Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Let it Grow

This is my new favourite shop in Hackney.

Let it Grow
It sells all sorts of paraphernalia to help you grow your plants indoors.  Such as lighting systems and heat systems and fertilisers.

Because, it really is necessary to put your Yucca plant in an indoor greenhouse, indoors.

Yucca Plant in indoor greenhouse, indoors.
Ahem.

Other types of plants do well in indoor greenhouses, indoors, too...

 Amen.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Winter

Unfortunately it is winter so everything in my garden is dead.  It has snowed loads in London and I daren't dig beneath the snow to see the horrors of what was once my Camomile Lawn...

Dead Garden 

So I'll just talk about the parties I've been to lately.

I went to the premiere of Burlesque with Paloma which stars Christina Aguilera AND Cher (a tranny's wet dream).  Paloma wore some giant LILIES on her head courtesy of Piers Atkinson.  I genuinely enjoyed the film (except the 2 hours say in a corset which took my waist to 22inches and squashed my liver in to my throat)


Cher looked completely fabulous, I have always loved her as she shares her birthday with me (same day not year).  I got my Cher 'Believe' single out of storage and found these two four leaf CLOVERS which I'd pressed in the CD sleeve.  I must be a very lucky tranny.

Cher - Believe



I was trying to find some sort of link between Cher and Gardening (other than pressed clovers in a Cher CD and the fact she's born on the same day as The Glamorous Gardener).  So I googled Cher and garden and came up with this lady and her website 'Jardin'

Cher the gardener

 Amazing. :)

As for Christina Aguilera - I was once called Xtina Draguilera  and lip-synched to Christina Aguilera constantly.






There's nothing of interest to link Xtina to gardens. I don't think she's the horticultural type.

Torquay

  

I was in Torquay on Dec 1st - performing to raise money for World Aids Day 

Torquay was the birthplace of one of my favorite autors - Agatha Christie.   I love her.

I stayed in The Grand Hotel, which was the hotel Christie stayed in during her honeymoon.  The hotel also forms the start of her book 'Mile'. It's the perfect place for a murder mystery as it's so imposing and haunting. 

Torquay is a very special place for gardeners as being on the English Rivier - it's climate supports lots of sub-tropical plants.  Some of my favorite plants I spotted were these Agave

 Here's some nice lilies too...

 There is an area of torquay along the coastline dedicated to 'geological, historical and cultural heritage'.  It's beautiful and is covered in shells to naturally suppress weeds.
 It's also full of facts - including this one which explains that there's underwater gardens on the coastline of Torquay in which grow flowering plants. 
Underwater flowers, that's odd isn't it!? who knew?.

I'm in Love

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Bedbugs

As we know, bugs do not solely exist in the garden, the little critters are everywhere.

A while ago I was moaning about an infestation of Moths here - Glamorous Gardener: Moths - that were destroying my clothes.  Thankfully after getting rid of the carpet and all the fur coats in my dressing room I am finally moth free.

However, now please spare a thought for America who have an enormous infestation of Bedbugs.  OH MY GOD, these are so hideous.

A few years ago I visited a friend in Manhatten who told me about New York's infestation, but more recently it's all over the news because the little critters have made their way in to department stores causing them to close down.  My friend (being American and all) explained that this was happening because of tourists (and nothing to do with America - though, I haven't really heard of anywhere else other than the US being overrun with the critters).  This Guardian article explains more.

The most horrifying thing is that you can actually see bedbugs - I aways thought the were too tiny to see but apparently they're a little smaller than a penny.

BEDBUG



Even more horrifying is that according to this EcoBugDoctor website, you shouldn't be sleeping with anybody if you think there's a possible chance you have bedbugs in your home.  No wonder it brought New York to a stand-still. 

I am thankful for my moths frankly.

CRITTERS

Friday, 19 November 2010

Spitalfieldslife.com

This is me photographed in the garden for an interview for one of my favorite websites www.spitalfieldslife.com.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Fred Butler

Fred Butler makes things.  Lots of things.   

I can't remember where I first met Fred but I remember liking her because every day she wore a different colour from head to toe.  Lately when I've seen her however she has been multi-coloured.  She is like a little rainbow. 
 
Russella with Fred Butler 


Here's an example of something Fred Butler made for an Exhibition I went to see.  They're FLORAL paper accessories. 
 FLORAL paper accesory
 Fred is so nifty with her fingers that she's made things for billions of celebrities including Bjork, Lady Gaga, Paloma Faith and ME.  Most impressive (to me) is that she created the infamous Lady Gaga 'Telephone' hat, which I think is a pretty iconic piece now and I hope will one-day will be exhibited in the VandA.

Lady Gaga Iconic Telephone Hat By Fred Butler



Here's Fred teaching me how to make a 'Pound Shop Sensation'...



I love Fred. www.fredbutlerstyle.com

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The Mole Man

The Mole Man is a character from a Marvel Comic book.  He is also however, a strange man that for 40 years burrowed under his £1million mansion just around the corner from me in Hackney.  A few years ago the Mole Man was evicted - the pavements around his home collapsed, he hit an electricity cable and the lights across the street went out, he caused £100,000 worth of damage.  And according to this Guardian article he was just building a big wine cellar...(?)

It is now a dangerous structure...
Here's some photo's of the Moe Man's house as it is today...

 Mole Man's House


Apparently no-one is quite sure why The Mole Man wants to dig holes but there's a funny quote from a neighbour in that Guardian article which is 'he's a hard-working man, he just doesn't use his energy in the right way'

Someone should probably have seen his digging potential and given him a job as a Mudlark.

Which brings me to my next event.  I'm having a 2-way interview with a mudlark on Weds 24th Nov at Rough Trade .
come and find out what it's like to be a Tranny or a Mudlark

Abney Park Cemetary

Today we think of London as being overcrowded with people.  Live and kicking people.  A couple of hundred years ago however, London was overcrowded with dead people.  The population increased but the small parish cemetaries remained the same size leading to overcrowding in the small Parish cemetaries (it will have been a bit like getting on the tube at rush-hour in the morning - dead faces squished up against each other).

This led to some rich folk opening up private cemetaries to appeal to the middle-classes - these cemetaries became known as 'The Magnificent 7'.

They really are magnificent.

The great thing about these cemetaries is they have become a haven for wildlife.  This week I was in Abney Park Cemetary in Stoke Newington wihch is stunning.  If you ever have American visitors you must take them to one of these cemetaries - with America being such a large new country they don't have overgrown graveyards dating back hundreds of years and they're always impressed.

In Abney Park, as part of the conservation of the cemetary, the conservationists have included facts about the various flora and fauna


Spotted Thorn



Horse Chesnut
 


The gravestones are up to 150 years old and are works of art.  I particularly like these ones that have been constructed to look like they have ivy trailing up them. 
 100 years on and most of the gravestones have real ivy climbing up them...


 The great thing about these cemetaries is that they are interesting during any season.  There's plenty to see in Autumn as masses of yellow leaves cover the ground and the Ferns and Ivy still cover the ground.

 Ferns and Ivy
 I don't want to show you too much of the cemetary as there's so much to discover but if you look around there's some interesting people buried here like the founders of the Salvation Army and Mr Frank C Bostock who it would appear was a Lion Tamer at the circus during the 19th Century and whose gravestone is a majestic sleeping Lion.
Let sleeping Lions lie.

In the middle of Abney Park cemetary is this beautiful old gothic chapel which was the first nondenominational chapel in Europe (not linked to any one particular subsection of Christianity)

Chapel


This Chapel also forms the backdrop in Amy Winehouse's video for 'Back to Black', the Title Track of her hugely succesful second album.


Amy Winehouse 'Back to Black'

Monday, 15 November 2010

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Another Year

I've just been to see the new Mike Leigh film 'Another Year' which is one of the most poigniant films I've seen in a long time.  The film takes you on a journey throughout one year in the life of Tom and Gerri who love nothing more than to potter around their allotment.  The focus of the film is on Tom and Gerri's home being a stable environment in which friends and family can take temporary relief from their otherwise disappointing lives.



I think the allotment in the film was symbolic of life, death, regrowth, rebirth and yet at the same time it seemed to symbolise the similarities from one season to the next.  Much like in life, every year is different but basically throws up the same problems or fruits of success.

I highly recommend this film.  It's as British as Cox's apples.

Friday, 12 November 2010

A little of what you fancy

As it's Autumn, there's hardly anything going on in my garden except yellow leaves.  Having said that I've become completely obsessed with thorny plants to stop kids climbing over my fence - the Berberis I bought from EBay arrived and it's bright Orange berries are the pretty much the only colour in the garden right now...

Berberis
 So I thought I'd take a few pictures of my new favorite restaurant called
'A LITTLE OF WHAT YOU FANCY'


Here's the seasonal veg on display...
Seasonal Veg
Some pears and cider
Pears and Cider
 I think these are poached pears or something - eaten with cream or ice-cream
Poached Pears
There is a lot of Orange in Autumn.

 This is my favorite bit that I think you should try at home.  Pansy's in pint glasses.
Pansy's in a pint glass

It is run by the lovely Elaine.  If you happen to be in East London I highly recommend it...

Friday, 29 October 2010

Yew Tree

Last night I went to a Halloween cupcake party (?)


Halloween Cupcake






I met up with Piers Atkinson who makes hats

Piers Atkinson who makes hats...







Here's a cake that looks just like Christina Aguilera....

Cake wot looks like Christina Aguilera







In this video....




Which Piers made many of the hats for.

Now Piers picked up this cupcake below and said it was inspired by a YEW tree.


Yew inspired cupcake






According to Piers Yew is extremely poisonous and it is the only tree witches can't make their brooms from which is why there are a lot of Yew trees in graveyards. According to the Kew Gardens website however, Yew trees were in the past used to ward off evil spirits.  Later, Yew branches were used to make bows (for the bow and arrow) from.  Also, Putting them in graveyards kept them out of the way of livestock which might eat the leaves and poison themselves.

I don't know what to believe. So here's a spooky Halloween video of myself and Piers



SPOOKY!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Hackney Gold-diggers

This is nice :)

Although, the hidden gold hoard was probably hidden drug money as oppose to antique coins, it's nice to imagine old folk with their metal-detectors finding the equivalent of Tutankhamun in East London.

Pansy

Yesterday I hosted a book launch for a new book by Maripol. 'Little Red Riding Hood'

Maripol was Madonna's stylist in the 80's and so styled all the Iconic 'Like a Prayer' period ...
 Her book contains polaroids and sketches of all her work during this period (she also worked with Deborah Harry and Grace Jones and was friendly with Andy Warhol so the book's full of celebrities).  I had my book signed...



I was a walking food tray at the party - I wore wearable food art which people could eat from, like this -


One of the dishes that was being handed out was houmous with PANSY flowers on top...

It's nice eating flowers, they brighten up a meal.  There's several flowers that are edible and would brighten up a dish including Nasturtium flowers, Marigold (Signet) and Primrose.