Way back in November I ordered the parts to extend Sue’s cactus house. It all turned up yesterday. 18 weeks is, I think, a little shorter than was predicted but it’s still a long time to wait in these days of instant gratification. Most of that time has not been suitable for putting it up so it’s worked out quite well. Along with the clocks going forward, it marks a clear change from not having a great deal to do in the garden to having too much to do. I’d rather have too much to do. It’s an easy choice for the first of my six.
Sue’s cactus house is 10′ 6″ x 12′, 126 square feet. The new bit adds half as much again. With the takeover of my propagation house, 60 square feet, she’s going from 126 to 249 square feet. Am I concerned she will struggle to fill it, no, not in the least.
This extension marks the resumption of what I was calling the top corner project, last reported on, because it was last acted upon, in November, just two days before I ordered the glasshouse. There’s been nothing more I could do on that because it’s where any surplus soil from the glasshouse foundations will go and I couldn’t do the foundations until I had the structure and could see exactly what size they needed to be.
In the meantime, back in my one remaining glasshouse, the 8′ x 6′ one that doubles as a shed of sorts, my Tropaeolum tricolor that I first grew last year is back up and flowering. When it dies down this summer I shall rummage around in the pot and see what I have in tubers with a view to trying one in the great outdoors. ‘Ken Aslett’ is somewhat similar, when does that grow and flower?
Years ago, before the tunnel went up, let alone got taken down again, I found a clump of Corydalis solida growing in the ground. I still don’t know where it came from but it wasn’t a seedling sized plant when I found it but a good big clump. It’s been divided up and planted in a few more places in the last couple of years and is flowering, more purple and less blue than I remember, not altogether an improvement.
Muscari latifolium. I suppose this could become a nuisance, in that it spreads around fairly enthusiastically but it spaces its progeny out rather than making clumps and the effect is very distinct from the other Muscari I have which all stay in clumps. It’s only going to become a nuisance if I go off it and want rid of it, which is not in prospect yet.
Chionodoxa forbesii, or whatever it is. This has spread to create a large patch and at its peak, which was Wednesday, looked lovely. The buds were getting eaten as they came up, so last weekend I started nightly torchlight patrols as the slimy assassins assassin. The difference was really striking and within a couple of days there were masses of flowers and very few slugs.
My last remaining toehold in my ex propagation house is my propagator, relegated to the lower shelf of a bench and lit all winter with a couple of grow lights. I moved it across the path, still on the lower shelf but in summer getting enough light without the grow-lights. Two benches will come out now to make room for tomatoes, currently indoors on the window ledge. I can’t mention the Camellia ‘Mystique’ to the right, C. transnokoensis to the left, I’d be exceeding my six.
I just stepped out this morning and it’s fresh out there. Nevertheless, I intend to crack on with sorting out the foundations for the glasshouse extension. I quite like putting up glasshouses and tunnels, it’s Meccano for grown ups, but concrete and blocks I don’t like at all. Dirty, heavy, bent double with a dodgy back; not my idea of fun. There will be coffee breaks, lots of them, or opportunities to check on other sixes, as I think of them at weekends. Onward and upward!