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Archive for the ‘Greenhouse’ Category

I have a theory that the longer you wait for something, the sweeter it is when you get it.  In our modern consumerist society, we don’t wait as long as we might for most things, and I am particularly guilty of frittering away money on instant gratification in the form of seeds, plants, pots etc.

However, one thing you can’t buy easily in London is space, and we have waited a long time to have a garden with a patch of sunny space for a greenhouse.  When you add this time to the time we lived in flats with no private garden, we have waited fifteen years for that patch of space.

Fifteen years of indoor plants crammed into corners.  Fifteen years of Jamie running out into the garden late at night to put straw and bubble wrap on tender plants in the first frosts.  Fifteen years of seedlings covering every windowsill and of citrus plants dying of too little light in the heat or too much water in the cold.

But after all that time, wow, what a beauty.  It was well worth the wait.  I can hardly contain my excitement.

After waiting fifteen years, we decided to make it worthwhile, and while others may drive nice cars or take foreign holidays, our extravagances have usually gone into plants and the garden.  So we invested our life savings in a gorgeous red cedar greenhouse.  We are very, very lucky people.

It was ready for plants in mid December, and is now home to some prize new plants that wouldn’t have thrived even through the mild 90s winters.  Exhibit A:  A new peach tree whose blossom is spectacular at this time of year.

There are also a multitude of seedlings, which are healthier than anything we have seen on the windowsill over the years.  They just do so well in there.  Some of them have started to be planted out.  Coriander and Lemon coriander:

Globe artichokes:

Finally the peas that were put in a month ago are ready to go it alone outside:

It’s amazing how life can change so much in a year.

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I  sometimes think I should change the name of this blog to the Lazy Gardener, (watch this space actually….)  My gardening efforts have been regularly rescued from disaster by my husband, a well timed shower of rain (thank you British climate, I could never survive anywhere else!), the sheer persverance of nature and sometimes just pure luck.

It is now on the brink of May and I have so far done absolutely NOTHING towards this season’s crops.  And although there is part of me that feels terribly guilty, there is also a part of me that knows that in the UK, this doesn’t really matter.  Not terribly much growth happens earlier than now, except indoors, and there are always plenty of crops you can get in.

So, my saving graces this year have been:

My amazing darling husband who has been keeping the plot mowed and ‘sort of’ weeded.  He loves his perennials like asparagus, strawberries and rhubarb, so at this time of year he is there more often than me.  I do look after the kids meanwhile, so perhaps I am doing my bit?

The fact that someone tipped me off about the tradition of sowing potatoes on Good Friday.  Inspired by this folk tradition we sowed them Good Friday morning before the heavy thunderstorms of the afternoon.

Also, hubby has been planting his crops of the year, cherry tomatoes (he’e gone for Gardener’s Delight) and butternut squash, as well as some rocket.

As for now, I am frantically sowing sweet peas and beans.  I am also setting up a herb and salad box outside my back door, now we have a space with some light at the house.  I am planting lots of flower seeds accumlated over the last year.  Hoping for a good year of flowers for the house.  And I have bought some fabulous perennials for the garden.  All very exciting.

The lemon tree at the top of the post is now in our conservatory.  After many, many, many years we have got a conservatory which means we can grow citrus plants and indoor bananas.  There really is no way to express how exciting this is for us.  Twelve years ago, Jamie and I lived in a small flat with a huge south facing window from ceiling to floor.  The whole of our very small living space was filled with tropical and indoor plants of many types.  For the last ten years we have watched our once impressive indoor plant collection dwindle.  We still have one hardy yucca and a Musa Cavendish banana from this era, being kept alive in a greenhouse at Jamie’s work.  After a very long wait, they can finally come home!

And now as I sit down for my evening scan of everyone’s blogs, I fully expect to get lots of inspiration for this year. It’s time to put the knitting down and get outside!!!!

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