Big Dreams

Its been a while since I posted (I seem to say that a lot). The world has been a strange place for the last month and much has changed in the garden. 

Its been a nearly a decade since I last had a greenhouse and I have been hankering after one ever since, dreaming of somewhere warm and green and full of sunshine.  The smell of greenhouses is my ‘happy place’ smell – a combination of plants and soil, all mixed up in warm humid air with a dash of tomatoes, scented geraniums and warm wood.  If it were a perfume, I’d buy it.

As this is my ‘forever greenhouse’ I’d decided to push the boat out and go for a 10’x8′ wooden dwarf wall type. Earlier this year I’d chosen the make and model and found a builder to build the dwarf wall.  In preparation I needed to dismantle the kids swings, rebuild them in another place, remove a smallish weigela tree, remove a pergola, and widen and level the site for the greenhouse.  If all that sounds like a lot, it really doesn’t to justice to the mammoth amount of digging, heaving, breaking concrete, unearthing endless amounts of rubble and wrestling flagstones. 

The ‘before’ picture

Late February and early March mostly poured with rain and a biting Easterly wind never seemed to stop. I was out in wellies and full waterproofs every spare moment, sliding around in the mud, hauling sacks of rubble and barrowing the spoil heap to the skip.  The garden is on a slope so creating anything flat involves a large amount of effort and earthworks.  One day I am going to waft round the garden in a floaty dress, glass of wine hand and do some light pruning. To date, most of my garden projects seem to involve shovels and backache.

Anyway, all this moaning was worth it I got the site prepared in time for the builder, who did a grand job of the foundations & wall, the kids got their swings back in a new place and I got my greenhouse order in. As an interesting diversion I kept digging up some mystery graphite/charcoal sticks which were eventually identified by a friend as the remains of old dry cell batteries. The garden was slowly waking up around me as I was busy with site prep, but has been mostly ignored with little time for regular gardening.

And then COVID lockdown struck and everything ground to a halt. The greenhouse company couldn’t estimate any lead in times, and with the best will in the world greenhouses don’t come under the ‘essential’ category.  However, after a few weeks in limbo an unexpected midweek email announced that my greenhouse would be arriving in two days time. 

And it actually did.  Social distancing meant I couldn’t hang around the fitters to watch it being built, so I spent the morning spying on them from the upstairs window. It feels slightly out of kilter to have such a luxury turn up in the middle of a national crisis, but I can’t say that I’m not grateful.

The fitters are coming back to finish off a few tweaks but it just looks beautiful, and it hasn’t even got any plants in yet. 

Ta da!

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