Its been raining, not a little bit, lots. And when it’s not been raining, it snowed. Rainfall has almost got to 95mm so far this month. So many plans in the garden have been put on hold because of the rainy weather. Once again the lawn is a bog, and temperatures have been very cold. Midway through the month we were visited by the Beast from the East, a weather front that bought Siberian style weather for a long weekend.
I was on the verge of relaying new slabs to support the new Greenhouse I purchased last Autumn, however the persistent heavy rain, high winds and a visit by storm Imogenhas put paid to me being able to do much garden work for a few weeks….
I had to snatch random gaps in the stormy weather to get slabs relaid and the new Greenhouse base fitted.
And this is how it stayed for at least another week, the mud became intolerable, and my fingers froze. Then last weekend a break in the weather meant I got the frame together, fixed up and all bolted.
I took a half day from work last friday as the forecast was favourable, I got the two roof vents fitted, the door made up and fitted and started glazing. Now it’s considered best practice to glaze in one day so as not to leave the structure with gaps overnight in case of high storms, however I had to finish my glazing at 5.15pm on Friday as it was just too dark to continue. And even worse… I was coming down with a streaming cold.
Yesterday morning I dragged myself from my sick-bed to finish glazing each end and the door, there was one worrying moment when the last pane of glass just wouldn’t fit. I made an ‘adjustment’ to a plastic fitting and the pane slotted in perfectly.
So.. here it is…
It’s a 6×8 foot extra high Greenhouse, I need to sort out the ground around it, fit the downpipes to the gutter, and sort some water butts. I’m aiming to use the Greenhouse primarily for tall crops in tubs, such as Tomatoes and Cucumbers…….
But that could all change yet.
It should complement my existing 6×8 very nicely.
But all in good time, it was back to my sick-bed for the rest of the weekend to try to shake off this bug.
Another new recent purchase for me is helping start of some seeds that I’ve sown, a zip up tunnel type propagator with heat mat.
It’s a bit of an extravagance, but I’ve always wanted one, and a recent sale meant I was able to get one for under £100. It should prove useful with the extra height when I start cuttings later in the year.
It currently contains my Chilli seeds, which are coming along nicely.
I’ve also just sown a wide variety of Tomato seeds, some from the USA, some from Northern Europe, and some ultra modern uk F1 hybrids. these should do well in my new taller greenhouse.
In other areas around the garden, there are signs of Spring Flowers which are a welcome sight….
I just need more time to get into the garden to do all the outstanding jobs, I also need the water table to reduce a bit.
I’m really looking forward to giving the lawn its first cut of the year, and at least there will be Tulips…
I sit writing this post indoors listening to the howling wind and driving rain outside, there has been no let up in the stormy weather for ages now, my weather station has just recorded a wind gust of 20 miles an hour, and the house that backs onto my garden has lost tiles off the roof.
July, the height of summer, lovely hot days and steamy nights, due to my penchant for tubs and hanging baskets, watering in hot weather was taking an average of 2 hours a night, I was trying to water every other day, but due to the awful quality of many of the bags of Compost I had bought, where the contents were mostly chipped bark, the compost was very open and difficult to keep moist. I purchased a better quality hosepipe and watering attachments which helped with the task.
I’ve not done a full blog for a while, I’ve been busy decorating, working and been a little unmotivated to be honest.
It’s mostly the weather you see, last years relentless wet weather appears to be continuing into this year. The snow we had has caused the ground to stay sodden, and when it did melt… the rain started.
Whats been happening in the garden since I last blogged….. well its rained…… lots, I have a disappointingly small amount of Snowdrops emerged, both my doubles and singles are struggling this year, I can only assume it is the combination of the cold, wet ground which has slowed them right down. Also my Helleborus are very disappointing, mostly leaves with a few sorry-looking flowers battered by the weather.
My first Alpine Gardening Club meeting of the year was cancelled due to heavy snowfall and bad icy roads. My big Hosta June split wide open its clay pot, and I discovered other terracotta pots which were supposed to be frost proof, were in-fact not.!
We had a day of really high winds and at work lost a very large Betula pendula due to rotten roots in sodden ground, I came home to find a modestly sized Leylandii of mine had also gone over just brushing lightly my 6×6 greenhouse (Alpine House). How ever I made short work of it with a big bow saw and took it to the recycling centre later in the week.
Its loss is my gain, as it’s a tree I wanted out anyway.
In contrast to all the negatives, I’ve found some positives to mention.
My Hamamelis shrubs, 3 to be exact, have never flowered as well as they have these past months.
I’ve got some of the bulbs I planted in pots as a bit of a trial coming up nicely as well.
I quite like Cyclamen, but I have never been able to keep them when planted in my garden soil, so I have gone for the potted approach, so far I’ve had ok results. But I did buy the Corms from a well-known cheap bulb supplier so it serves me right really.
I don’t think I will bother with Snowdrops in pots again, but will persevere with the Cyclamen.
I’ve got several Bulb and seed catalogues now, and really need to get a move on and decide if I want to buy anything, which of course I do. However a combination of too much choice and not enough pocket-money means I’m faffing a bit.
Finally, the Aluminum Greenhouse staging I ordered for my growing Alpine collection from a company called Two Wests & Elliot has arrived. I used over £90 in Gift Vouchers I earned from Amazon after I sold back several of my Text Books I bought for My Ecology Course I compleated a few years ago.
I have to find the time to put it together now, I’d rather build it inside my dining room, where its warm and well-lit, but I suspect I will have to erect it inside the greenhouse, as I don’t think I will be able to get it in through the greenhouse door.
However, It needs to warm up outside quite a bit before I begin that job.