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!

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On a flowerdew tip

As it was a cracking day today I spent the afternoon in the garden getting a few jobs out of the way. Earlier in the week I drew a rough plan of what is going where in the garden, and today dug a trench where the climbing french beans will be planted and added a few buckets of nearly ready compost (from bin number two) combined with some kitchen peelings and filled the top layer with soil (to keep any pests and rodents away) thus making a compost trench. By the time the beans go in, the stuff will have rotted down and enriched the soil which will help the plants as they grow. I’ve even put the canes in place which seems a bit previous, especially as it’s only February but I’ve a terrible memory sometimes…

I am always on the lookout on my travels for bits and pieces that are to be thrown out that’ll work well in the garden. A few weeks ago I saw on the way home from work on a wall a chunky window frame with a note on it with “please take me” which today was converted (with the addition of a couple of broken paving slabs) into a cold frame which will house a courgette seedling later in the spring. As with the beans I dug a compost trench below that the courgette will thrive on. The frame still needs some additional work on it to stop heat escaping but it’s a start. Keep em peeled you never know what you’ll find!