Sunday, 19 September 2010

Epic De-seeding, Purple Sensations & Lavender

After hoarding poppy heads and ceremoniously decapitating my first sunflower, I was set to deseed my little collection. It took me a good few hours as well! First I was shaking the heads to remove the seeds into a container, then I took to crushing them en masse. There were thousands of seeds in a thousand shades of umber and topaz. Thereafter I sieved them all to get rid of the larger bits of detritus.

The sunflower was also a mini epic. I started off by gently plucking out the individual seeds which looked like mint humbugs. They had a wonderful kind of sheen to them, with miniscule hairs. As this was taking so long I just applied some torque and they were popping out all over the place. The flower still smelt great, even at this late stage.

I then funneled the poppy seeds into individual seed packets. Same for the sunflower seeds. These will go out to family and friends.

* * *

I was all set to plant my tulip bulbs but I found out it was a tad early. Menacing terms such as premature flowering etc. put me right off. Instead I opted to plant my purple sensations! These beauties belong to the onion family and will hopefully make a welcome addition to our garden when (if!) they emerge next year. Back on the waiting game. As with the daffodil planting of last year, it was a Friday and it was warm. Good omen!
Ludicrously enthusiastic, I strategically planted the bulbs round the garden, where we have the most sun, then stuck stakes in the ground marked allium, in case I forgot where they were. As everything dies right back in winter sometimes there's no way of knowing if things are ever coming back or growing for the first time.

I call this one Hank.

Buoyed on by the fun and energy of planting the bulbs, I decided to move the lavender from the compost tray / tin catastrophe, whatever you want to call it. It was planted under the conifer where the soil is dry and somewhat dusty. I have it on good advice that it will grow well here. Watch this space!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Wasp Central / Welcome to G Unit

A couple of films I made the other day. A glorious pro active day with lots of sunshine. Wasp Central relates to an earlier film I made by the same name. This was supposed to be Bee Central, but I got caught up in the moment. Mesmeric!

As for Welcome to G Unit, did I jump or was I pushed?! Hysear Don Walker knows....perfect Summer music. Pace.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

P Unit

P Unit, aka Parent Unit! This short entry honours my parents garden. I paid a visit to Manchesthair (Manchester) for a wedding this weekend gone. It was raining with a vengeance, but there were some lulls which allowed me to get a quick peek at things. I love the hollyhocks especially and hope ours are as lustrous when they come out next year.

P unit for lyf, nice one Reg / Scholteim and Sue / Oaf. X

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Kings Heath Flower and Veg Show!

This year was very different from 2009's show. It was muggy and wet, Sir Cakealot had been jousting and the pair of tickets he'd bought for Parsley and himself had fallen from his gauntlet, and were nowhere to be found. I had a tasty thunderstorm brewing in my frontal lobes. In short, conditions weren't favourable.

I ventured out solo a little after one o'clock. Had a relatively short skirmish around the stalls, not forgetting to photograph some humongous pumpkins and some giant LLllllllllleeeks (
lleeeeeeks.html). What a treat! It still amazed me to see these almost sculpted veg! What delicate means people must have gone to.

After a jaunt round most of the stalls, I went and picked up thirty tulip bulbs, five purple sensations and a clematis (Polish Spirit!). Came home and planted the clematis just by our back door. I'm hoping it will climb up the chain and the previous climber (no idea what it is, all we have is a skeletal remain).

Rounded up Parsley and Cakealot later. Mimicking last years tactics we moved in late to get the best bargains. I'd had my eye on some gorgeous hostas earlier on so we moved in on them, dividing the old 4 for £10 with my fellow G uniters. I had a good laugh at Parsley bartering for some trugs. The father and son team were having none of it. I love the word trug it just sounds so meaty and functional!

Trug negotiations!

We popped the hostas in the trugs and scouted around a bit more. I revisited The Hardy Plant Society for a last minute deal. I love these guys! The dude who was selling me the plants (nine for £2 - count em!) had no idea what most of them were, which was genuinely charming. I'd bought hostas and ferns from them last year - tiny little things they were as well. But they've grown twofold. I love the modesty and the surprise element of growing stuff that looks weedy at purchase, but one Spring later is rolling out proud like a horticultural Muhammad Ali!

What a catch!

We headed back about an hour later as it looked like it was going to pour down. We drank tea, and I sat in the same spot where it all began (my gardening existence at least!), with a surly Eric (aka Smethwick, aka Smethchick) prowling about. A nice sense of completeness.

* * *

I rushed back and planted all my treasures once I got back to our garden. Keep your peepers peeled for updates!

Hoochie Coochie Man Part II / Boardin' up

About two weeks ago Sir Cakealot and I were laying down cardboard over the particularly weedy parts of our plot. Trouble is that both grass and weeds have infiltrated the paths and many of the undug areas. This increases the chance of smashing our ankles off, as there are small but significant trenches around each bit of the plot. I've done it many a time, just started walking then UMPH! Right down the hole. So far, no casualties. It's not just a cosmetic thing, though a weed free patch of ground is always good to work on. Refer back to May's entry when I met Reg. He has *Military Precision* on his little patch of earth and it looks amazing.

Anyway the thinking was lay the cardboard down and cover it with woodchip as a mulch to keep all that damn hoochie cooch grass down and whatever else has been germinating all this time. Someone had kindly left a huge pile of woodchippings over by the portaloo, but it's almost the furthest point away from our plot, so I had to make a few journeys with our decrepit wheelbarrow. I was sweating cobs and spiders.

We have more cardboard to put down; hopefully this will exert a degree of control over our wonderfully wild allotment space.


Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Dead Heading

Awh! We're slowly making our way towards Winter, but there's still plenty of exciting things happening in the garden. Our mutant sunflower (it has eight flowering heads) has outgrown and outclassed all the others, standing tall in spite of the regular downpours, still getting the bees in. I'm just waiting till I can collect all the seeds and disperse them to everyone. Sunflowers are so easy to grow and so much fun.

The nasturtium have gone ballistic, really reaching out this year, coiling their way around poppy stems, the sunflowers and beyond. They were my favourite flower last year. They still live up to that reputation, in fine colours of subtle fire.

Mostly I have been dead heading the poppies. Morbleu, there are thousands and thousands of seeds. Again, the colours! The oxidised copper of the opium poppy's something else.

Anyone want some poppies for their garden next year? Don't hesitate to get in touch. Touch it!