It’s been a while since I talked about my greenhouse, so I thought I would show you what is going in there. This won’t take long.
Because nothing at all is going on.
My little greenhouse is empty.
It has done its job well, so all the plants that grew or overwintered in there are outside for the summer. Some plants haven’t gone far. The tomatoes and a few others are in containers just outside.
Seasons of the Greenhouse
The greenhouse has earned its short summer break. Over the past three seasons, it’s been a busy place.
Winter temperatures here in the Pacific Northwest can dip below freezing, which is hard on some plants. Before I had the greenhouse, I used to overwinter a few tender plants in our little mudroom – where they were in our way all winter and didn’t do very well.
So last fall it was nice to have the greenhouse for overwintering the plants that I wanted to baby: Begonia tubers, small citrus trees, several tropical ginger plants, a mandevilla, and some jade plants and other succulents.
It was also a good place to dry the hop vines that I harvested.
Then came the holidays. I love to grow paperwhites from bulbs to have as holiday decor and to give as gifts. The greenhouse was the perfect place to start them.
After Christmas, I couldn’t bring myself to throw away my poinsettias even though I was tired of looking at them. So I just moved them to the greenhouse until spring. Then I planted them in the shade garden to live out the summer.
In spring it really got crowded in the greenhouse. From seeds, I grew Lizzano hybrid tomatoes, basil, and an annual called love-lies-bleeding.
I also started begonias and elephant ears from tubers.
I bought two starter tomatoes, a lemon boy and a Manitoba, transplanted them into bigger pots, and kept them snugly in the greenhouse until it was warm enough to put them outside.
I also sheltered tender seedling geraniums and fuchsias that would have crashed had I put them outside too early.
So how is everything doing? Let’s have a look.
The begonias went outside in May. I’m not sure why, but this hasn’t been my best year for growing them. We had a hot spell in spring, followed by a cold snap, so maybe that had something to do with it.
In full sun, the plants are about three feet tall. In part sun, they are puny and miserable – something I will remember for next year.
The crimson tassels are beautiful in fresh floral arrangements.
They also dry very easily for use year-round. To dry them, I just clip the tassels and hang them in the shed.
Basil was very easy to start from seeds in the greenhouse and transplant later into an old washtub.
Here in a corner behind the greenhouse, the plants get protection from winds and receive afternoon sun. And since they are elevated, they are protected from pests and are easy to harvest.
I always look forward to delicious homegrown tomatoes. So I am overprotective of my tomato plants. This year, I kept them in the greenhouse until mid-July. With the fan kicking in, the door open, and the shade cloth on, the temperature was perfect.
The fruit developed early. Some even ripened in the greenhouse – much earlier than they would have ripened outside.
They are all producing well.
Other plants that were sheltered in the greenhouse are now sprinkled around the garden.
Cleaning the Greenhouse
Once all the plants were finally out of the greenhouse, I gave it a thorough cleaning. And now it will stay clean and empty all summer!
It’s such a handy place to put together floral arrangements, and Chris gave me these roses for our recent anniversary.
In my next post, I share the arrangements I made using these Costco roses and cuttings from the garden – including the love-lies-bleeding.
One More Improvement
Now I have just one more improvement planned for the greenhouse. The foundation, made of pressure-treated wood, looks too raw and unfinished to me. (Insert eye roll by my husband here.)
But I think we may finally have a plan to make it look better.
We will be tackling that project soon, so stay tuned.
You might also enjoy:
- August Plant Pick: Joe Pye Weed
- Our Greenhouse page
- Taking Walkway Lights to New Heights
- Making an Entrance
- Tomato Tips from Mr. B