Sunday, 16 January 2011

Mid-January Mid-blue Mad

Amazing log on Tooting Common.  On inspection the paint did not appear to be any kind of wood treatment, but some individual's expression. Possibly the owner of these obelisks in front of this house facing the space? But such a different mindset. The paint has a beautiful patina that contrasts intriguingly with the bark.
Clematis seedheads and twig buds

Sky palette
The blue chimed in my mind with this ensemble from Phobe Philo's spring/summer collection that had had me getting out the sewing machine.Then I went mid-January mid-blue mad with my camera phone out and about in Wandsworth.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Parsnips and earthworms

The soil was soft today and I forked out the last of the parsnips for Sunday lunch tomorrow.  I include a pen in the picture so you can see what whoppers some have been.  I only did one sowing so I suppose the variation in size is due to different germination rates.  I haven't quite learned parsnips' ways yet.  They are, as the books tell us, slow to germinate.
I put in a catch crop of chard in between the parsnip lines to remind me not to sow there, and to get something out of the space 'til the parsnip leaves came up.
You must sow fresh parsnip seed every year, again, as the books say.  It hardly seems worth testing this with last year's seed, as there's enough wondering will they/won't they as it is.
It was gratifying to see some really juicy big earthworms. They would have been too much of a mouthful for the current robin that is bobbin' about. There was a nice crumbly soil structure.  However, forking over the patch for a full investigation will have disrupted the soil ecology. I put a mulch of strawy manure on top to protect what is left of it from rain, and for the worms to drag down.  Sorry there no pictures of the worms here, but there's a really nice identification guide at the natural history museum site, British earthworm slideshow, and this survey project looks like something to follow up, UK earthworm survey.
Lastly, I'm looking forward to seeing Cleve West's parsnip flowers in his Chelsea garden this May, Cleve West video