Friday, 20 April 2012


Today I had a dental appointment in East Dulwich. It was sunny for a change and I was bitter about doing something so dull [the cats were even more bitter]. Anyway, on the bus homewards I spied luminous jackets in close proximity to the patch... Oh hell, I thought, and leaped off the bus. Actually it was the same 2 guys I met last year and they remembered me. They mean well - and prefer the hollyhock forest to the over-bred, nectar-poor, polyanthus they have to put in. I did learn that the patch we have been guerrillering is 'not on the plan' from the council's perspective, that this strip of land is probably only as deep as is visible, that there were some kind of shrubs here previously but in a very dry year they all died. However.... yesterday in the rain R and I [mainly R!] battled the elements and planted a whole load of sunflower seeds in that very patch, now mercilessly raked over. We have also had the California Poppies forcibly 'thinned out'. Allegedly the council workers come every 3 weeks; next time its on with jubilee planting of petunias so hopefully our patch wont be worked over. Our renegade colours will be such a welcome contrast whenever that jubilee thing is on.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

More Reasons to...

4 x Leucanthemum and 1 x Euphorbia underneath this lovely the garden desert at the back of Morrisons, Camberwell Green. So far so good. I also noticed that there is a diggable tree-pit right next to the Crooked Well [which is a really great restaurant and cocktail bar]. I have mentioned the idea of a tub of herbs outside their doors but they are worried that anything not nailed down will be nicked. Ergo, plant direct. 
Leucanthemum, by the way, is the Shasta Daisy. This is the basic variety. I had a large congested mass that I assumed was ancient, divided it and now have several large masses. It flowers for ages. I havent taken it down Dog Kennel Hill because I think it will need more damp. If they get going I might judiciously prune that lower underbranch of the Mag.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Spring Fever

I've been back! The Hollyhocks almost frighten even me. They are really very keen, inspite of the rust. I tidied them up a bit, mainly where they were shading other plants too much.  In another month they will be in flower! I think there are a great many Hollyhock seedlings.... [Guerrilla Gardening anyone?] Must check regularly before Southwark brings in industrial help! There is some other weed too, which could be good, could be bad, could be trees... Any ideas? The California Poppies are getting away, with a few really needing more regular watering [supposedly it will rain tomorrow]. The Euphorbia and the Lychnis are the real stars at the moment [thanks Mum!]. I added in a cluster of the infernal Crocosmias [with several more pots to go...] and some more established looking Michaelmas Daisies. 

I am hoping that everything I've planted looks more like a plant than a weed in case any Council workers do happen to lay into it. And one more photo, just so you get a sense of my dicing with death. Normally, if it was me, properly, and I was spending money and thought on aesthetic concerns there would be some dark leaves for contrast. But all the plants are dug up from either my garden or that of my parents or neighbours, and if it can hack dry neglect it goes in. Looks a bit like a caterpillar.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Sow it Begins: the Nasturtium Prize for Bad Gardens

Yesterday I walked down to East Dulwich with a packet of climbing Nasturtium [technically Tropaeolum Majus] in my hand. Last year one seed covered 3msq of the most difficult patch in our garden [remains of a dead Chestnut tree]. The flowers are edible and attractive to bees. Those who neglect their gardens - and in which there is still some space and daylight! - have been awarded a Nasturtium seed. Just about managed to restrain myself from also attending to anal retentive box hedging without any flowering perennials. But up the top of the Grove there is a Chestnut stump which is pretty moist, so I inserted a seed there too. Call it an experiment in neglect. More to follow.

Monday, 9 April 2012

The Pits

Well the patch will really appreciate the rain. Meanwhile, on a miserable trip to locate an ATM in order to bribe the incompetent moody goons that came to remove our broken washer/dryer and install a new one.... I noticed the tree pits at the back of Morrisons. Not the really miserable rubbish dumps in the car park, but in the little square thing near Wren St (i think). Miraculously the council planted two Magnolias there and at least one of the tree pits - the one in my line of sight when crossing through 'Butterfly Walk' [there is a Camberwell Beauty Butterfly apparently] - looks diggable and not over likely to have people walk over it. I'm thinking that some of my white daisies [Leucanthemum] and Euphorbia Robbiae would look good there...