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Halfnotes from a minimal greenhouse

Last year I blogged about the lean-to greenhouse we built out of old windows up against our garden shed. In a fit of zeal I deleted a load of photos from WordPress’ storage, not realising that I was also deleting them from the posts, so those have now vanished into the ether. The greenhouse itself has survived with only one broken pane, after I netted the overhead apple branches to catch any strays.

As the veg weren’t a brilliant success last year (Padron peppers a notable exception) I’ve focused more on flowers. I’ve grown fox gloves, bonariensis and hollyhocks from our own seed (some of the latter nicked from a fantastic specimen up the road). I bought seeds for Cosmos (3 sorts), Kalendula, Tithonia (a first) and Cleome.  Everything germinated spectacularly and we should have flowers in excelsis. I haven’t entirely neglected the veg – there are the usual beans (broad, French and runners), cucumbers and and sweet peppers, all doing well so far. I’m also having a go at cucamelons, which claim to be ‘mini melons tasting of cucumber with a twist of lime.’ I’m a bit late with the tomatoes but they’ll be there soon.

Two lessons I’m trying to learn from last year: name the bloody seedlings as they all look the same to start with (why is this so hard to do?) and harden off good and proper. I think I’ve  been much to quick to get them in the ground so I’ve been letting them out for the day and tucking them up at night. Then as long as they behave themselves they can stay out all night for a few days before final planting. Fingers crossed…

The bottom row are all nicotiana (I hope), with mostly tithonias and cleome above. Below are some of the cucamelons:

Outside we have a field of Kalendula awaiting the trowl:


…and a mixed bag of cosmos, tithonia, foxgloves, hollyhocks  and cleome also standing by:

Let’s hope we get some sun!

2 Responses to “Halfnotes from a minimal greenhouse”

  1. Roger Marsh says:

    Ha ha! We’re all at it. Must be our age. For me it’s vegetables, and I am in need of some of your flowers to sit with them: cosmos, calendula: send them over, would you? I’m sure the French customs will have no problem with them. I’ll send you a pic of my veg patch when the sun comes out again – seems to have deserted us at the moment. My neighbour keeps giving me more tomato plants. Her garden is spectacular, while mine has taken two years to look half decent, having started out as a briar patch.
    Love to Penny.
    PS Finnegans Wake unabridged comes out on Naxos on June 15th. Doing various Zoom interviews and ‘webinars’ this week. I’ll send you the promo video when it’s out.

  2. John Potter says:

    Great- I’ll look forward to waking some Finnegan. I think we must have your sun at the moment (after ridiculous amounts of rain). Another thing I’ve learned is that if all your seeds germinate you’re shafted – I’ve completely run out of space!

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