I have finally settled on placing the new greenhouse towards the end of the mixed border quite near the large wooden greenhouse (putting it here means I can align it north south which is preferable to east west). However before reaching this decision I weighed up a large number of possible sites, all of which are illustrated below – apologies in advance for the weeds!
Further to yesterday’s post here are a couple of photographs of the garden around 2004/2005 -they are very similar but I thought I might as well include both. As you see I had dug up the lawn (although my wife eventually got tired of the gravel and I had to replace it!).
I changed this design about a year after this photo was taken and got rid of the centre path and then planted a large mixed border sweeping right round from the bottom greenhouse (by then I had erected four) effectively cutting the garden in half – however I soon found that the dog went straight through this border, breaking all and sundry in the process – in the end I had to put in a path just for her which completely ruined the design!
I fear I will have to redesign the garden yet again as I want to fit in the new greenhouse – I have lost count how many times I have changed it. My real love is greenhouse plants and greenhouse management so the inevitable upheaval may be worth it. If and when I get the greenhouse erected I may not heat it initially but rather use it for tomatoes et al in the summer, chrysanthemums in the autumn followed by lettuce through the winter and bulbs in the spring – this was the regime I adopted in my first greenhouse over forty years ago.
By coincidence my wife has just found out some old photographs of the garden at the end of the Century when we had the first avatar of the lawn and there was only one, admittedly large, greenhouse and a tiny lean-to. All the shrubs had either not been planted or had not grown very big and there was actually flowers in the borders!!!!!
As usual I am desperately late with my gardening jobs (partly blamed on the very hot summer but mainly because my default state is sat in front of an easel, painting!). To illustrate here are two, I think rather surreal, photographs: one taken from the kitchen window and one taken from the dining room. Both show a complete mess which I should really be ashamed about but probably aren’t!
The tubs are for mature Dioscorea caudiciforms which ideally should be potted every three of four years but I am not sure if I have actually potted them this century! If I had they would have armchair sized caudexes by now, which admittedly would take up a lot of room. I am potting the ones that grow in the winter and will now have to, reluctantly, leave the summer growing ones to the spring (or will I – I may chance it). Interestingly whether they grow in winter or summer is almost dictated by chance, or more likely watering regimes when they are still seedlings. They come from South Africa so would normally grow during our winter months.
Someone has given me an eight by six foot greenhouse but I am not sure where to put it; hence the bits propped up against the outhouse! I already have four plus three ponds, not to mention a relatively newly planted lawn so flexibility is somewhat lacking. Logically the best option would be to remove the six by four plastic lean-to and put it there but I am reluctant to throw away an old friend. I will continue to muse!
Incidentally something I am ashamed about is not realising the lemon was not getting the rain during a wet spell last month. It subsequently dried out and lost its leaves -very embarrassing that!
I am very sorry for not posting anything for a while but this blog tends to be the Cinderella of all the ones I write. I usually post to my literary blogs on a regular basis (I am not sure if these are the ugly sisters!) and the art ones only slightly less frequently but this one – despite by passion for plants, animals and the landscape of Southern England – gets ignored!
I must also confess to not gardening enough during the summer months. Up to quite recently it was blistering hot and as my studio was much cooler it became even more enticing than usual! I did take a handful of photographs over the summer months which I will share over the next few weeks. I may try and post one photo a day to see if I can build up some kind of momentum – we shall see!
However the picture below is from much longer ago and illustrates my very first greenhouse: which was made from corrugated PVC and purchased in the Sixties and an Alton greenhouse I bought a bit later in my middle teens (with a bit of help from my parents!). The small greenhouse was heated by a blue flame paraffin heater and housed Chrysanthemums in the autumn, lettuce et al through the winter, bedding plants in the spring and tomatoes etc. during the summer months. The larger greenhouse was initially heated by a coal fired hot water pipe system – which unfortunately caught the greenhouse on fire and then by electricity. It housed the start of my cacti and succulent collection and a large selection of pot plants; most of which I grew from seed.
The frames housed overwintering bulbs, vegetable seedlings and other small plants. The rest of the garden, and a very large allotment, belonged to my father.
I am very sorry I haven’t posted anything recently – pressure of work I am afraid. I have taken some photos during the interim so hope to resume posting on a regular basis in the near future.
Here are some greenhouse pictures taken immediately after a week of potting during the third week of May which I hope may be of interest.