As Christmas approaches and I write my final blog for “My Year in the Greenhouse 2015 ” I feel a kind of sadness as my project has come to an end. But, I also feel very privileged to have shared the journey with you. From the start of Mark erecting the greenhouse in January, to the excitement of today Sunday the 13th of December when I pulled a cracking crop of carrots. This is the first time in my gardening life that I have grown decent ones and just I had to share them with you.
I have learnt more this year than any other about the seasons, I have had disasters as well as amazing successes, I have laughed I have cried, I have had fun. But more importantly I would like to thank everyone at T&M, especially Terri Overett who’s been an inspiration in helping me along the way as well as you valued readers for staying the course.
When I started this blog in January last year, I wanted it to be a tribute to he memory of my both sets of grandparents, my dad and my auntie. But I also wanted to write it to show the natural order of things, we reap what we sow, and we live and we die. Writing and poetry was a big side of the Davies family, and my late auntie used to say keep writing, even if it’s only a few sentences a day. I never thought that this blog would inspire anyone but I have had some lovely feedback, and I was very impressed when my mum and her sister, (Auntie Linda) decided to grow tomatoes after reading my posts, and even more startled that they are going to do the same next year.
In my greenhouses today I still have a sweet pepper that is in full leaf and crazily still producing tiny non edible fruit. I have so much spinach I could give Popeye a run for his money. I have two foot high sweetpeas, Yarrow, Nigella and Californian Poppy. I have spring bulbs in pots that are growing splendidly, they are there for protection from the high winds we are still experiencing. I have overwintering strawberries and begonias, cacti and aloe. I have broccoli and cauliflower in a sort of semi dormant stage. The Christmas cacti are indoors and flowering.
I have to find room somewhere in the bungalow for the money plant as when I asked a question on the T&M forum I was advised by other members that it will not overwinter in an unheated greenhouse. If it gets any larger I may have to consider wrapping tinsel around it and using it as a Christmas tree.
I will be honest, Mark and I have never experienced a winter so mild. It’s strange and a little unnerving, as a work colleague pointed out, even the trees are confused. They appear to be loosing leaves and budding in the same day. As I mentioned we have had high winds and rain and the greenhouses luckily have not had any damage, but nothing compares to the weather the people of Cumbria are experiencing. My heart goes out to them, especially at this time of year.
As the shortest day of winter approaches and the nights get chillier, excitement begins to flutter, as I realise that in a month’s time, I can sow early spring seeds again. Another gardening year will begin, a new diary will be opened and I will be wrapped up in my woollies washing pots sieving soil and crossing my fingers that my plants will grow.
My plans for 2016 are to grow more flowers. I am interested in Petunias and think I would like to try some in the hanging baskets next year. I also have a half packet of Bells of Ireland to finish off so will be growing those. I will definitely be growing Cosmos as they will be the 2016 plant of the year. I will also be growing Aster. I was given some Magic Mountain tomato seeds to try so these will be in the big greenhouse along with an orange pepper and an aubergine. I will be seeding turnips in March as well as potatoes and sunflowers.
In April I will start off he main greenhouse crops and in May I will be hardening off the bedding plants. As for the rest of the year – well that’s another story. Health wise I have to accept that I am getting older and cannot do as much as I think I can. I have been told by my cardiologist that in the future I will require two heart valve replacements – however its not going to stop me. He says it’s a question of mindset. If I tell myself get on with it emotionally as well as physically then I should be good to go. After all you don’t see annuals hiding in the corner crying about their disappearing youth.
So in the spirit of Christmas let’s all appreciate what the greenhouse gave to me.
The Twelve Months of Growing
On the first month of growing my greenhouse gave to me
A frame and glass packs times three.
On the second month of growing my greenhouse gave to me
Compost, top soil and a plan for us to see.
On the third month of growing my greenhouse gave to me
A few bags of spuds and early strawberries for a cream tea.
On the fourth month of growing my greenhouse gave to me
Pansy viola, sunflower, nicotiana lettuce and pea.
On the fifth month of growing my greenhouse gave to me
Thyme, chive, dahlia oregano and sweet chilli.
On the six month of growing my greenhouse gave to me
Lovely vine tomatoes, peppers, rocket and a cane poked into my knee.
On the seventh month of growing my greenhouse gave to me Begonia, radish, aubergine
– everything was cost free.
On the eighth month of growing my greenhouse gave to me Hundreds of pollinators
including a queen bee.
On the tenth month of growing my greenhouse gave to me Amaranthus yarrow,
poppy, mint and parsley.
On the eleventh month of growing my greenhouse gave to me Spinach,
spinach, spinach and slugs oh how disappointingly.
On the twelfth month of growing my greenhouse gave to me
A cracking crop of carrots, and that’s enough singing from me.
Wishing you all the very best for 2016.
My name is Amanda and I live in Pembrokeshire with my fiancé and our garden is approximately 116 meters square. I want to share with you my love for gardening and the reasons behind it, from the good to the bad and ugly. I want to do this for my own personal pleasure. If you would like to take the journey with me then please read my blogs and share with me your gardening stories.
Lovely blog post Amanda 🙂 It has been an interesting read for us here at Thompson & Morgan over the past 12 months. May I wish you every success in your garden and greenhouse in 2016.
Thank you for your kind words. Have a great 2016,
Hi Amanda, I have followed your year with the greenhouse, what a great success it sounds. A little bit envious because I don`t have room for a greenhouse, just enough room in my back garden a couple of the plastic cover greenhouses which work great but not like the real thing. Hope you have a great Christmas and look forward to the new season.
Thank you for your kind comments. I started out with plastic cover greenhouse, they are brilliant especially if you have limited space. Perfect for tomatoes or early strawberries.
I hope you too have a wonderful Christmas, and OK the best for 2016.
Well Amanda, once again you have excelled I so enjoy reading your blog and your version of the twelve days of Christmas was amusing. I’ve enjoyed your blog and your inspiration and zest for life you are incredibly strong brave to bare YOUR disability with creativity courage and positivity stay strong my gorgeous flower you will bloom for a long time to come.JUST like your garden needs a helping hand sometimes so do we. May I take this opportunity to wish you all a merry Christmas and a Healthy prosperous New Year 2016 Xx
She really is a credit to you and so inspirational! It has been a pleasure getting to know you both 🙂 Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. Terri x
Aww Thanks mum. Your the best xx
Hi, I would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas & e great New Year, kind regards Sonia
HI Sonia, Thank you! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you too 🙂 Best wishes, Terri
Thank you Terri xxx
Hi Sonia, Have a Happy Christmas too. Kind regards Amanda.