My little greenhouse
I have a love hate relationship with it if I’m honest.
It’s not the prettiest greenhouse in the world and as such not ideally positioned plum centre of the formal part of the garden. But it serves a purpose, to a point, and of course it now benefits from an open view down to the river which I’ve been enjoying over the last few days as I fire it up ready for the new season.
Starting with the outside, it’s had a facelift.
Last year it was somewhat overshadowed by the large column of ivy and clematis that grew just outside the door. I had to wait for the wrens to finish nesting before I had that down last summer.
The greenhouse was already getting full by last March too. This year I’ve started seed sowing about a month later, given the pressures of work inside the house. But back then there were also many overwintering plants, booted out already this year to life in the great outdoors courtesy of the beautiful Spring weather. They are not too far away though and will return if the nights become colder again.
There are now two roses flanking the greenhouse door.
‘Jude the Obscure’ on one side, ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ (above) on the other.
A couple of years back Mike constructed dual purpose staging. It holds trays full of plants in the winter and early Spring then later in the year provides stout support for his tomatoes.
I’ve really got to get to grips with cordon tomatoes this year. For a start they need to go into their final pots as soon as they are ready and NOT left root constrained in too small a space with a need for twice daily watering. The seeds, all ‘Sungold’, have now germinated and with a cleared out greenhouse I will be able to get them into position that much earlier.
I also need to be a LOT more disciplined about tying them in and removing the sideshoots. We visited a big house garden sometime last summer, I forget where, but I do remember the cordons were perfectly trained to a single stem tied back with wires against the slope of the greenhouse roof. Each plant was absolutely loaded with fruit. If they can do it..
The staging on the other side of the greenhouse has been upgraded too. Mike’s parents have just moved house and I have inherited the staging from them. It works via a system of narrow trays which can be turned one way to provide a flat working area and the other to provide a receptacle for gravel, or clay pellets as I’ve used here. Thank you to Julie for the idea!
The staging is slowly filling up.
The sunlight streaming in and much needed warmth will make amends for my tardiness. I hope.
Most of the seeds are vegetables but I’ve started off some trays of annual and perennial flowers too: Cosmos, Rudbeckia, Echinacea and cornflowers. They should help to fill some of those spaces up on the bank while I wait for the more permanent planting to establish.
Above, Erigeron karvinskianus kindly donated by Em last year. They germinated in autumn and have been quietly growing over winter, putting on a bit of a spurt in the last few weeks. I’ll have loads when I get them all potted up. Em takes stunning photographs from up on Dartmoor (here).
I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I want to extend the use of the greenhouse, using it as home for more delicate and exotic plants, especially bulbs which I’ve had to give up growing in the garden almost entirely.
The trouble is the mice inhabit the greenhouse too. In clearing it out I found plenty of tunnels. We’ve blocked them up as far as we can, using concrete in places. And Mike has constructed a ‘moat’ around the outside, filling it with more concrete and stones. I challenge them to tunnel in now!
Of course, they could still just saunter in through the open door, should they have a mind..
Can one obtain a stable door for a greenhouse do you think?!
Kalanchoe ‘Bronze Sculpture’
The shape of things to come?
Linking to Julie’s Greenhouse Review at Peonies & Posies (here)