It has been so cold, and so dark, and so wet, that we’ve barely considered getting our vegetable seeds into the ground. However, despite what the weather might be saying, it is March, so we bought everything into the warm house instead and potted up on the kitchen table.
We’ve got our first load of tomatoes, chillis, peppers, aubergines, and our herbs in – everything that will be bought on in the greenhouse initially. It still feels too cold to be planting outside – that will wait another week!
We used the spreadsheet we put together in January to make sure we didn’t miss anything. We also had all of the seeds ready filed in our new seed box that David’s mother gave us for Christmas, which will make successional sowing easier this year.
I picked up these great seed trays in the garden centre when they were on half price, they allow you to take out individual pots and make transplanting a doddle. Last year we ended up breaking some of the delicate little seedlings because the trays we used allowed all of their roots to tangle, but these should make a big difference.
It feels like it has taken forever for Spring to arrive this year, but finally we’re seeing early signs as our daffodils, crocuses and snowdrops bloom in the garden.
Here are our earliest bloomers, hopefully soon to be joined by far more!
And here it finally is! Three weeks ago we promised that we’d tackle the last major bit of the garden that needs attention – the far end, which looked like this:
Well, we did, and now look – our greenhouse is complete! The guys from Swallow Greenhouses arrived on Tuesday and we couldn’t believe how quickly it went up. In just half an hour it was complete – it really made our two-day foundation setting project seem a bit pathetic!
So we were really looking forward to getting planting, but there are a few things we needed to do first. David got some left over wood from our coldframe project and we built a skin to go on the inside of the greenhouse, to protect it from the soil and to create a raised bed.
Then we dug a channel up the middle, which will be the pathway. We’ve created raised beds around the outside and will also be able to use grow bags in the middle because the greenhouse is pretty wide. Next we plan to build a red brick path up the centre – Lee suggested this as they’ll absorb heat in the day and release it at night – our very own storage heating system! When we get around to that we’ll blog it here – but it might not be for a while, we have a puppy to play with!
Today we welcomed a new arrival to our little Greystones family – Arthur! He is an eight week old whippet puppy, and isn’t he just adorable?
We collected him yesterday in Swansea, breaking the journey home up with a visit to my parents in Neath. He met Ollie, their grown-up whippet, who he seemed to like. Not sure what Ollie thought though!
We’re really excited about Arthur joining us and I’m sure we’ll be sharing loads of photos of him here as he grows up, in between the gardening posts. We’re going to be starting puppy training with him soon, and he has lots of doggy friends to meet in Carlingcott, so it is going to be a busy time for this little guy.
So we’ve borrowed our neighbour’s cement mixer, and we’re set to start on the foundations of our new greenhouse.
We spent ages digging the foundations – they aren’t particularly deep but the ground was really stony and full of comfrey and other really persistent weeds we had to clear completely before we could start the cementing. It was also really hard to get everything square – but fortunately we had our architect friend Lee to keep us on the straight and narrow – thanks Lee, again!
The cementing so far hasn’t been without error to be completely honest. We weren’t sure how to get the foundations level, so we put stakes in the ground and made sure they were level, intending to fill the cement to the tops of them. However, it quickly became clear that if we did this we’d run out of cement and our foundations would be unnecessarily deep, so we’re going to have to chop the top inch off each of the stakes when we’re done – oops!
We also didn’t order enough ballast to mix with the cement so Jess and I ended up doing a last minute run to Homebase (seriously not the best place to buy anything…) to buy more. Our poor car wasn’t happy with the weight on the way home, but at least we’ll now probably finish everything this weekend.
Check back next week for the third and final stage – installing the greenhouse!