The Land Rover Owners Wife

Our Hallway the …. urm …. greenhouse?

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More growing space has been found - Shelving unit in the Hallway

More growing space has been found – Shelving unit in the Hallway

This is the latest installment in the ‘Our [somewhere] the greenhouse’ series of blogs which have evolved from  a combination of necessity and my complete lack of imagination where post titles are concerned. Today, it is the turn of the Hallway which is mercifully large and which is now home to 4 school propagators of seedlings, as well as a large propagator tray of my own seedlings and it’s all thanks to Muds’ plan to convert one of our old and crumbling outhouses, into his office.

When we first moved into the cottage, we inherited a tumbled down selection of outbuildings, not to mention a Steptoes’ yard of a back garden, all of which over the last ten years or so, have undergone differing levels of renovation, refurbishment or restructuring. One of the buildings is attached to the bathroom and one of the first things Mud did was convert this into a dry store for his tools, as can be seen here.

School propagators - safely installed at home

School propagators – safely installed at home

After a few years the roof which had never been the best of quality, began to fail and very soon it became apparent that much like passengers in the cab of a Series Land Rover during a downpour, the items which we were storing in there weren’t exactly keeping dry in the rain and were slowly but surely rusting away to nothing. So we had a major sort out and re-organisation of the contents. Then the front panels came off, the wooden shelves were taken apart and later became my raised beds and the black plastic shelving which we had originally used in the greenhouses but which was now obsolete due to the purchase of some staging, took up residence and were home to boxes of toys, tools and defunct household items until yesterday.

School propagators - we have a fair few brassicas as well

School propagators – we have a fair few brassicas as well

With work on Ciggy on hold for the foreseeable future, Mud has turned his attentions to his need for both a decent office space and much larger workshop space, in which he can keep Ciggy and Annie safely under lock and key. To achieve the latter of these aims we need to get rid of his current office which is actually an old caravan, turned sideways, around which the workshop has been built. Hence the need for the development of his new office space.

Knowing that I was in need off some more room for the vegetables, as it is still far too cold for most of them to be placed into an unheated greenhouse, he saw an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. By emptying the storage area and throwing away some of the junk that we had accumulated, we were soon able to get to the shelf units, decide which was the best of the bunch, wash it down and eventually move it into the hallway, by the door, where there is lots of light.

And that, dear readers, is how our hallway became yet another greenhouse.

The tomatoes are through but no sign of the chillis as yet.

The tomatoes are through but no sign of the chillis as yet.

With just the tray of seedlings on it, there was plenty of room for 4 of the schools propagators and so first thing this morning I popped up to the school and brought them back home with me. The schools in our area only broke up last Thursday but I knew that the lady who cleans the school, was planning to be in washing carpets and doing a thorough clean for the first part of this week and so I had popped in on Tuesday to check on the progress of the seeds in the Library and, to my amazement, found one of the propagators a mass of green and shoots appearing in each of the other 4. I’ve left the leeks and onions at school as they are in a self-watering propagator and should be okay for a few days until someone is next in the building and I can gain access.

Last year a local garden centre had donated a load of seed packets to the school for use in the garden but most of them were actually out of date – not by much but out of date none the less. So when the children were sowing the seeds a couple of weeks ago, I wasn’t unduly worried to find that out of the 4 packets of various lettuce seeds, the 2 children in charge of lettuce sowing, had sown the lot in one go – after all, out of date seeds weren’t going to be that successful, were they?

Who said out of date seeds had a low germination success rate - rather a lot of lettuces!

Who said out of date seeds had a low germination success rate – rather a lot of lettuces!

Well you guessed it, the ‘mass of green’ was in fact the lettuce propagator and it would appear that each and every seed sown has germinated and we now have rather a lot of  each of the four varieties and I will have to do some serious thinning out which is one of my least favourite gardening jobs. With the caretaker now not due back in to school until term begins I decided to bring the lettuces, Brassicas, Cucurbits and chilli and tomato propagators home and they are now sitting snugly on the shelves in the greenhouse Hallway.

Judging from the number of seedlings we have appearing, gardening club is going to be very busy potting-on in a few weeks – let’s just hope that by then the weather will be conducive to housing the seedlings in the polytunnel, as we only have a small school building 🙂


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