Indoors, Outdoors

There is something rather pleasurable about the patter of rain on the glass overhead, while working in the greenhouse in short-sleeves, warm and dry. I get the same sense of wellbeing when lying warm and dry in a sturdy tent with rain drumming on the canopy above me, relatively secure that the outdoors will remain outside, yet enjoying being so close to the elements.

Odds and ends on potting bench

There were occasional squalls as I pricked out and potted up various plants this weekend. The second set of tomatoes and cucumbers raised on a sunny windowsill in the house were ready to be potted on from the modules they were sown in. A line of Echinacea pallida in a seed tray indoors had large waxy seed leaves, and showed good root growth as they too were assigned their own pots.

I had idly sowed a seedtray’s width of Lupinus cruickshankii ‘Sunrise’ left over from last year, and these had pushed up large seedleaves within a week. Gently coaxing the first one out of the tray, I found a strong root exceeding six inches in length; the others were not much shorter, even where their seed leaves were still constrained by the remains of their seed case. Lupins are not said to transplant too well, though I had no problems with this variety last year so followed the same method. Tucking these roots into individual pots, however, I made a mental note to sow them directly into pots at least in the future, rather than subjecting them to the shallows of seed trays. I darted back to the house between showers.

Raindrops on wood

Later on as the weekend drew to a close, I spent an hour weeding the front borders, noting new growth on the small seed-raised lavenders and the box cuttings, dark clusters of buds on the wallflowers and red shoots on the roses, avoiding daffodil and allium shoots. It’s amazing how much detail you miss when walking past. The sun shone upon me as I worked, though the air was cool. The threat of rain was never far away but held off while the light remained in the sky, until I returned to the house on Sunday evening; soil embedded beneath my fingernails, a trug full of weeds and a tidy border left outside.

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14 thoughts on “Indoors, Outdoors

  1. Hi,

    It’s always a pleasure at this time of year spotting the new growth around us, seeing what’s doing well and the thrill when we realise we haven’t lost plants over winter that until now we’d feared had gone…

    I don’t have much experience of growing Lupins but I had a few seedlings last year pop up in various places from my plants and they did OK when transplanted. So I think yours will be OK too…

    One day I’d love to have a greenhouse where I can work too, at the moment I don’t have the space for one though 😦 everything is grown on our decking area or sown indoors and then put outside.

    • Hi Liz, it’s lovely to find the time to really get in among the plants, even if weeding is a bit of a chore, there are some benefits! And yes I wondered whether the agapanthus that I overwintered in the greenhouse was really still alive, but suddenly I can see some green at its base. Whew.

      These lupins did okay last year with transplanting – I was just amazed at the size of their roots so fast!

      Our greenhouse is invaluable – for potting and then for growing tomatoes and cucumbers; I’d hate to be without it. I’d love to have a potting shed as well, but we certainly don’t have the space for that! I’ll just continue to dream…

      Perhaps you could find space for a mini-greenhouse against a wall somewhere? My parents find theirs really useful as they don’t have space for a full sized one.

  2. It’s certainly a time for all different weathers. We’ve had heavy rain, beautiful blue skies and quite a hard frost. My window sills and cold frames are filling up nicely with germinating seedlings. I’d like to grow more from seed but I’m having to restrain myself as i won’t have the space to pot everything on if I go crazy.

    • Yes, the temperature in the greenhouse fell just below freezing the night before last; yesterday was blue skies and sunshine, while today is cloudy. There is a persistent cold breeze about.
      I find it very hard to be restrained in my sowings!

  3. Everythign grows so quickly at this time of year and the garden changes almost daily. I’ve been away 4 days and now it is truely spring. Christina

    • It’s very exciting. Hope that you had a good break – always nice to see the garden afresh after some time away even if only a few days – the changes are somehow even more thrilling.
      Yesterday the air was truly full of spring.

  4. I love working in the greenhouse – it is my sanctuary – I used to have an armchair in there at one time! I have trouble growing lupins as my garden is very sluggy which is a shame because I do love them. I think of them as an archetypal cottage garden plant. I like to let things self-seed in the borders so at this time of year I try not to do too much weeding in case I am removing self-seeders by mistake. It is easier to distinguish good from bad when they are a bit bigger.

    • I like lupins too; I think I’d like to add some statuesque perennial ones to these small annual ones, perhaps in a dark red, but first I need to see how much space I have left when everything is up! I’m encouraging gentle self-sowing in our main borders too, though our narrow front ones have nothing to set seed yet; containing just roses, box, lavender, alliums, wallflowers, crocus sativus and daffs so I can weed out everything else. In the back I am a little more discerning, just pulling up those I recognise. Bittercress is beginning to flower already, so time to have those out…

  5. That rain at the weekend was most welcome here although I was briefly stranded in the greenhouse when rain turned into hail. We have gone soft and exchanged the tent for an old camper van but it’s the same feeling of cosiness that you experience when the rain comes down plus you can see out more 🙂

    • Ah, my husband would definitely prefer a camper van to canvas, I’m not sure I can persuade him into a tent too many more times, though I’ll keep trying!

  6. It’s easy to visualize what you mean when you say you like to lie in a tent listening to the elements around you, but glad they’re not in the tent with you!

    Two years ago, I sowed Lupins from seed and had good success with them. They were lovely when in bloom and really do add a touch of class to the garden.

    • I do like lupins, so far have only grown these lovely tri-colour annual ones, which I enjoyed last year, but I hope to add some strong single colours in a year or two.

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