Sunday, 26 April 2015

The comfort of plants


My greenhouse is now populated, or what's the right word - herborated?

There is a sad story behind the sudden arrival of these plants. They came from my mother's conservatory, and they came because she died two weeks ago.

I'd ordered the greenhouse many weeks earlier, when my dear mum was in reasonable health. As we narrowed down the date for the base to be built, the greenhouse to be delivered and the man to come and build it, it turned out that the job would be completed last Friday.

And that was the first day I had a chance to go to my mother's house and rescue the now almost terminally dehydrated plants. When I got home, the greenhouse had been finished for about an hour, ready to receive plants that meant a lot to my mother.

To me, it seems more than a coincidence. I am so pleased to have a home for the plants. They will always have a strong and poignant association, but a happy one.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

And here it is


The man came yesterday afternoon and put it together. By the time I got home, it was done.

I suppose I could have done it myself, but there are stories online about it being a mind-boggling puzzle. Even the greenhouse company said it would take me two days. They have a list of recommended people who build them, and the man charged £160. It took him about four hours. It did mean drilling into the concrete, so it's not quite the same as an Ikea bookcase.

And I must say I think it looks really good. It fits in nicely and is big enough inside without dominating the garden.

The only problem is that one piece of glass was missing. The man told the company and they say they'll deliver it next week. So we have a small hole in the roof for the moment.

It cost £600 including delivery and a self-opening window (for when it gets too hot inside). That was on a special offer, but here are the product details. The people from the company, the Greenhouse People, who I spoke to on the phone were friendly and knowledgeable and willing to discuss all the details about the concrete base and other things I wanted to check on. Even the man who delivered it (and five other greenhouses on his round trip to London from Stoke-on-Trent) was very pleasant.


Saturday, 18 April 2015

A greenhouse in the making


I don't have a greenhouse yet. But I'm getting one, and the process started this week. An old fence was replaced with a new one, and a concrete base for the greenhouse was built alongside it by three chaps who spent a day on the fence and the greenhouse base.

When they'd finished the fence, they put a frame where the greenhouse will be and filled it with concrete. I'd had to sacrifice a Ceanothus and a few other things to make way for the greenhouse, but I was already feeling it was worth it: the new structure looked pretty neat in its space.

I'd had an idea about the base: that it should have trenches that go right through to the soil below. That way the roots of whatever grows in them can be deeper than they would be in pots, and the plants won't be so dependant on being watered. And I won't be worrying about them when we're on holiday.

So here they are:

They weren't as big as I'd imagined, and the builder had made some executive decisions in my absence, but I still think they'll be useful.

All that was a few days ago. Today the greenhouse itself was delivered. I'd been expecting some massive collection of girders and glass. What arrived was compact to the point of being unimpressive (to our cat, certainly). We'll find out tomorrow how good it looks when it's up.