5 Mar 2012

Hestia and the land that I forgot....

I am blessed with a polytunnel and a greenhouse.  Neither of them particularly productive.  Probably because I'm not particularly productive. I seem to panic when things need me to look after them (see: children, hamsters and tomato plants)

It embarrasses me enormously to admit to you, dear reader, that I have not been in the greenhouse since last September.  OK, if I'm being brutally honest, July.  *hangs head in shame*



And this why it  looked like THIS when I opened the door this morning.

It's bad isn't it? Honestly, I expected to be taken down by a couple of little velociraptors that may have been hiding out for the winter in the undergrowth.  In fact, my undergrowth was actually overgrowth.


Standing in the middle, looking left

Standing in the middle looking right.

Hideous, isn't it?

There were no flesh-eating dinosaurs but there were loads of these.  LOADS:


This one was about the length of my index finger and I confess to letting out a strangled yelp as my BARE HANDS came into contact with it.  I *know*.  The sheer BRAVERY of gardening without gloves.

He's still in there.  Spiders are our friends.  Even big scary ones.

Within a couple of hours it was restored to this:

See that black bucket?  That's Spiderville in there.


Three bin bags filled with detrius - including a whole carton of blood, fish and bone meal that had got soooo damp that the whole box just disintegrated all over me when I picked it up.  Same with my Bordeaux Mixture.  What IS Bordeaux Mixture anyway?

There are some signs of beauty in the greenhouse:


This is a jasmine scented clematis that has scrambled through my worthless vine.  It smells DIVINE and clearly thrives on neglect.


A tiny cloud of Tete a Tete narcissus.


The dwarf peach tree is already starting to flower - this is why I need bees, there's bugger all flying around to pollinate this little thing.  I used the tip of my index finger today - we shall see what fruits result!


The tiny little tree on the left is the dwarf peach, the very tall straggly thing on the right is SUPPOSED to be a dwarf nectarine.  Dwarf, my arse.  I had to cut the top off it or it would have been through the greenhouse roof.  It's never yielded so much as a runty little fruit.  So it's coming out *waggles secateurs threateningly in its direction*


One REASONABLY tidy work surface.  Don't. Look. Beneath. The. Bench


This one is....less tidy, but still better than it was when I started scything it all into shape before lunch.

The most successful thing I seem to grow in my greenhouse is spiders.  

What about you?


24 comments:

  1. I can't believe you garden without gloves, so bad for your skin: I use Marigolds for planting-type stuff, and proper gardening gloves for everything else. And as for the pollination - an artist's paintbrush(as opposed to the ones you get from B&Q)

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    1. I usually wear gloves because of the possiblity of coming into contact with Cat Shit. But since Tartarus made the net doors to set into the door frame of the greenhouse and the poly, that's not been such a big problem.

      Plus, one of the things that I found mouldering away on the bench in the greenhouse was my good leather gardening gloves. Don't tell Tartarus though.....

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  2. Replies
    1. Ta - you know how difficult that was for me :-)

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  3. Spiders are not our friends.
    That is all.

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    1. You live in a place where spiders are the size of dinner plates and can wrestle small mammals to death. This one, although large, spent most of its time trying to get the hell AWAY from me.

      I don't like your spiders either if that's any consolation :-D

      Ali x

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  4. well done, ali, the spiders look gorgeous!
    we're being punished for our easy peasy winter and have been getting snowed under for the past week, with temperatures hovering around -15C. it's going to be 9C in the plus this friday, but it'll be another month or two before anything green appears. that's the way we swing here in the bloody arctic circle (or its environs).

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    1. Although I believe that spiders ARE our friends. I wouldn't say that anything running over your hand unexpectedly is gorgeous. Mildly fit-inducing perhaps.

      We have not actually had snow this year. We had more than our fair share last year. This is now Mother Nature's cue to dump shitloads of the white stuff on Scotland :-)

      Ali x

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    2. i only meant "gorgeous" in the sense that one praises particularly radiant petunias or exceedingly lush roses. spiders that size would likely give me a coronary.

      you won't get any snow; we've got it ALL. it literally has not stopped snowing for a week. and it was plus bloody 8C at christmas!!! grrrr.

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  5. Jo Pilsworth5 March 2012 17:33

    Every year, I contemplate growing salad type things, but my attempts have been so pathetic recently, it was hardly worth the effort. Yet, one year, I had so many tomatoes, they lasted well into the following Spring.

    I can but admire from afar.

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    1. Jo - that is pretty good going! My toms tend to hang on the vine until they grow a grey velvet beard and threaten lung disorders if you breathe in too close to them :-)

      But THIS year, it's going to be DIFFERENT!!!!

      Ali x

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  6. I haven't been in my greenhouse since about october. I suspect a face mask will be required to clear out to chilli and tomato plants :/

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  7. Seriously, all I've done since I got in after cleaning it out is cough and wheeze. I deffo breathed in something that should have been just left breathed-out.

    Ali x

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  8. Am impressed by your Top Cleaning out Job, very good. The jasmine clematis is fab and so is the peach tree and I think it the height of sophistication to know how to pollinate things

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    1. I used to use a rabbit's paw. Which was very effective, but not much fun for the rabbit. I'd had it for about a million years before I binned it when Sonshine was small. I didn't want to upset him :)

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  9. I bet that clematis smells wonderful. I'm scared stiff of spiders but trying v. hard to live with them - you're right, they are our friends really. I can't cope with them in my bedroom though.

    I'm sure your finger pollination will be just fine, o/wise a cotton bud works well I'm told, and your cleaning up is worth a gold star. Its so exciting to have a greenhouse and lovely peaches - I do hope you get a good crop this year! xxx

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    1. Spiders in the bedroom really need to go. I can't sleep if I know that there's one prowling around. Poor sods are unceremoniously thrown out the bathroom window. Probably condemning them to certain death. But hey, who wants to breathe in a SPIDER?!

      Made any more Battenburg cakes, Mrs E?

      Ali x

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    2. To get rid of and prevent spiders in the house, put a conker in each corner of the rooms. At last, look, a housewifery tip :-)

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  10. I don't care whether they're our friends, they put the willies up me and I have to say that the delicate ecosystem here at Looby Towers has to make do without whatever useful jobs they do.

    I like the idea of a Bordeaux mixture though. A St Estèphe and a Côtes du Bourg always works for me.

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  11. Lovely clean-up job Ali; well done, I'm impressed. Luckily our spiders here in NZ are mostly harmless, unlike our neighbours in Australia where they spend half their time beating off attacking swarms of Arachnids.
    We used to use Blood and Bone (a popular NZ product produced by the many meatworks )as a fertilizer, but we had to stop. Our wee dog was found eating the soil, just to get some blood and bone, and the results were not good.

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  12. Vivianne's tip about the conkers works for me.

    This year, I am determined to grow loads of vegetables. I know I said this last year, and the year before that, and the year before that. But this year, I am determined!

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  13. You seem to have done quite the clear out- There is a cardboard wrapper from those cartons of tomatoes in our back garden, it has been there for three weeks and is almost certainly covered in cat pee. I need to do something about it, but that requires me to put on my gardening gloves and then I will see the state of the rest of the garden. One day...

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  14. oh my...... am exhausted just looking at the pictures well done!! I wear gloves just looking at my pots in case something crawley creeps out....!!x

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  15. Nice clean up job.Did you do all that in one day? I'm impressed.I love the tete a tetes,there's a few coming up outside here already.Let's hope we get a decent summer :)

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