Kevin Smith's Blog

Day 948 - cold

Tuesday, 02 April 2013

I’ve had my beautiful new Rhino greenhouse for just over a month now. I still can’t quite believe how lovely it is, and I’ve spent several moments just looking at, playing with all the vents, gadgets and staging ­– you could say it’s the new love of my life.


Of course a greenhouse isn’t just for looking at, and pretty much as soon as it was installed I started to make plans for how I’d use it this year. Never before have I had so much space for indoor growing. First off, I moved all of my tender plants into their new home – agaves, aeoniums, cactus, aloes and other succulents. They’d all been roughing it in the sitting room, battling with the builders as they renovated our house. You could almost hear them breath a sigh of relief as I dusted them off and displayed them on the greenhouse shelves. They already look healthier and have started to put on lots of growth. It’s a miracle they survived for so long cooped up in dark and dirt of the house, but at least they’ve now got somewhere lovely to live before it’s warm enough to move them to the terrace.


After this I started to make copious lists. Lists of flower seed I’d like to sow, lists of veg I’d like to try, lists of dahlia tubers I’d like to plant, lists of greenhouse crops I’d like to grow – the lists were endless. And after that came shopping, as I merrily bought everything on my many lists. I was like a kid in a sweet shop.


And then of course came the fun part – sowing and planting. I spent several blissful afternoons in the greenhouse, sowing all the seed I’d bought. I put the radio on, found homes for all my paraphernalia (labels, pens, seed trays, pots and the like) and then methodically worked my way through all the packets of seed. I got completely carried away and sowed virtually every seed in every packet  – if the whole lot germinates I’m going to be absolutely inundated with plants. Never mind, I guess I can always give some away to friends and neighbours and donate some to the school summer fair.


But of course, this is all assuming the garden will actually come to life this year. As I type this there’s a thick frost on the ground along with remnants of snow – I can’t believe it’s nearly April. Barely a thing is growing, and all the seeds I sowed in the greenhouse are struggling to get going as the temperatures keep dipping so sharply.  Although thank goodness for the greenhouse in this horrid weather – I’ve been able to use it to ‘bring on’ potted bulbs that I’ve been nurturing for a magazine shoot, and a photographer and I were able to use it for an ‘outdoor’ shoot during a day of pouring rain. It seems the greenhouse is not only beautiful – it’s fast becoming an essential.

Until next time..


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Kevin Smith | Garden Media Writer and Editor

On 31 August 2010 I quit my full-time job as the Commissioning Editor at Gardeners' World Magazine to be a stay-at-home dad  and to try and scratch a living as a freelance garden journalist. It's often said that a 'life change' is good, but can I cut it with the yummy mummys? Will I manage to get a single shred of work done? Will Ida (she's the gorgeous little girl who's the cause of all this) like gardening as much as me? Who knows, we're going to find out...