Not only are Dan and I now national celebrities after featuring on Gardeners’ Question Time, but we have also made it into my local newspaper under the excellent local newspaper headline: “Comics turn in Eurovision hit that is no turnip.” It was very exciting to hear our songs on GQT this afternoon. If you missed it then the programme is repeated on Sunday and you can also listen again on iplayer here. Better still, come and see the whole show live on Saturday, June 8, at Oxford House in Bethnal Green. You can book tickets here.
We had a very exciting day yesterday, recording some of our songs for BBC Radio 4′s Gardeners’ Question Time! We did a short set of some of our material in front of the GQT panel and audience when the programme came to Hoxton Hall as part of the Chelsea Fringe. Naturally, we performed some of our Gardeners’ Question Time Eurovision song, which should have been chosen to represent the UK in Saturday’s Eurovision Song Contest. Maybe now we have sung it on Radio 4, the people who pick songs for Eurovision will see sense.
This is me on the GQT stage where we performed. I have very long arms like a pterodactyl.
It was a huge thrill for me to be on GQT because I listen to the programme nearly every week and sometimes follow the experts’ advice. For example, I spent ages grinding pepper onto my flowerbeds after a GQT panelist said it was a good way to deter cats. And it was very exciting to meet chair Eric Robson and the experts – Bob Flowerdew, Matthew Wilson and Bunny Guinness. We got to hang out with them in the green room and Bob even showed us some of his own comedy songs including one about cider and another one that mentioned a lot of different types of drugs (but concluded that the best drug was love). Matthew Wilson asked about my ukulele – he plays the guitar – and Bunny Guinness was very keen for us to make a pop video of our Gardeners’ Question Time song.
The programme itself will be broadcast on Friday afternoon this week so listen out. Now we can put “as heard on Gardeners’ Question Time” on all our posters, which is brilliant! Here is a picture of me with Bob Flowerdew, looking like a demented fan, which is what I am.
It is definitely Spring as my gnome Heathcliff has come out of the shed to stand guard over my crops. He was pleased to discover that gnomes will be allowed into the Chelsea Flower Show for the very first time this year. He’s planning on going.
Gnomes will also be popping up at the Chelsea Fringe including a “gnome invasion“. And we’re there too of course with our show at Oxford House. I am in the process of sourcing an exciting set to feature live vegetables and plants. Buy tickets here.
We’re not the only people who manage to combine a love of vegetables with a love of music. This is our friend Paolo, from the excellent seed company Franchi Seeds of Italy, who hosted an “accordion open day” at his company’s base near my house on Friday. Paolo collects and restores vintage accordions and somehow his seed warehouse was the perfect setting for his display of beautiful instruments. Unfortunately Dan was busy so couldn’t come and have a go on the accordions, which included one that was used in a Elvis Movie.
Like us, Paolo is taking part in the Chelsea Fringe (as well as having a stand at the Chelsea Flower Show itself). He’s one of a bunch of 50 gardeners being planted knee-deep in soil as part of the Pop Up Foundation’s show in the grounds of Battersea Power Station on Saturday, May 18. He’ll be playing his accordion then too.
Our Chelsea Fringe show is on Saturday, June 8, at Oxford House. You can buy tickets here.
Dan and I have had loads of fun taking Can You Dig It? all around the UK but we’ve never actually done the full production on home turf, which is why we’re delighted to announce that tickets are now on sale for our FIRST FULL-SCALE SHOW IN LONDON. We’ll be at Oxford House in Bethnal Green on Saturday, June 8 as part of the brilliant Chelsea Fringe – a festival of activities linked to one of the biggest events in the gardening calendar, the Chelsea Flower Show.
We may not be brilliant gardeners but Can You Dig It? has definitely grown since we first performed it at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2011 and now contains MORE songs about growing your own vegetables, NEW instruments, MORE wellingtons, and DANCING! We’re really looking forward to doing the show on the soil that grew it – London clay – so do come along if you can.
Last night we did a show in Bardon Mill in the beautiful county of Northumberland, one of my favourite counties. Dan was excited because we saw a small chunk of Hadrian’s wall on the way to the venue – the first time he has seen the wall. It was quite a long drive so there was plenty of time for Dan to explain in great detail about changes in the water supply at his allotment, which he is also very excited about.
We really enjoyed the show. Dan has developed a new trick of trying to make me laugh. However, last night he mainly succeeded in making himself laugh so the joke is on him. Tonight we’re in Edmundbyers in County Durham.
The weather has been lovely these past few days, ideal for sitting out in the garden. However, someone, almost certainly Derrick the Evil Pigeon, has targeted my garden bench with this dirty protest.
I am drowning in literally millions sunflower seeds having sent off to Guerrilla Gardening HQ for them. I must admit that I didn’t expect to get quite so many and got a bit of a shock when I opened the envelope and they spewed out onto my lap, the floor and everywhere. I have enough to plant a sunflower field. However, I am determined to complete my mission of planting sunflowers in unexpected places to surprise and delight passers by. If anyone wants to join me then I can supply sunflower seeds.
I have had a team of three tree surgeons working in my back garden for several hours today. Not only are my trees now much healthier and neater but I also have 12 bags of chippings from the trees’ munched up bodies. This is great news seeing as we haven’t had a delivery of chippings to the allotment for a while and I am keen to chip some paths and mulch my raspberry bed. I will also use some of the chippings for a spot of guerrilla gardening in my neighbourhood but shhhh don’t tell anyone. I recently sent off for a huge number of sunflower seeds, which guerrilla gardening headquarters is giving away for FREE. All you have to do is send them an SAE-ed envelope or box. Click here to get some sunflower seeds of your very own and then we can surprise everyone when sunflowers start popping up left, right and centre.
On Friday a very exciting parcel was delivered containing copies of the latest Expert book by Dr DG Hessayon, sent to us by the great man himself. Dr Hessayon has signed the books, making us both “joint presidents of the Expert Fan Club”, a role which we are honoured to accept. He also included an interesting factsheet. Did you know, for example, that one in three adults in the UK owns or has owned at least one Expert book? His latest book – The Indoor Plant and Flower Expert – pioneers the craft of “roomscaping”, which is like landscaping but for rooms.
Dr Hessayon – or DG as we like to call him – also sent us a lovely letter in which he endorsed our nickname for him. “You think ‘Dave’ is too informal, and I feel Dr DG Hessayon is too stuffy,” he wrote. “You have come up with the answer – DG!” This is why we love DG. In fact I have decided that I love him more than Alan Titchmarsh so eat that Alan! Serves you right for never answering my phone calls and emails.