I’ve started sowing salads of varying sorts in my cold greenhouse and a couple of warm days has had them germinating. I stand the pots in a polystyrene fish box and cover them with fleece if really cold weather threatens, but generally I find that the greenhouse is all the protection they need.
I spent a very productive afternoon in the greenhouse listening to Radio 4 and restoring order. Newly potted plants, bulbs and seedlings are neatly arranged in the border while it waits for its eventual tomato crop and the bench has been swept and space made for sowing and potting on.
It is always good to see a first class bit of recycling. Confronted by a couple of ruined greenhouses and a stack of redundant Critall windows, friends in Suffolk have fashioned a spacious and practical greenhouse from these unpromising materials. By using the windows on their sides along the length of the building they have achieved excellent ventilation and created a really good growing space.
This is my very subjective review of some of the show gardens. I didn’t photograph them all – just those that I want to comment on. Southend on Sea departed from its traditional style gardens and created the ‘Playful Garden’. I’m not sure it worked all that well but I did think the planted cube with the perspex cylinder revealing the roots was a great idea – if difficult to photograph.
Combat Stress Garden
The high-backed bench offers a sense of safety
My personal favourite was the Combat Stress garden because it really addressed the issue of creating a beautiful place where the soldiers could feel safe while recovering from trauma.
A pigeon plunders the amelanchier in the Combat Stress Garden
I was also greatly entertained by the antics of the pigeon as it hung upside down to strip the berries from the garden’s Amelanchier tree.
The beehive sculpture in the Copella Garden
Striking log chairs
The Copella Bee Garden was beautifully planted with bee-friendly plants surrounding a striking sculpture with giant bees and chairs and a table I would love to have in my own garden.
Tyrell's Harvest Celebration
It was a case of ‘Crisps with Everything’ at the Tyrell’s Harvest Celebration garden with the journey from field to plate incorporated in the design. They certainly got my prize for the most original entertainment – musicians playing a selection of vegetable instruments!
The Vegetable Band
The Girl Guide garden was sumptuously planted with vegetables and flowers. It was a garden of two halves and I much preferred the end devoted to vegetables. I’ve never seen such healthy okra plants as those in the bed outside the greenhouse and the path lined with grasses and short and tall sunflowers worked really well.
Girl Guide Garden
After weeks of not much happening it is all action now. Most of the overwintering plants have been moved to the cold frame or hardened off, I’ve pricked out the first of the salads and am starting to move seedlings from the propagator indoors into the greenhouse. I’ve also potted up the dahlia tubers in fresh compost.