It's a job that I've been putting off, but one that I know needed to happen before I got too many seeds on the go, and that's cleaning the greenhouse. It needed to happen as the glass was showing signs of green, and I'm sure there was less light coming in because of it. And so on the warmest weekend of the year so far I decided that the time had come, and started to empty its contents.
After several trips the pile outside was beginning to grow, but there was still a lot more to come.
With everything out I took the opportunity to check under the wooden floor, which is actually the side of our old wooden shed. One part of it had become a bit spongy and I was keen to check it was ok. I half-expected to find a massive hole, so was pleased to discover it was just where the ground level changed a little and where the wood was starting to rot. We'll need to replace the floor in the not too distant future, but not this year. I added some sand and a bit of broken paving slab under the spongy bit in the hope it gives me a bit more time.
And there was quite a pile of stuff outside. Considering we have a 6 x 4ft greenhouse, it's pretty impressive, and the contents completely filled our stone circle, and some.
Next up was some Jeyes Fluid, lots of water, the hose and some time to work out our best implements. For MOH it was the hose, for me it was MOH. For some reason he couldn't help himself and was itching to get involved, so not wanting to get in the way of a man and his cleaning habit I found myself a deckchair to watch from.
He got bored pretty quickly too, and was soon heading off to clean more manly things like his barbecue. Luckily though the green grime came off easily and it wasn't long before the greenhouse was sparkling inside and out.
I also took the opportunity of having some space to work in and added some manure compost to the greenhouse bed before moving everything back in, after a brush down. The good news is that everything went back in, and even better than before so it's tidy and there's places to work, and now I can't wait to get on and sow some seeds. I know they'll thank me for the extra light.
In the greenhouse bed I've this gorgeous ice plant which has overwintered in there. It's clearly happy as has some offspring so that's good news and I'll be potting it on and out soon, before it gets too used to being in the greenhouse. The giant fuchsias which I shared in my post at the weekend are now potted up and I'm waiting for them to grow into giants...
We'll see how they do. I was pleased to see two pots of thyme had survived the winter too (you can see it just creeping into the photo above) and I'll be planting many more herbs in the next few weeks too.
Elsewhere in the garden
My garden is bursting into life, and despite its greenness, there's plenty of colour. This Kerria, or yellow pom pom plant, came through the fence from next door and now I have two mid-sized bushes for nothing. And looking as beautiful as this, it's very welcome to stay.
The euphorbias acid green flowers continue to add highlights throughout the garden. I've noticed that they've started to creep towards the house along the fence where I'm struggling to get anything other than bulbs to grow, so I'll be encouraging them to do more of that. MOH still calls them dalek plants, but has conceded they add colour to our Spring garden.
The garden is growing, and this shot of leaves gives a good clue to how much. What I like about this shot is the density of the leaves, and all of the shapes that happily grow alongside each other.
At the back of the garden the pear and cherry trees are in blossom. All white, all of them. This is from the pear tree, but the cherry is very similar to this. The lilac - also white - is starting to flower, but only on the branches we didn't cut last year, so I'm glad we didn't cut them all. We do need to finish the job but will be waiting for it to flower before we clamber up the ladder with the extendable loppers.
I've spotted some of the brightly coloured flowers of the honesty plants too. They're looking great against the zinc pots behind them, and I still can't believe that for many years I missed these as they were pulled up with weeds. MOH still brings plants over and says is this a weed, which to be honest is too late to say no! He's getting better, but even so...
The sempervivums - or succulents - appear to be doing well in their trough, and I'm keen to see how they get on and multiply. I've read this week about taking the top out of these plants to propagate them too - as an alternative to propagating from leaves - so I'll be looking into that more, and maybe even trying it for myself.
The camellia is finally flowering, it's in a very shady spot by the fatsia and so it's always much later than others, but it feels late even so. The newer white one at the back of the garden is growing well but flowers are few and far between. The peonies at the back of the garden have almost doubled in size in the past week, the one I struggled to find is easy to spot this week, so I'm hopeful for lots of flowers from them this year - keep your fingers crossed!
And finally the sambucus nigra, or black elder (think elderflower but with pink heads) is still with us. I was worried about it during the winter months, and wasn't sure if it'd make it. It's the plant I planted for my first cat Dylan (who was a black long haired moggy), so I was hoping I hadn't lost it, and I haven't.
It's at this time of year that we struggle to keep up with our garden, but hopefully it won't get too far ahead of us, and will look half decent for the party for our 110th that we've got planned in June. More on the party another day, that's a whole other post, and organisational challenge I'm working on!
How do you keep on top of your garden as it starts to grow like crazy at this time of year?