Monday, 6 June 2011

Ups and downs

The centrepiece of my rose bed: a huge, fragrant pink bloom (whose name I've sadly forgotten)

I lost the internet for the best part of a week, hence a lack of entries on here. The router's plug had literally melted to the socket, which was worrying, and the service provider was less than helpful in resolving it. Anyway, I'm back now, and interestingly, it was blogging (and reading blogs) that I missed most, I think.

What's been happening? Well, the new greenhouse is almost finished. It's taken three times longer than it should, but only a third of that is my laziness (maths never was my thing) - the rest was down to the terrible weather slowing me down (say no to power tools when it's raining, and laying polycarbonate sheeting during gales is not advised) and actively destroying some of what I'd already done. However, I fought the tendency to get disheartened, and repaired it - and made it better than it would otherwise have been. As of this afternoon, four of the five roof panels are on, all but two small end panels, and the only major thing lacking is the door (which I'll put together indoors for ease). A discovery of new things at the timber yard (excellent self-adhesive flashing strips, special exterior sealant, new kinds of wooden trims) have left it looking good, sturdy, and watertight.

The roof - compare it with the photograph I took a few weeks ago. My proudest achievement!

A view down the greenhouse - it looks pretty good! The tomatoes are loving it.

This is why - today's maximum temperature outside was around 14ºC. The thermometer is inside the greenhouse.

Inside, it's full of plants. The oldest tomato plant is very large and sturdy (and has given me three side shoots worthy of attempting to root into new plants), and several others aren't far behind. Flowers are everywhere, though no fruit has set yet. The chilli seedlings, Thunbergia alata ('black-eyed Susan'), and few squash plants I've shoved in there are doing well too, though probably that has more to do with the ease of watering in there compared to indoors (a lot of plants have withered because I've not kept up). The best thing of all, it smells like a greenhouse in there now - a proper greenhouse, like they have at the park, or in garden centres. Warm, humid, earthy, alive. That spurs me on like nothing else.

The star, as ever - 'Jaune Flammée', now with three trusses (two open, but no fruit)

Nestling under the table: spare tomato plants - rather too many!

And on top - a handful of summer and winter squash, chillies, tomatoes, T. alata, and Lobelia.

And the harvest totals have really picked up - but more on that tomorrow.

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