Awakening of the beast

It seems like it was only the other week we were planting the strange looking root crown of the Foxtail Lily (AKA Eremurus). In fact it was at the start of October (post here) that we purchased another crown from Shannon’s and this afternoon whilst tipping around in the garden we noticed it peeking its head through the ground. Fingers crossed the forthcoming cold weather won’t knock it for six (in the morning we’ll probably stick a cloche or a bit of fleece over the top for added protection).

We’ve just found a clip from an old Gardeners’ World featuring Monty Don on the Eremurus and how you plant the root crown here.

And here’s another plug for the Weeds related musical project Madtone with their tribute to the said plant “Foxtail Lily Dub (Beaming to the Caribbean)” which has been getting some super support from the likes of Andrew Weatherall, Dr Strangedub from The Echo Chamber on KFAI, the dread gardener Don Letts, Justin Robertson and more. A big cheers to them! Watch out for a vocal version of the tune in the next few months!  #FoxtailLily #shortwavesnotdead

 

Sometimes you need some Eremurus in your life

We were particularly excited last week when we acquired another White Foxtail Lily from Shannon’s. We were so enamoured by the plant that we even named one of Madtone’s new tracks after it (see last post).

It’s the bizarre starfish-shaped root crowns that do it for us, family members have gasped “Urghhhhh, keep THAT away from me” and have also remarked “they’re disgusting” when we’ve showed them the crowns. We here really appreciate the root crown’s oddness as you know we love something a bit “out there” here at Weeds! The tweet (at the top) from Shannon’s from a few years ago still makes us laugh.

We’ve lost a couple of plants over the years as we don’t think they like our heavy clay soil here in London. As the plant originates from the dry grasslands of western and central Asia it prefers a free draining soil and when awakening in the spring the early leaves don’t particularly tolerate the frost. We give the bed a good bit of preparation before putting it in, mixing in some organic matter to help with the drainage.

It’s a very bizarre sight when the plants starts to kick into life in the spring. Over a few weeks you can see the thing drilling up through the soil and reminds us of the film War Of The Worlds when the monsters from outer space start to wake up. Sadly, the plants don’t look like those monsters that have the hoover-like tentacles though. Now that would be interesting!

It’s brilliant when leaves explode out of the soil and then the fantastic flower head a couple of months later. No-one talks about how odd they are then do they? Leave the Eremurus alone! We love it here and will bring you updates when it pops up in the spring. #FoxtailLily #Itcamefromouterspace

What a difference the sun makes

Don’t think buying in tomato plants is in any way cheating. Earlier this year we sowed a few tomato seeds that failed miserably so we bought a couple of varieties from Shannon’s. The cherry ones (above) have done exceptionally well and they’re still going strong as we didn’t pinch out the tops. Big thanks to Shannon’s, we’ll be doing the same next year.

Monday afternoon was so nice we went out in the garden and tidied up one of the scrappy beds and then planted some garlic cloves to overwinter. It’s worth making the most of the weather at the moment as in a months or so’s time it may be dreadful. Here’s the before and after:

And finally a big shout to Steyvn Iron Feather Journal for letting us know about the latest Music’s not for everyone on NTS which features a ten inch vinyl special including One Deck & Popular’s Son of Stitt (Cafe del Bob’s mix) from many moons ago. Big thanks Mr Weatherall! #onedeckandpopular #sonofstitt

Tuber, tuber, tuber

We usually lift our Dahlia tubers in the autumn and stick them under the stairs in a paper bag to dry out and then return them to the ground in the spring but this year we didn’t and feared for the worst. We shouldn’t have as the two plants are giving us a spectacular display this year.

We’ve had a bit of blackfly on them but they’ve now seemed to vanish. We’ve given them a bit of TLC in the form of regular watering and a weekly feed of comfrey liquid and loving the results. All from a couple of tubers bought in Shannon’s a few years ago! Anyone out there got any nice varieties we can show on Weeds? Pictures please…

November spawned a monster

A few photos of the state of play in the Weeds garden at the moment. There’s fun and frolics in the pond with the goldfish and this year’s batch of tadpoles and it’s not looking too murky in there at the moment. There’s no sign of that thieving Lewisham heron either thanks to the folks at Shannon’s for telling us to put pea netting over the top of the pond (with a few escape routes dotted about for the local mini-wildlife).

The poppies are doing their thing too. Any seed heads that form we dry out and distribute around the garden so they’ll come back next summer.

The vegetable bed at the bottom of the garden has moved on since last month. The spuds are on their way, the alderman peas are starting to grow and we’re finally seeing the runner beans germinate. And about time too!

My, how you’ve grown…

It’s only a few days after the summer solstice and boy the garden is growing well. It’s getting lots of sun and we’re trying to water it as regularly as we can so that’s a great combination.It’s funny how changes can revolutionise things, the Jasmine above (purchased from Shannon’s many years ago) never really did much. It slowly crept up the trellis on the back of the house and there wasn’t much of a scent when the flowers did bother to come out. Then the other month the Berlin wall type structure went up next door (post here), we thinned out the belfast sink it was in (there were others plants in it at the time) and since then kept it watered and fed with comfrey liquid and lo and behold look what’s happened (above). There’s a lovely fragrance from it in the evening too. TLC that all it needed!

In the bed at the bottom of the garden (below) the spuds are now flowering and on the purple flowering broad beans there’s a good few pods forming. Also in that bed there’s onions, beetroot and strawberries somewhere all busy competing with each other which isn’t ideal but we’ll be pulling up the spuds in a couple of weeks so there’ll be space soon.

The side bed (below) where once was a greenhouse is doing well too. It’s usually clayed up this time of year but earlier in the spring half a compost bin’s worth was dumped on it and around the plum tree the ash from a couple of barbecues were sprinkled around. Lots of watering and a regular bit of comfrey liquid helped too! My, look at those tomatoes…

To celebrate the summer growing season here’s a great tune on the Stone’sThrow label from Washed out called Get lost. A tune with a brill cut and paste video too. Happy growing my friends!

This post was written whilst listening to the excellent radio show The Garden of Earthly Delights (live every Friday 10pm til midnight GMT on CRMK here and on mixcloud here) Tune in!

After the virus has gone

pumpkings-and-juniorIt’s been a fair few weeks since any work’s been done in the weeds garden due to that nasty virus doing the rounds but to help to get us in the mood here’s a pic of a couple of pumpkins.

Thanks to the good folks at Shannon’s where we got the pumpkin plant from and also a big thanks to the rodent who was caught in the darlek compost bin. It was seeing the retreating large back end of the rodent that made us decide to put all the decaying waste into a compost trench (more on that episode here) and buy said plant to plonk on top of it as pumpkins do love a bit of rich soil.

On the left is the fruit of our labours weighing in at a nice 4.8kg and to the left and from an very close associate of weeds (from her gardening club at school) a nice smaller variety at 2kg. It’s great this gardening lark isn’t it? We can’t wait to get back out there!

And while we’re here here’s a tune that’s nothing to do with Pumpkins.