No rest for the wicked

Here’s a couple of recommendations if you fancy music of a chilled nature. The first a tune that Tom Ravenscroft and Ross Allen have been playing on the radio comes from Charlotte Gainsbourg (produced by Guy-Man from Daft Punk) called Rest. It’s a brilliant song but do disregard the “walking in the air” lyric or you’ll think of that dreadful Snowman film. The second is an excellent set from Laut & Luise (a record label from Cologne and Berlin) thanks to our good mate Will who slung it our way. It’s a mix in an “out there” downbeat style (track listings please!)

We’ve been busy the last fortnight so we haven’t had much time to garden until yesterday when the sun came out in force. The lawn was mown and the seed spuds we bought from Shannon’s many moons ago were finally dug up. Usually as soon as the plant’s flowered we’re in with a fork pulling up marble sized spuds but this time it’s been well worth the wait!Also we tried for the first time an alternative weedkiller (a strong solution of salt and water with a little dot of washing up liquid) for the cracked pavement out the back. We will revisit the area in a week or two to see if it actually works or it’s back out there on our hands and knees.

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Tubers and cheap seeds

It’s been a bit manic at Weeds HQ over the summer so gardening has been a bit lower down on the priority list but that’s not to say things are not growing out in the garden. The cactus type Dahlias (above) we got at Shannon’s a few years ago are doing well. We here advocate the “digging them up after the frost and storing over winter under the stairs” method and it works a treat. None of that “leave them in the ground and see how they survive” business here!  Dahlia growing tips here, James Wong on eating them here and the masses of varieties here. And for good measure here’s one of the very few tunes that has the plants name in the title which was made by our good selves at Weeds when we couldn’t find anything under Dahlia in Discogs. Available on CD baby here!

Also thanks to our friends at Lewisham Gardens for letting us know through a retweet about an offer in Tescos of Kitchen Garden Magazine which has lots of free seeds in the September issue for the bargain price of a fiver! We’re going to be searching those supermarket shelves this week!

Cork it Kojak, cork it

mc-demijohnToday a chap collected some demijohns that were finally put on ebay last weekend after throwing in the wine-making towel a few years ago. There were more failures than successes making vino, including once ending up going to bed early one Saturday evening feeling “well woozy” after a bottle of white wine made from a Boot’s kit. The attempt at making mead using cheap honey procured off a man who sold unfridgerated ham, cheese and european varieties of sweets you’ve never heard of in a market in Farringdon ended up “displaying a intense battery acid type flavour” and was duly tipped down the sink cleaning the U-bend out in the process. Sometimes you have to let go of things.hidden-chitting-and-propagatorOn a happier note it’s mid-way through February and there’s a little bit of gardening action at Weeds HQ. More seeds have been procured from Shannon’s today (sweet pea and night scented stock) and there’s spuds chitting underneath a table. The plastic plant propagator in the back room has a few pots with peppers and tomatoes in them and after listening to a tip from Christine Walkden on Gardeners Question Time the other week some foil was stuck on the back of the propagator to reflect any light so the seedlings don’t automatically lean towards the window and hopefully don’t grow on the leggy side. Roll on spring!

 

Pumpkin’s progress

rat_large_resizeIt all started with seeing the back end of a large rodent in one of our dalek compost bins back in April (post here). The contents of said bin was then emptied into a trench in the bed at the bottom of the garden (below).

compost trench

A pumpkin, butternut squash and a courgette plant were purchased from Shannon’s and stuck on the top of the trench as they love that sort of richness.

Everything has gone green

Then there was that big gardening faux-pas, all the potato peelings in the compost trench started to sprout and threatened said plants (post here). It was dealt with by some continuous hoeing, a few times a week!

Then we had some action on the pumpkin, it started small, then a bit bit bigger but still green.

yellow-pumpkin_2

yellow-pumpkin_1

Then the other week it started to change colour. As long as those pesky rodents don’t have it we might be onto having a giant pumpkin!

yellow-pumpkinThe butternut squash is on it’s way too! All’s well that ends well and all that!

yellow-squash

Hold tight all garlic crew…

GarlicaLast autumn I bought a small number of Garlic cloves from Shannon’s and stuck them in the ground over winter and last night I pulled a good few of them out to harvest. I’ll be leaving them against the kitchen wall to dry out a bit. Not a bad harvest for something you don’t have to bother too much with once they’ve been planted. There’s still even a couple of rows left in the ground too!

A risqué Dahlia

BurlesqueIn the winter months it’s almost easy to forget you actually tinker around in the garden what with the weather and that. Today braving the cold, I popped into Shannon’s to spend a couple of quid and remind myself I am a gardener. And look at this great looking dahlia (with a brilliant name too!) they had in there amongst some great tree lilies and the like.

The punk/goth gardening connection

Punk London 40 years of subversive culture Lilly

Lily name of the month award goes to “Eyeliner” found in Shannon’s this week. This is nothing to do with the year-long Punk London celebrations is it?

Talking of which, we’ve just found out there’s a fungus called Punk. Brilliant stuff! What next, an Shallot called Suedehead?A plant called Punk