Archive for July, 2012

Finally! I’ve had success with growing beetroot. And what a gorgeous sight this Chioggia beetroot is. Fairly made my day as I cut it in half.

And it looks pretty impressive cut widthways too. I do love beetroot just boiled, but with all this hot weather, I’m taken back to last summer when I whipped up Hugh Fearnly Whittngstall’s beetroot and chocolate ice cream. I’ll save a couple of these rosy roots for decorating salads, but the ice cream memory keeps on popping up in my head, so I’m off to the shops to buy the chocolate and cream parts of the ingredients right now….

P.s. Still time to sow some beetroot seeds. Chioggia available from Sarah Raven and Chiltern seeds.

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Tim’s back and creating more fantastic topiary in our area.

At the beginning of the year on a bright winter’s day, Tim started transforming a neighbour’s troublesome and massively overgrown hedge into a thing of beauty. Troublesome, because it was such a solid and enormous mass, that people were doing bad things under cover of the dense privet.

On first sighting, Tim’s thoughts flew to an elephant herd, and no sooner thought of  than done!

Tim is a fast worker, even with a spot of tennis elbow,

and with ‘team elephant’ behind him, managed the first cut in a few 2 hour sessions.

Six months later and after its second cut, the herd is looking amazing. There are still a few areas that need to fill out, but we’re all mighty impressed with Tim’s achievement. Both ‘London in Bloom’ and ‘It’s your neighbourhood’ judges who recently visited our area were bowled over by this amazing transformation and if you stand to look and stare for a few moments, you will soon get into conversations with other passers-by who are similarly wowed by this wonderful herd.

The residents are delighted to have reclaimed their front garden and the rest of the neighbourhood  benefits from this fantastic piece of public art.

Tim Bushe’s previous topiary sculptures can be seen just up the road in Highbury and Tim can be contacted on Twitter @HedgecutterMan or at tim@walkerbushe.co.uk if you’d like him to create other works of art in your area, with all proceeds going to his sister’s charity, the HFT Trust. If you’d like to make a donation, go to Tim’s page on Just Giving.

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Neighbour Nevil planted these Sugar Ann sugar snap peas about 12 weeks ago in an old suitcase. They’re self-supporting (canes used only to deter cats and foxes), growing to about 18 inches, and have been happily shooting upwards and outwards, with little need for attention, during these last few rainy months.

You get a smaller crop from self-supporting peas, but still a decent haul and eaten whole, the pod is deliciously sweet and crunchy (and well worth growing in containers and planters). The packet says you can plant again in early autumn for overwintering in a tunnel or greenhouse, but I might just see how they do outside in our inner city climate.

p.s. Seeds were bought from Sea spring seeds

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