Saturday, March 8

Inside the greenhouse

Although as I described in an earlier post our garden greenhouse doesn't look very pretty at the moment it still is earning its keep.

So what is the greenhouse home to at the moment?

Firstly there is a shelf full of cyclamen
These are a mixture of seed raised cyclamen coum which will be planted out in the garden this year. These are all deep pink and so when we visited Harlow Carr we bought a white plant to add to them. Maybe they'll even hybridise and produce pale pink offspring.
The other cyclamen are the ones I raised from seed gathered from a plant that I had in the house. They are all healthy plants but only one or two have produced flowers and as expected these are all the same colour - deep pink. As the seeds were taken from the same seed pod it seems that cyclamen seeds are true to colour.

A large potted parsley plant sits on the floor nearby.
This was brought in to protect the leaves from the battering effects of the weather so that we would have a good supply over winter for the kitchen.

Next to this are two figs also getting a bit of protection.
Both figs have had a near death experience but the larger one gave us our first real fig harvest last year. The smaller one, squeezed between the large plant and the onion sets, has a fair bit of growing to do to catch up.

As you will have already spotted, next to the figs are the onion and shallot sets that are planted in modules.
The first lot to be planted are already shooting.

We also have some onions and shallots stored from last year that we are still using.
The greenhouse isn't the ideal storage place for onions but we don't really have anywhere better. You can also see the net bag with the excess onion sets that will be close planted to produce next year pickling onions. By the look of things I need to pickle some more this year before the small stored onions start to shoot.

Also set out to shoot or more precisely chit are the seed potatoes.
Sheets of fleece are on hand to pop over the tubers if a frost is predicted. 

I know in a previous post I said that we had fallen out of love with dahlias but on a recent visit to a local garden centre we relented and bought four tubers which have been placed in compost trays to start them off.
We've chosen four single varieties - from the pictures one looks very like a cosmos flower. I like the simplicity of the flowers and the bees will love them too. If they shoot early enough we may even get some cuttings. Buying one or two new tubers means we don't have the hassle of saving tubers over winter and they should produce better than seed raised plants.

Also hiding away from the winter weather are one or two less hardy perennials. A couple are self sown verbena bonariensis which were retrieved from the cracks in paving to grow on for replanting in more appropriate locations.
The osteospernum in the large tubs have produced flowers throughout winter. The lewisias were really brought in to avoid them becoming too wet and rotting. They can stand the cold but not excessive wetness. It's a good job they spent this winter inside isn't it? Even then one plant has died.

Finally we have the grapevine - Himrod.
This is about as old as the greenhouse  and each year has never failed to provide us with a supply of small sweet seedless green grapes. Soon it will burst into action and need keeping in check throughout the growing season. It has been known to escape out of the open greenhouse window and head for freedom.

Soon lots of seed trays will be making a bid for space and the greenhouse will be bulging at the seams.

36 comments:

  1. It's packed you have so much going on in there. I might start my dahlias off tomorrow. I normally plant the tuber straight into the ground but it will be nice to have something else to check on in the greenhouse. Your grape looks great, I have a little one in the greenhouse, if I can find the space I think I will try & train it up the middle.

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    1. We need to keep cutting the grape back throughout the summer, Jo or it would take over and completely shade out the other plants

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  2. Are your cyclamens get flowering all year round? Your parsley make me so jealous, it looks so stunning. I have to hard work to keep my parsley live and stand out. Also the verbena, yours grow so natural on paving crack, and mine... so much handling to keep them safe... :(

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    1. They have had one ot two flowers all year, Endah but haven't put on much of a show.

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  3. The greenhouse is a lovely place to be at the moment, having spent the morning in mine. I'm already getting worried about running out of space. Still, if the mild weather keeps up it shouldn't be long before I can start filling up the cold frames too.

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    1. Ours would be if the supplier of the polycarbonate sheeting would get their finger out and deliver what we have ordered, Jessica

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  4. Your post really feels like spring! Enjoy, here we will have to wait for quite a bit.

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    1. It has been a bit dull and cold here today, Alain not what was forecast

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  5. Wow, you certainly have plenty going on. I have 2 Fig trees but I think one has succumbed to the weather up here - they are just too big for the PT now. The other is against a sheltered south facing wall and apears to be surviving.
    Do you start your onions off in midules and then plant them out? I never thought to try that.
    Does Verbena Bonariensis die back in winter and reshoot from the ground? or are we supposed to keep the actual plant green all winter? I have some inside and out and they all look completely dead and I've been wondering whether to just pull them up.

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    1. Don't give up on that fig yet, Linda both of ours have been through the dead phase when we nearly threw them out.See this post

      The onions in modules will be planted out and it is important to do that before they become pot bound or they just give up.

      This year our verbenas are still green but again don;t give up on them yet as there is still time for them to show some signs of life.

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    2. Should have added have you scraped back a bit of 'bark' from the poorly fig to see if it still green beneath? If it is - it's still alive.

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    3. Thanks for that Sue :) I'm not going to give up on any of them as I believe the fig may still be alive.

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  6. Lots going on there Sue! I have just ventured into mine and discovered Hubby has spent the week tidying it for me (basically removing all his household tools and rubbish!). Tomorrow I will start preparing the seeds and brushing off my staging. Spring has sprung!

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  7. Your greenhouse has something of the Tardis about it.... you have managed to cram such a lot into it. How long was it before your biggest Fig tree bore fruit? I have one that is approximately the same size as your smaller one, so I imagine I will have to wait a few years before I get any fruit from it.

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    1. Not crammed, Mark still lots of space.

      I'm not sure how old the large fig is but I'm guessing about seven years old. We did neglect it for a while though and it has a year playing 'dead'!

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  8. Your last shot made my mouth water Sue! Your greenhouse is a very productive place - a credit to you both.
    A good idea to bring the Lewisia indoors - I hadn't thought to do the same with the Verbena - this might work for me. Thanks, you've given me an idea :)

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    1. Just needs it's facel ifted. Angie

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  9. I've got greenhouse envy! I like the idea of having a vine in the greenhouse, it does look like an ancient one.
    Cathy

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    1. It's a least thirty years old it can created quite a bit of shade if allowed to though.

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  10. It is surprising how much a greenhouse can hold isn't it, yours certainly earns it's keep!
    I have a fig tree planted out and I'm terrified we may get a frost or snow...so I have bags of straw and fleece at the ready. I'm always finding things growing in cracks too....at the moment it's poached egg plants.
    I did enjoy this, I'm obsessively nosy about what people keep in their greenhouses....and sheds!!!xxx

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    1. We have lots of poached egg plants on the plot, Snowbird that even get a hold in the tarmac!

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  11. I've got a seedless green grape vine that grows like mad as well - but no grapes on it last year, I don't know what went wrong. The purple dahlia looks lovely, I like the open dahlias a lot. It's a good idea to take cuttings, I have a Bishop of Llandaff that I will try that with this year if I can. It hadn't occurred to me before.

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    1. One of those is the Bishop, CJ

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  12. How I wish I had the space for a larger greenhouse. I love looking in other people's greenhouses and seeing what they keep in there. I usually grow one or two dahlias but I haven't bought any this year, they just haven't grabbed me when I've looked at them in the garden centres. Perhaps a year off will make me miss them and then I'll fall in love with them all over again ready for next year.

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    1. We weren't going to bother with dahlias this year, Jo but relented.

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  13. I love your big greenhouse. I would love to have one big greenhouse but I don't have room for it. Parsley pot looks amazing. It looks like a big weird mossy plant. Love it!

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  14. Everything looks good for the coming year in your greenhouse. I can only grow Verbena bonariensis as a half-hardy annual as they invariably die during the winter, but when I grew Lewisias I was lucky enough to have a small peat-bed and planted them vertically in its wall where they flourished and even seeded themselves around.

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    1. I have the pots of lewisias on a tilt when they are outside, Rick but have never had one self seed.

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  15. Wonderfully varied greenhouse contents Sue, and a timely reminder that following your own success I meant to try growing cyclamen from seed myself, they are pricey plants to buy, relative to the their size, so it strikes me as well worth doing. I love your grape vine!

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    1. Go for it, Janet. I've sown some indoor cyclamen called Latina this year.

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  16. I think greenhouses are like garden sheds - they naturally gravitate towards getting untidy! Good luck with the maintenance and repairs, it looks like a big house - what size is it?

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    1. If you read Martyn's post today you will see that tidying is underway! Its a 20' x 10' greenhouse.

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    2. 20 x 10, nice :} And probably still not big enough.

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    3. Is it ever big enough, Jayne? But we do have a 6' x 8' aluminium one on the allotment plot too.

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