Sunday, 19 May 2013


    Austerity measures in the UK mean expensive booze... or something like that, maybe. I dunno... anyway we decided to make some ourselves to save putting our well blagged loan pennies in the hands of Whitehall's greedy felines. Hops 'nd such being another fund sink, flowers seemed a sensible and importantly 'free' source of boozy brilliance. Welcome the Dandelion; tongue tarnishing bitter bastard of childhood exploratory plant noshing sprees.

Here's what we did:
Pick aprox. 2 ltrs of Dandelion heads and give 'em a good proper rinsin' to get rid of any dog piss 'nd ants.
Delicately remove all the green bits (these can be chucked) leaving a nice big bowl of yellow florets.
Cover with 4ltrs of boiling water and leave to soak for 2 days (but no more) stirring occasionally.
Add 1.2kilos of sugar and the zest (but none of the pith) from 4 oranges or lemons(we chose a bit of both and chucked in a little extra lemon for good measure)then boil for 10 minutes. Allow the mixture to stand and cool to room temperature. 
Pour through a fine muslin cloth or sieve into a sterilised brewing vessel, adding the juice from your chosen citrus and a pack of wine yeast.  Pop an air trap in the top and allow it to sit until fermentation had completed and the wine is clear. Finally bottle and rack leaving it to mature for at least 6 months. For best results a year is recommended. 

Sit back and relax comfortably in the knowledge that this time next year you'll be sitting on a deck chair gettin shitted up on flower juice. Fantastic!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013


    With winters dark stifling months behind us the opportunity to go outside and get our hands dirty is here. For those restrained by the concrete tyranny of student rental property yards, having nowhere to indulge in green thumbed seed spreading can be an off-putting barrier to the world of horticulture. Welcome and embrace the Guerrilla Garden!

Before: Foul-mouthed Road S#!t Tip; regularly frequented by lazy dog walkers.
    Richard Reynolds; founder of Guerilla Gardening has the following to say. Guerilla Gardening is "the war against neglect and scarcity of public space as a place to grow things, be they beautiful, tasty(or both!)" The process is simple; take a poorly maintained patch of land, clear it of crap, unwanted weeds and litter and get planting.

After: unruly winter stragglers trimmed and removed. A horticultural bikini wax if you will.
    The Falmouth Road garden is our first endeavour into the world of guerrilla cultivation. Situated 15m from Heaton Road we're told the patch is responsibility of the adjacent old peoples home but has been neglected by their gardeners for some time. Our sensibilities offended by this overt lack of respect towards Heaton's OAPs was cause enough to take up arms and get Charlie Dimmock on its ass.

    Trimmings and turds out the way, production of a suitably jazzy fence became the next priority. Using skip sourced pallets and leftover paints we knocked together 10m of fence which was screwed, carried and dropped in place.

The Thrifty Workshop
Thrifty Gardener Sam "Short Arms Deep Pockets" Skelton cleans the streets.
    With the fence sorted 22 sunflower seedlings, foxgloves and assorted wildflowers were planted. Using this combination of easy to grow annuals and biannuals with a little bit of luck, some sunshine and good warm weather we'll have a lovely colourful patch by July. A good sweep and a thorough watering later all that's left is to sit back and let nature take control. 

    For updates on Falmouth Road Guerrilla Garden keep an eye out here on Thrifty Gardening, or better yet go have a look yourself over the weeks to come.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


 "When the world wearies and society fails to satisfy, there is always the garden."
- Minnie Aumonier (N.D)