Fire Fire AKA Bunny Wailer’s Love Fire. We implore you to listen to this EP and make a purchase.

KZOO calling, KZOO calling

Tune in to Imaginary Stations this Sunday 26th March 2023 at 2200 UTC on WRMI on 9395 kHz for KZOO a show which is all about kazoo’s, kids piano’s, güiro, washboards and all sorts of home-made instruments which weren’t encouraged by the music teacher. Tune in and enjoy!


And they’re off part 2

It looks like there’s action on the Miner’s Lettuce stakes and we only put the seeds in last Saturday, that hasn’t taken long to germinate has it? Nothing on the others but it’s early days yet. We’re still keeping the propagator lid on and opening the vents during the day. We’ll keep you posted on the others. As the Desperate Bicycles once sang “It was easy, it was cheap, GO AND DO IT!” Buy those seeds and get them started, it won’t be till spring.

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.

Permaculture in SE8

A big thanks to our friend Ruth who lets us know of a great course called Connect with Nature – The Basics of Permaculture on Friday 17th March 2023 from 11.00am to 1.30pm. You’ll learn about the building blocks of Permaculture design and how to apply it in everyday life, something we here would be very much into and it’s at a great price of £20 as well. It takes place at John Evelyn Community Garden, Windlass Place, London SE8 3QZ. More on the course and how to apply here.

Quaking in our gardening boots about the weather

We watched the weather forecast on telly last night and the tall chap in the suit was a little unsure about what’s going to happen next week, “It will get colder and there may be snow or maybe not, even we don’t know”. We deduced from this it’ll be a good idea not to be too keen this weekend especially sowing something outside, so we’re holding our horses as they say.

Because of the cold weather today we decided to give it a miss even though we had some jobs to do out in the garden. We did have post this morning that cheered us up though, a small bag of Rocket early seed potatoes (If you want to know the different types of potatoes from earlies to lates explained simply, have a look here), some shallot sets that we’ll put in mid-March after this cold spell hopefully and some packs of seeds: spring onions (the variety Guardsman that have dark blue/green leaves), purple sprouting broccoli and some miner’s lettuce which we’ve never come across  before. More on the miners lettuce here.

Also a good mate of ours sent us a packet of Quaking/Quivering Grass seeds (top right hand corner of the above pic). They weren’t sure if that was the actually name of the plant or just the name the person who gave them the seeds called them. We checked on google, it did exist but it was only one of its names, it’s also called: didder, doddering dillies, jiggle-joggles and quakers-and-shakers. More on Quaking Grass or Briza media here. Do keep warm this weekend!

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.