Dubs to welcome the sun back

Here’s some of that new fangled dub stuff from Teflon & Zinc Fence a new set called Dub Policy to welcome back that yellow thing in the sky we’ve missed for a day and a bit. As Kirk Brandon once sang “Come back, come back. All is forgiven”.

Shout to Rt. Hon. David Rodigan for playing a track off the E.P. the other week thus letting us know about it. Pic above: A happy Sunflower from the Weeds HQ garden. Certainly not “Giant”as stated on the packet (the plant stands 3ft high) but not bad all the same.

Reach for the sky

Crap sign

This morning I popped into a local greasy spoon for a bacon sarnie and noticed up on the wall a collection of “hilarious” signs (“you don’t have to be mad to work here but it helps” “don’t ask for credit as a smack in the mouth usually offends” etc etc) and saw this one above. Did people really laugh at these in the 1970’s? I somehow doubt it.

sunflower_2Anyway there are no complaints in the Sunflower size department. The Mongolian Giant Sunflowers we bought on ebay earlier this year are certainly living up to their name. As the blurb said on the ad, “These sunflowers are monsters which grow up to 15 feet tall with enormous heads of up to 20 inches in diameter.”sunflower_1Below is what they started out like in March. We love anything here that is advertised as “Giant”, “Special edition” or “Rare”. Big up the Sunflower!tall, tall, tall

A surrealist style summer

Here's gone summerAKA Is this the summer or are we in a perpetual state of hoping for one?

I’ve haven’t long got back from a family break in Camber Sands. The night before I left for the seaside I gave the garden a good old dousing with a hose, thinking it wouldn’t get another drop until I got back. All through that evening and during the night it tipped it down, great eh?

Yesterday I popped into my local supermarket to “get some bits” and said to the chap behind the till, “where’s the sun gone, mate?” as it wasn’t the best of days weatherise.

I thought I’d just get a smile or a jokey reply but he came back with a long bonkers theory that the british government are firing chemicals into the atmosphere during the evening (so no-one will see) to make sure our summers only last a few weeks or even days. The conversation went like that for a few minutes much to the disgust of the long queue forming behind me (he was the only one serving!)

I nodded and picked up my shopping bags. Judging by the weather forecast for the next few days, perhaps he’s right! Solitary squashOne thing in the garden that seems to like the rain, is the mad butternut squash that has filled the square bed at the side of the garden (only one squash on it though) and now trying to climb up the plum tree. Madness!

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!

Who’s had me Sunflower, bud?

whos had me sunflower budThis morning I noticed something has had the beginnings of a small flower bud away on my “Genuine Giant 9 Foot Sunflower” (yeah right!) purchased off ebay (£1.50 for a pack of seeds). Yesterday it was looking good but now…nothing!

The next time a bud appears I will be camping out in my back garden overnight and if that fails, hire a gang of gardening vigilantes and get them to hide behind the shrubs and try and catch the culprit! I reckon it’s a squirrel or a high-risk-taking slug. Any ideas?