Thursday, 26 May 2011

May Roundup

It's been something of a mixed month, but overall massively positive. The drama of Madame Bluetit has played itself out again this year! Two years ago she used the apple tree trunk as a nest and out popped five chicks. This year she revisited the same spot and there were six! After menacing taunts from Tad and bastard face (aka Tad's less popular cousin) she came through. I can hear them daily cheeping to each other in the branches of the buddleia. Hell of a racket the past few weeks though. Not even been able to hang the washing out. Slugs. Slugs. My word how I hate SLUGS. They've chomped through my Italian white sunflowers, a chocolate cosmos, corncockles, maybe even a bit of a water lily. After waiting eight months my Arisaema Costatum bulbils is emerging. About the same time as Mother of P Unit's! This is staying in a pot until it's well established, for I fear the attack of the sluggs. Same goes for the Arisaema Candidissimum. They should look like this when they grow fully:


Parsley and Cakatonne's solardome is going from strength to strength. A big set of caravan steps with a rail nicely cuts the dome into 'rooms' or sections, serving as a focal point under the mirror ball. Cakeatonne was going to listen to new age music with stoner wizards, so we slammed on the tunes This had us pumping and krumping so hard the panes of glass were shaking. Can't handle this swag. When we weren't bouncing like Wigan Pier, Parsley was busy using bunsen burner tripods to support a panoply of wicked plants. Yeah science! Not forgetting Parsley's amazing rap group name: FLACCID CREW. A spinoff of Not So Solid Crew, sponsored by Completely OK sauce.

Lastly I have planted up my pond Iris...fingers crossed for some dragonflies in Summer!

The Dalek

After a three week wait from Even Greener (a 'Straight Company', make of that what you will) my beloved 220 litre compost bin arrived. Despite clear instructions saying, and I quote: 'If no-one is there to receive the compost bin can it please be left at the bottom of the alleyway thank you,' there it sat amidst the rosebush and the mint, like a mute black plastic 12.00 a.m. I'd been out supping Bushmills and export mead with my warlocks at the Spotted Dog and was a little worse for wear. So sozzled was I, I'd forgotten my Get-instantly-sober-and-don't-wake-your-housemate-up-spell. Instead I lifted that bin up like it was a dear friend or bride to be and swept through the house, knockingover chairs, glasses, molecules...anything that got in the way of my triumphant procession to the garden.

It now sits at the bottom left half of the fence, neatly disguised by a young bamboo bush. I'll tell you now it's got one hell of an appetite. Following the sacred compost mantra: Air Water Food Warmth, I have been throwing in kitchen scraps, loo rolls, twigs, tea bags, some young weeds, hedge trimmings, newspaper shreddings...And yes, that hallowed liquid known as piss. Actually it's so good it's become pi$$, on account of how it's going to speed up the Ed special brand of compost and save me money. Just don't tell David, he's mortified at the prospect of anyone unfurling their python and adding a natural, free dash of golden nectar to the composting process.

I shall keep you informed on my progress. At the moment things are looking and smelling good! C'wor what a fucking stink! Ey! I just thought of a perfect strapline! MAKING MATTER, MATTER! ©Oregano 2011


Never trust B&Q. Never rely on Homebase. Go to Shirley Aquatics instead!

Having scoped out some marine soil from B&Q and done a stock check with the Solihull branch, David and I mounted up and headed out into a day as grey as a used teabag. It was raining HARD. Where was the sunshine the boffins, or should I say BUFFOONS in their wonky Olympus, predicted? Scuppered as a politicians promise. So yeah, over to the industrial estate, bleak and yet more grey than the sky. In the thousands of cubic metres known to all as Solihull B&Q there was not one bag of aquatic soil. Not even a crumb. Ergo, Costa del Solihull is not the destination for pond lovers.

On a hope and a prayer we went over to Shirley Aquatics. We weren't even through the door before we saw hundreds of bags of the stuff! My spirits were lifted considerably. Finding out each bag was almost double what they were charging at B&Q didn't put a dent in my mood. Not when you had big tanks of Koi Carp (c'wor they fucking stank). Some of them were going for £75, I think they were worth every nickel. Putting one of those bad boys in our pond would be like putting a conger eel in a pint glass.

We had a good walk around, being watched by an Alsatian the size of a man. They had everything from luminous gravel to fish tanks that looked like they'd been designed by apple. Our port of call was outside, where they had tubs of elodea, water hyacinths, pond lilies, grasses, and tonnes of marginals. I grabbed two bunches of the elodea, and a cheaper version of the aquatic soil....go on say it's all the same you ding dong! David bought a water hyacinth and a lobelia. Bagged and tagged we went home and slapped it all in the pond. The newts love it: for the record I think we have four. Sir Isaac Newton, Oliver Newton John, Newton Faulkner, Thandie Newton. All together they are NEWT KIDS ON THE BLOCK!

The frogs don't seem to mind it either. The russet coloured tank who sometimes emerges has such a saucy look in his amphibian eye he'd make a demon blush!

Sir Cakeatonne & The Pursuit of Wing Clipping Principle

Having rolled home after a long day at work, full from 400 pints of tea to quell a hangover that could've stop Hannibal's army, I got a chirpy text from Cakeamillion. 'At home? Fancy clipping some chickens wings ?' My response was immediate; I was straight on the blower to him arranging the precision task. This basically boiled down to Jake coaxing the chucks from the pen with meal worms, whilst I stood there like a drunken dork, willy dans le wind. Chick Norris and Henny G weren't a problem but as usual Baden Fowl had other ideas and was screaming like a firework.

For those of you who haven't trimmed a hen's wing before it's quite simple. Get Cakeatonne to hold the chuck under his arm whilst splaying out the feathers of one wing, cut through them approximately 2" in, desperately fight off a temporary bout of nausea as you hear the cartilage click as it's cut. Boom! There you have it, a bird with unbalanced wings that can't escape your garden. To that end, why would anyone want to escape Parsley & Cakeatonne's garden?! It's fucking wicked!


Monday, 9 May 2011


There's been a storm of activity in the rainless month of April leading into the partially inundated month of May. Extra special mention must go to Sir Cakeatonne's YOGHURT DANCE which for reasons of modesty and decorum cannot be revealed in video format. Cakeatonne, whilst well versed in swinging his hips and bashing a yoghurt pot, singly refuses to do repeat performances. A great shame! Razy could take some tips from him...

Nature has gone crazy. The purple sensations have flowered; st
atic firework explosions of purple that give off a nice STINK. I have discovered a peony under the ivy bush which I've now moved to the bottom section of the garden, in it's very own cage. The French marigolds have started to flower only to be colonised by a hundred miniature black and yellow spiders. Wicked! We have our first newt in the pond, called? Yes you guessed it: Sir Isaac Newton. I don't care if it's a female.

The first of the sunflowers which I've been growing since February has flowered. The Italian whites are doing well, and the teddy bears have started to emerge in the chimney next to the creeping geranium. Watch this space for more.

Lilies are growing fast, particularly the ones in the pots, as are the Persian buttercups. The hostas are growing at a beautiful rate. I recently acquired the hadspen variety, which goes a really intense cobalt blue. Looking forward to seeing those little bad boys in all their glory.

I have sown my African daisies, meadow flowers and cosmos, though there are few signs of emergence at present. More positive is the growth of echinacea and coleus in the studio. However there is little to no sign of anything happening with the Himalayan blue poppies. I'm not giving up!

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On the allotment, the recent frost scorched everyone's potatoes, and killed most or all of the beans/peas. After the great, scorching weather we've had for the last few weeks, you'd think the risk of frost would be minimal. But no! Old Jack has still got a foot in the door. Time to smash his toes in! That is if I don't catch the pesky kids who keep coming onto our plot sing-screaming BA BA BLACK SHEEP, smash them into a pie and eat them with a side serving of Cakeatonne's pedigree kedgeree in the dome.

First I have to get the cure for this accursed builders bum!