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August 31, 2009

A rainy day in the greenhouse


I know I mentioned this before, but late August is actually a slow time in the garden, aside from picking vegetables and repotting the summer dormant tender bulbs in the greenhouse, a task which is just about done, most of the chores are routine ones, like fertiliing orchids and summer growing bulbs, or cleaning and organizing, two things I really hate doing, as anyone who knows me, knows.

I thought for a change, I would show you some of the less fancy parts of my garden. Shots of the greenhouse, not set up for a shoot, or cleaned up, but simply, shot as it really looks on a normal Saturday. Here, the potting bench as I finish repotting Cape bulbs. The foliage was cut off of the dormant Moraea and Babiana, and some of it comes from the Romulea species. Most of the Narcissus species are not being repotted this year because I ran out of time, and in the back, you can see the Nerine sarniensis pots,ready to start growth. I have extra bulbs and offsets if anyone wants, I was going to donate them to PBS, but I never seem to get them into the main, I am such a slug sometimes! Trying to do too much, I guess, at once.

My potting bench was built out of Mahogany ten years ago, but it is alreadu starting to decay in spots. This is a pretty humid greenhouse in the winter, and since I keep a pile of soil on it most of the time, it rarely gets to dry off. People always comment at how much we can jam into the greenhouse every autumn, and it's true. Here in New England, even the Rosemary has to be brought in, and so many large clay tubs and pots come it, that even this potting bench has very little room on it. The upper shelves in the middle are strong, so I can lift large tubs of lemons and camellia onto them, also, the cieling is 18 feet tall inside, I can stand on these upper benches in the middle, and walk around without touching the ceiling. Now that I cut down the tall Acacia trees, there is even more room ( and sun). I plan to only bring in 2/3rd's of what came back in last year, so that I can have room for new things. MY list of must-gets are long, a big sand bench for alpines, a collection of tropical Rhododenron from Borneo, some R. Madennii species, new Cymbidiums, and some semi hardy shrubs. But now that Joe want's half of the greenhouse, I may have to clean out more! Yes, this greenhouse has a little bit of everything.

Pots of Nerine sarniensis just after their first watering of the season. I time it to match the first drop in temperatures, fall rains and the shorter day length. In a couple of weeks, the flower buds will start emerging.

These seedling Gasteria came from gardening friend Roy Herold, he shared some of his crosses this spring. They have already doubled in size. The pots are from my kiln, not quite Guy Wolf, but getting better ( and larger). I love Gasteria, especially when viewed as a collection. They all seem to bloom for me in March, and their long flower stems are so interesting with their subtle variety in bloom and leaf color. RIght now, the larger pots are outdoors getting as much sun as they can take on the steps of the deck, but in a few weeks, they will be relocated back under glass along with these.


These Primula polyanthus hybrids are from Barnhaven Primroses in France. The owners visited us this spring, when they we're here for the American Primrose Society national show at Tower Hill Botanic Garden. )Joe was elected national president at that meeting, so since I am expecting more Primula guests in the year to come, I thought that we should have some decent forms in the garden. Barnhaven are the premiere source from polyanthus, the farm moved from Oregon in the 1930's, to the UK, and then France.

6 comments :

  1. Awww. The Gasterias are so cute.

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  2. I enjoyed the tour to your greenhouse. You are busy!

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  3. I have sent an e-mail to you on your offer for Nerine sarniensis.

    Hope to hear from you soon....

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  4. Another devoted reader very interested in your offer of surplus Nerine sarniensis if any are left. I'm in Zone 10, So. Calif. botanizeme@gmail.com
    I wonder if a fitted galvanized top for the greenhouse work tables would be suitable...

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  5. I noticed that your pots all have stones on them. Is this for the alpines, to keep moisture in and stop the quick drying out if the greenhouse is heated up?

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  6. I like your pictures. I think they show what a garden can look like. Looking at them makes me feel like I'm in a cool environment. Once people have the time and take the effort and can set up themselves using the right products, their garden can look like this.

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