My greenhouse came home with us after the Malvern Spring Gardening Show in 2009 - well to be more accurate a receipt for a deposit came home with us, whilst the greenhouse followed a few weeks later. It is the best gift ever that himself has given me. We did not go to the show with the intention of buying a greenhouse - in fact the thought of getting another greenhouse had not entered my head. I was quite happy with its predecessor but himself persuaded me that I should go for a bigger model. He pointed out to me that as I was no longer working that I would be spending more time in the greenhouse and would appreciate having more space to fill. How could I resist such logic? There was also the extra incentive of a special show price so it was a done deal by the end of the day.
My new 10 foot by 8 foot de luxe greenhouse remained in its packaging until September of that year but was up and ready for me to use the following spring. The staging (which was made using planed slate batons) and the heated sand bench from my original greenhouse transfered happily into this bigger space. Both these structures were crafted by himself who luckily for me enjoys any activity that involves making and building. The greenhouse is situated just a short hop away from the house so I can get out there easily whatever the weather is doing.
The greenhouse is not heated as such but I manage to overwinter cuttings in it, as well as dahlia tubers and the odd tender perennial. The fleece comes out for extra protection if the temperatures dip well below zero. It is usually though not until March when it sees much in the way of activity. The tomato and pepper seeds which were started off towards the end of February in a heated propagator are now spending their days outside. They are whisked back into the house each night but when I start to prick them out they will have to toughen up and reside in the greenhouse full time. This will probably be next week.
The heated sand bench is now on and we think that it probably raises the overall temperature of the greenhouse by a degree or two as well as providing direct heat for for newly sown seed. Basking in the warmth at the moment are more tomatoes, nicotiana, night scented phlox, celeriac, tomatillo, alpine strawberries and broad beans. The sand bench takes up most of one side of staging but will be switched off in due course so that it can be used purely as a holding area. On the opposite side of the greenhouse are beetroot, peas, sweet peas, onions and a couple of sowings of perennials. The shallots planted in cells back in February have made their way to the allotment ready for planting later this week as they are showing green. I will also plant some directly into the ground.
The cuttings have all come through the winter and are now in need of potting up and hardening off before they get too leggy. A job for that extra hour of daylight next week. The dahlias will also need some attention soon.
So that's the state of my greenhouse this month - at the moment it all seems under control but there is inevitable trouble bubbling under the surface. Before long it will all explode when the yearly greenhouse shuffle begins, when it seems that there will never be enough space for all that you have grown.
P.S. The bottom tiers of the staging are being used for storage at the moment eg compost, vermiculite and various other sundries etc but will no doubt be revealed next month.
Thanks to Helen over at The Patient Gardener's Weblog who had the brilliant idea of sharing what's going on in our greenhouses each month. I think it might encourage me to be tidier!