Sunday, 19 July 2009

a garden post...



I took some photos of my back-yard a couple of weeks ago and meant to post them on this blog only I mislaid my USB cable in the chaos of my work-room. This morning, during the epic venture that goes by the name of house-work and tidying up, I recovered said piece of equipment, and since it is raining dismally this afternoon, have whiled-away a few hours editing and uploading my pics.

I'm rather pleased with the way my humble patch has shaped up this spring/summer. When I moved to this property (18 months ago), I had little hope for this dingy, dank, North-facing, slug & snail-infested, trash-strewn concrete, corner - lacking in both substrate and sunshine. I began filling little pockets with soil and leaf mould which I planted-up with ferns and wood-land flora. Come spring time I brought out the tubs and crammed them with whatever I felt might stand up to the slugs and the gloom. As anticipated, there were a few casualties but, thanks to that mini 'heat-wave' late spring, the flowering plants got a head start.

I'm fortunate in having lovely next-door-neighbours. I like their solution to the lack of greenery - fake turf!

As you can see, it's a far from grand space but it still makes me happy. Once I had 12 acres to tend. Now I have 12 square feet. I would make do with a window box or a secret corner in a local park if need be. Small spaces demand attention to detail - something I'm fairly proficient at!


My daughter bought the candle-holder from a car-boot sale. It looked incongruous in the house but it seems at home amongst the fern fronds.
I've been nurturing this amazing foxglove for over a year, anticipating the flower-spike. It's much sturdier and fleshier than the regular variety and the colour is more muted.




One benefit of drippy walls is that they provide an ideal habitat for spore-bearing plants. There are several different ferns and over a dozen species of mosses and lichens on this one alone.

An ivy plant making its ascent from a pot.

I'm particularly fond of the moss cushions that form around the base of my drain pipes. It's the sort of thing my father would spend hours scouring away!


I know petunias are a bit of a cliche but with the right colour combination (avoid the day-glo ones in cool-climes) they're an endless cascade of sweet-scented joy.




Pineapple lillies: divided into 3 since last year!
A fabulous funnel-web.

I bought this Spanish moss as a jovial Santa's beard at Christmas. It's currently on the washing-line, enjoying the warm-wet weather. It looks like a lichen but in fact it's a Tillandsia; an epiphytic plant that takes its nutrients from the air.

The cactus was rescued from a friend (it was the size of a shrivelled french-bean in march), repotted and revived. On a sunny day, I can sit at my mosaic table-top with a glass and just about convince myself that I'm not in Yorkshire.
Not that there's anything wrong with Yorkshire - 'God's own county'!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Fuck You, Penguin

(I really shouldn't put swear words in my titles. It gives the wrong impression [as my mother would say])
Just spent 18 hours scratching about with this dude only to hit upon the idea when I have to go to bed and get up for work in 6 hours....










Saturday, 4 July 2009

A Photo Tour around my Hood.

There's been alot of shit going down in our neighbourhood lately. People have been congregating; some with musical instruments, others with knitting. Folk have been sighted drinking, singing and even reading books. Kids have been dancing on the playground. Some have been painting pictures on walls. There's been a heady smell of incense on the breeze. There's talk of the kids growing lavender on the school balconies. Some mornings there have even been sections of the school yard cordoned off with police tape in an attempt to identify the pervasive, recurrent menace that stalks our hood. The boys in blue are out in squadrons on these sultry evenings and frisky weekends.

Today I decided to head over and see what all the fuss was about. My daughter attends a 'Saturday school' which, from what I've heard, is quite possibly a fervid breeding ground for radical extremists. Armed with my EOS 400D, I followed the 'Possy' out from the school gates and into the park.

This is what I saw:
Girls walking outside the school. (Click on the image to see the clandestine herbs being grown upon the roofs)..

Hhmm...looks like there might be a bit of 'gathering' coming together here..

And look - is that vandalism I see before me?

Even the girls are at it!

Note: Mention of 'Bombs'


'Ello Ello!'..Looks like someone's about to have some fun!




I don't suppose anyone's thought to do the 'risk assessment'?...
A potential 'accident involving trousers' in the making, me thinks...









Check out the RUN DMC T-shirt (below)!! This is taking me back to my Yoof! If only you could hear the Old Skool Hip Hop being played here.
(Although in our day we carried the entire PA on one shoulder)! Dude, that shrug is just way too nonchalant!

Definitely something dodgy going down with that handshake..

Dude with dark-complexion and dreads skirting the crowd.....can only be pushing crack on the kids.




This is the 'play hut' where they hand-out free orange squash and biscuits after school. There's someone playing a guitar and singing 'Redemption Song' just around the corner!

And so I come to the end of my little tour around the mean streets of S7. I haven't caught them in any of the frames (apparently it's illegal to do so now) but there were 3 cops on foot to the left, 2 on bikes to the right and another 3 in a car parked on the street behind. All that to patrol a bunch of school kids and their bros.