Don’t give ‘em to the council*

*Sung to “Go tell it on the mountain”.This morning we braved the cold and did about an hour’s worth of work in the front which ain’t bad considering we haven’t done much gardening of late. It was mainly raking the fallen leaves which we put in the gardening refuse wheelie bin for Lewisham Council to dispose of. Then we had a brainwave, why let the council gain from the ingredients of some potential leaf mould when our garden could benefit from the stuff when it’s ready.

It’ll take a while and ideally we should have made a chicken wire cage for the leaves where the air and rain could get to them but we remembered we had a darlek type compost bin in the garage with no top going to waste so we made use of that. It’s not ideal but it’ll do and probably make a good home for an overwintering hedgehog or two if we’re lucky. More on the benefits of leaf mould and how to make it here.

And guess what turned up amongst the leaves in the front garden this morning, the Theatre of Hate stone (above). This natural punk oddity was originally found on the beach at Camber Sands a few years ago and has been resident by the garden pond in the back for a long while. How it “chicken danced” its way to the front garden I don’t know. Next time Kirk Brandon is doing one of his gigs we’ll present it to him, we’re sure he’d love that!

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Herbman hustling

I tidied up the last of the autumn leaves after slipping on a wet pile of them by the front door the other day when popping out a bag into the dustbin and whacking my shin on the doorstep. When collecting leaves I use the old council workers trick of using two bits of hardboard to grab a big load and then put them into a black bin bag. Rather than chucking it in the dustbin, I’ve stuck it at the bottom of the garden and will forget about it until next year when they’ll have turned into some great leaf mould. Excellent stuff to add to your soil and all for free!

cabbage patches and allI took the netting off the pond today as most of the leaves are off the surrounding trees now and put it over the overwintering cabbages to stop those pigeons and birds from having a go at them. Notice the once big pile of prunings behind which is now a lot smaller, thanks to the incinerator! I’ve stuck a row of broad beans behind the cabbages to overwinter too.

Herby HancockLast weekend I treated myself to a few terracotta pots and saucers (about £1.50 for both from the local garden centre, Shannons) to stick on the kitchen windowsill and sowed some corriander and basil then covered them with a small plastic sarnie bag until they germinate. I also bought a lemon tyme plant off ebay for £1.99 and that’s up on there as well. Herbs, you can’t beat em!