When I packed up the garden about a month ago that included the greenhouse. But I had a dilemma as I still had plants growing in there. The chillies were still fruiting, and I'd followed dad's example of planting some aloes into the greenhouse bed, but I knew that in our north facing garden they'd be unlikely to thrive, or possibly survive, without some extra help.
When we cleared out the shed and greenhouse in the summer I'd found some horticultural fleece and I wondered if it would help here. So with a nothing ventured, nothing gained approach I set about tucking them in.
And this weekend watering the greenhouse was one of the chores that got me out into the garden. Even though plants will slow down over winter, they still need some water and I was keen to see what was going on under that fleece.
The amaryllis has recovered well, it was in the conservatory and not looking so well. I brought it out into the greenhouse as it seems to like it there, and it's rewarded me by reviving itself. The aloes were doing well too, but the real find was to discover that my bargain hyacinth bulbs from last year are starting to grow again.
The chillies were doing well and there were some new fruits on the plant, so that has to be a good thing.
And yes that is a geranium. It's a relative of the ginormous one dad has in his greenhouse, and looking back I can't believe it's two years ago that I first shared the hugest of geraniums here. The red stemmed plant on the right is a blueberry plant, that's shed its leaves but I'm hoping that's normal.
The succulents were also doing well. The one above - a Pachyphytum, or grey silvery one - has been under the fleece. The ones I propagated from leaves are coming on leaps and bounds and really are looking like proper plants now. You'd never know how they started off now, would you?
So with everything checked and lightly watered, I tucked it all back up again and edged out of the greenhouse amused by the ghostly shape. But if it works and helps the plants keep going then I'm all for it. Checking the thermometer it's already reached -4 in the greenhouse which seems chilly to me.
I couldn't help but notice the difference in the mind your own business. Inside the greenhouse it was thriving and clearly happy. It put itself there and well it's good to have some spare incase the weather wipes out the rest of this plant. It's a plant I love - partly because of its name, but also because it's a great filler and softens the edges. It has to be used carefully, I'd never plant it in a flowerbed, but along paving and walls it's brilliant. And next time you visit a National Trust or similar garden, look out for it, it's more widespread than you first think.
But outside I think the weather could be starting to get to it. I'm not sure if its the cold or the wet. We'll see how it goes, but at least I know I've got some backup.
Outside the greenhouse I checked my 'spare' brassicas and they're still doing ok. I'm sure they'd do much better in the ground, so remember my allotment to do list, yes these are the ones I need to find space for. There's some curly kale, purple sprouting broccoli and a few more red cabbages, because I don't think you can have too many. And I still can't throw out plants that are growing!
A little sun makes all the difference doesn't it? Especially if you've got a lovely warming fleece on!