And the final result just in…

Okay, so something got to it before we did (pesky squirrels!) and it is looking a bit bruised but the excellent beefsteak Thompson & Morgan trial tomato is a winner. This specimen is next to a 50 pence piece and weighs 500 grams, that’s half a kilogram! You would be mad not to try these next year. The plant required minimum fuss, some support, regular water and a weekly comfrey feed. What a tom!

What difference a week makes

It’s been a week since we returned from our holidays in Turkey (the above taken at a local olive grove last week) and the weather in London has taken a turn for the worst, our tomato plants are on their last legs and two squirrels in as many days have had their lives cut short in our back garden thanks to our cats. Very sad indeed.

A few years ago we covered the subject of squirrels in the garden on our Sounds from the South podcast after one of our cats cornered one down the drive. At the time we wished we knew a bit more about looking after the young orphan but since then we found a good website called where there’s load of info about caring for injured ones. More info here.

On a nicer note here’s a lovely tune by Haruomi Hosono (from the Yellow Magic Orchestra) that was heard on last week’s Tom Ravenscroft show as part of his companion tracks series as chosen by Mac Demarco.  In 1983 Haruomi Hosono was commissioned by the Japanese retailer Muji to compose some in-store music and the track above “Talking” is off the released cassette called “Watering a flower”. Hypnotic is not the word!

Sunday morning nightmare

squirrel thiefWoke up at the crack of dawn this morning and went downstairs to make myself a cup of tea to bring back up to bed. Looking out of the kitchen window I was greeted with this little sunflower seed thief.

Rather than bang on the window I laughed, and had to admire the nimble robbing git! I’m sure this is the same one that had the bud off another sunflower two years ago (post here). A description has been taken and the details passed on to the nature police.

We’ve had more than our fair share of trouble with squirrels in the past and one instance is covered in this Sounds From the South podcast from last year.

Nice one Squirrel?

AK3WF8It hasn’t been the best of weeks when it comes to squirrels around these parts, as I’ve had to dispose of a couple of dead ones this week (not good when you’ve just come in from work.) I buried both of them in deep holes in the garden, then on top of the refilled soil, put a garnish of black pepper and some minced garlic (out of a pepper mill and a garlic crusher, of course!) to keep those damn cats away who we summise were the killers.

South London squirrels are usually the kings of the garden here, dodging and weaving away from cats and foxes, knackering them out into the process but it’s not so at the present moment.

This week I got in touch with the website who told me this time of year is when the mother kicks her young out to fend for themselves hence the amount of confused or sadly, dead ones around autumn time.

The website provides very good info on what to do if you find an orphan squirrel here. I could have done with that link last Sunday as I witnessed a cat versus squirrel stand off here after a nice afternoon in the pub.

More details of what happened is on Sounds From The South 9 – Too Much Too Young from The Dirt last night. Tune of the week is Dr Alimantado with Still Alive and the podcast is now up online here. It’s on after the animal sounds quiz at 5 minutes in.

There’s lots of great stuff on the show including Amie Sagar interviewing Squirrels about the situation at the moment, The Idiot Gardener on Sainsbury’s Bank’s “Crafty Gardening Ideas” tome (here) and The Gentleman Gardener talking topical among lots of other madness.

Thanks very much to Lindsey at for the advice.

Man with ferretHere’s another small mammal seen this week in Central London, a ferret on a lead. Is that legal?