Elastic-sided greenhouse wanted

29 March 2013

Can somebody please invent a greenhouse with elastic sides? This time of year is always difficult, but with the very cold weather, 2013 is worst than most. There are the plants that have to have shelter over the winter, plus the new season’s seedlings, plus the plants that are just starting to grow and need potting up – after which, they take up more space but still need shelter.

Plants in the greenhouse March 2013

Plants in the greenhouse March 2013

This photo gives you an idea of what it’s like on the staging in the greehouse, back and front. There are also plants underneath, and on an upper shelf, which can just be seen in the left-hand picture.  I have to confess I also have a second greenhouse, also full of plants, though only mature ones, not seedlings or youngsters. I grow plants not only for myself, but also to sell in aid of the Dorset Branch of Buttefly Conservation, and find this a wonderful excuse to do lots of propagation, which is great fun. It does, mind you, also slow down my gardening, as if I find a seedling or snap off a bit of a plant which might root, I have to stop and pot them up so I can sell them!

Viper's Bugloss (tall)

Viper’s Bugloss (tall)

I did talk in an earlier post about the seeds I am growing – since then I’ve sown some more, so perhaps it’s time for a progress report. The anthirrhinums are doing well: I need to prick them out soon, to give them more growing space (though where I’ll put them, I’m not sure). The short yellow cosmos came out of the propagator, but started to look so sad, I put them back in, where some are doing well, but some are fading away – I suspect the problem is sciarid fly, and I’m trying a James Wong neem-based home-brewed spray to reduce that problem at the moment. The cerinthe are doing very well: they are the big seedlings you can see in the individual pots in the right-hand picture above. The ‘frosted explosion’ grass came up, but is busy going back down, so I suspect I’ll be replacing it with spider plants in my bedding scheme – they are so easy to grow, and do well outside in the summer.

Later sowings included echium blue bedder – a short version of viper’s bugloss, which is doing very well; it is a good plant for bees, as shown by the photo to the left, which is of the taller version. I’ve recently sowed some Veronica longifolia  which has just started coming up, and some field scabious and a plant called asarina, neither of which are showing yet. The asarina is listed in some catalogues as lofus or lofos, and I bought a few plants last year which did very well in a hanging basket, so I’m trying to grow some cream-coloured ones from seed for this year. I’ve also got some sweet peas in – I adore their scent – roll on picking the first flowers.

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