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Mum's Legacy...

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It’s a very appropriate day for me to write this blog, because it’s a whole year since I lost my dear Mum. I can’t believe how fast the time has gone, but I miss her so much – I can’t pick up the phone to tell her my news, or ask her opinion on something any longer.

Here she is in her 80s. This is my favourite photo of her, and I prefer to remember her like this – surrounded by the flowers she loved.

I suppose that’s one legacy I got from her – but she also left me some money. I had to decide what to do with it, and I made the decision to buy a new greenhouse! Yes, I know I already have one, but it bursts at the seams every year. A 6′ × 8′ greenhouse is just not big enough for everything I want to do.

Where to put it was the first problem.

The best place was where my coldframe was. My husband took it apart and I had to ‘park’ the plants for a while. I ordered a greenhouse to match the existing one, and it arrived quite quickly. They’ve changed the colour of the frame since I got the first one, but never mind.

The space had to be cleared, as the hedge at the back was rather overgrown. A fence was needed to tidy up the back of the space. At least it’ll stop the brambles and nettles from attacking me!

Then my husband laid slabs on sand and fixed the base.

Guess who got in on the act!

I left husband to put the frame up – I was surprised how fast he did it!

Henry wasn’t sure what all this was about! He had a good sniff round!

We had a slight ‘glitz’ when one pane of glass turned out to be the wrong size – but a trip to the glaziers soon sorted that!

One bench was part of the package, and I’d ordered another one, as well as louvres for the back, and an automatic window for the roof.

So there’s my new greenhouse! Ready for…what??

Well, a browse on the net for propagators had come up with a HUGE one – and that’s what I have! It’s thermostatically controlled, so I hope to use it to grow all sorts of new plants from seed or cuttings.

It even has a second layer to add, so that it can act as a little warm greenhouse if I want to use it for special plants.

Now you know why I was asking about a good book on propagation!

Of course, I spent the whole of yesterday afternoon taking cuttings, to try it out. I have pots of Osteospermum, Argyranthemum and Gazanias in there.
It’s going to be a bit ‘trial and error’ until I get used to it, but I do hope I can use it to widen my experience of gardening techniques. I think I might be asking for help, though! The cuttings look a bit droopy today – and I’m not sure why that should be.

I hope my Mum is looking down and approving of what I’ve done. I think she is, somehow.

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Comments

 

Wow - that looks impressive spritz. I'm glad Henry approves too

20 Sep, 2009

 

Thanks - any thoughts about the droopy cuttings, Andrew?

20 Sep, 2009

 

For cuttings, it is a race between death from moisture loss and survival by rooting. Remove most of the leaves to reduce transpiration (I often only keep the new leaves at the growing tip and remove the rest). I don't have a big propogator like that, just a heated tray on the kitchen windowsill. I cover each pot with a sealed plastic bag which makes a small 'greenhouse' for each pot; within 24 hours there will be lots of moisture on the inside of the bag which is what you want (unless you are dealing with things like pelargoniums or lavenders that don't like a damp atmosphere). At present, I'm rooting various salvias like this and they root in about a couple of weeks with bottom heat

20 Sep, 2009

 

That's exactly what I used to do - I've sprayed the cuttings, and they are quite small. taken as normal, with the bottom leaves stripped off and dipped into rooting powder.The book says put in a plastic bag or propagator, so I suppose I shall just have to hope! I set the temp. at 19 degrees, as the book recommended room temperature.

20 Sep, 2009

 

So wonderful to have those memories of our Mums. I also had a dear sweet Mother that taught me the love of gardening. Cherish those memories & you will think of her everytime you step in that green house, your husband I see is a handy kind of a guy, that is a huge help. Well Spritz, have a great day, I always fill a vase with flowers on "that" day & put it by her photo.

20 Sep, 2009

 

What a lovely way to spend a legacy - your mum must be looking down tickled pink, when you find a feather in there you will know she had a look see. Enjoy it as she would wish.

20 Sep, 2009

 

Thanks, Doon - that's a WONDERFUL idea - I shall do just that! Thanks for the 'feather' idea, too - I'll keep my eyes open.....

20 Sep, 2009

 

Oh Sprits, I'm so envious not one but two greenhouses-----I just do not have any room.
i'm sure your mum would approve ( she looks so sweet)
As for the super duper propagator ------- wow !!!!
Happy gardening days .

20 Sep, 2009

bjs
Bjs
 

Nice looking house with good head room why the manufacture dont supply more ventilation as standard i will never know.I do realy they make more money!
Do you think it will be big enough ? lol

20 Sep, 2009

 

I'm sure your mum approves wholeheartedly!
Have fun!!

20 Sep, 2009

 

BJS there will never be enough room. :o) I know what you are feeling spritz. as for the floppy cuttings keep them well watered and possibly turn down thermostat to 16/17 degrees. I find this a better working temp for the osteospermum cuttings.
its lovely when a legacy can be put to such good use. Mum would be delighted with all your work and loving thoughts.
henry looks totally at home too. is hubby having a good rest now?

20 Sep, 2009

 

As you love gardening Spritz that is a brilliant way to use your dear Mums gift to you and good of hubby to build it so quickly as well, bet you stll run out of space next springtime though,my hubby was flabbergasted when I was still using my mini greenhouses outside but then he`s not a gardener. Have fun Spritz and keep taking your cuttings gotta fill up two houses now...lol......

20 Sep, 2009

 

Wonderful blog and a great way to remember mum by.

I'm sure she will be with you every step of the way, in success and failure and will no doubt love you just as much whichever way the cuttings turn out.

Happy propogating, keep us informed of progress and fabulous looking GH.

Well done hubby on construction as well....with a little help from henry of course:0)

20 Sep, 2009

 

Thanks, everyone for your lovely comments. It's not a happy anniversary, is it? But I'm trying to be positive and know that Mum would approve.

He sure is handy and tired, too! - but I want my coldframe back, and I've cleared a space for it - it's still in pieces at the moment!

Thanks - I'll turn it down, Sbg.

20 Sep, 2009

 

and watch it doesnt over heat if it stays as warm as it has been doing. i have lost lots of plants this way over the yeras. go to work and the sun comes out all day and everything cooks. do you have a max min thermometer to pop in side to get an idea of how warm it will get? they are a good investment.

20 Sep, 2009

 

what a lovely way to use the money Spritz. you'll soon fill it up...lol enjoy.xx

20 Sep, 2009

 

Oh Spritz what a lovely blog and a really nice way to remember your Mum too as she looks lovely sat amongst the flowers, I am sure she looking down and nodding in approval.

20 Sep, 2009

 

What a lovely idea to buy a green house with the money your mum left you especially as she too loved plants, to think she has left a bigger legacy than what you think, the smile on your face when your cuttings will grow into bigger plants, the beauty from them, each time you see them growing and flowering in your garden or greenhouse. The pleasure of achiveing growth, the thought when they bloom of your mums face if she was there to see, of course you have bought right. Every mother wants to leave something for her children for them to have, whats makes them happy.Good Luck with your cuttings:o))

20 Sep, 2009

 

I really enjoyed your blog, and you struck a chord with the not being able to pick up the phone comment. I'm sure your mum would have been delighted with how your have spent your inheritance.

20 Sep, 2009

 

Your greenhouse will keep you amused for hours Spritz and what a nice idea of Doons :)
xx

21 Sep, 2009

 

Lovely blog and a fitting tribute to your mum. It's good that both hubby and Henry were able to help erecting it. You'll have lots of pleasant hours and days propogating and sowing. I'm sure you'll enjoy every minute of it.

21 Sep, 2009

 

A mothers love never dies Spritz and you've found a way to keep it growing. Lovely 8-)

21 Sep, 2009

 

lovely blog, really enjoyed it x

21 Sep, 2009

Sid
Sid
 

Gosh - has it been a whole year....? Your hubby did well Barbara - it took my dad and uncle a whole week to put up my greenhouse - half the size of yours! lol And you've got electric as well!!! Oooooohhh.....jelous, jelous...... And that's some propagator! I'm just using my none-heated propagators at the moment - got Persicaria 'Red Dragon', Heuchera ' Purple Palace' and 'Kimono', various Cistus species, Coleus, Sedum, lavander, oh and a load of other stuff lol Things seem to root well at this time of year. I didn't know you could grow Gazanias from cuttings - interested to see how those turn out :-)

21 Sep, 2009

 

I have just been given a lesson on the use of the propagator - by my husband!

Yes, Sbg - I think I now understand why the cuttings are drooping - the temp. in the whole greenhouse was far too high, so 'cooking' is a good word for the poor little things! I've taken the fan heater into the new greenhouse, and it's blowing cool air at the moment. Fingers crossed!

No, Sid - nor did I - but nothing ventured...etc...

I think I might be asking for help from you cuttings experts! A book is fine, but it isn't as helpful as GOY members, is it??

21 Sep, 2009

 

I think you made a marvellous choice, Barbara. I really like the shape and colour. I do miss having a greenhouse (just haven't got space now, unfortunately), but will get great enjoyment from seeing yours (and others) filled up. :-)

21 Sep, 2009

Sid
Sid
 

You need to put some shading over your propagator by the sounds of it Barbara - I've got some green-polgthene sacking over mine, but news paper is good...you're not trying to block out light altogether, but provide some shade.

21 Sep, 2009

 

Thanks! I'll do just that. Lid on - or off??

21 Sep, 2009

Sid
Sid
 

Lid on - with paper or something on top of that :-)

Remember I got an electric propagator a while back? Haven't used it yet - the thermostat is set at about 19 degrees, but since the ambient temp hasn't dropped below that since I bought it, I havent actually been able to put it on as yet to be able to test it...so not sure if it's even working?!

21 Sep, 2009

 

OK...thanks - off out to deal with the situation!

21 Sep, 2009

 

Hi Spritz, I'm sorry not to have read this yesterday. I think you and your mum can have as many 'chats' as you like, Sitting in there with your feet up on the propagator with a cup of tea, you will be able to think about her and of what she would have said, had she seen it.

21 Sep, 2009

 

Lovely blog Spritz enjoy, hope you sort the situation out. X

21 Sep, 2009

 

Lovely blog spritz I am sure you will think about your mum every time you set foot in there just as I do in mine.also my dad seems to be around when I have dandelions he always used to say are you cultivating them things for a reason?It's funny the things that come to mind about our parents in the garden.

21 Sep, 2009

 

I will - and also every time I replant her two terracotta pots, which I brought back here. I did one this afternoon, with love to her. I talked to her out loud! Am I being strange?

21 Sep, 2009

 

NO!!!!

21 Sep, 2009

 

You're not being strange at all! I still talk to my mum, & she died when I was 9! Its normal to need to keep the connection going!

21 Sep, 2009

 

Thanks, Marie. :-)

21 Sep, 2009

 

You're welcome! I also always want to phone my gran (my mum's mum, & my best friend when I was growing up)when anything happens! I suppose its my way of keeping them with me.
Mxx

21 Sep, 2009

 

Lovely blog and a fitting tribute to your Mom :-))

21 Sep, 2009

 

I love your newly created greenhouse area, so neat and tidy.
The new greenhouse will give you so much pleasure, just what your Mum would love.

21 Sep, 2009

 

Thank you both.

Dawn - I wonder how long it'll stay tidy! When the leaves fall from the poplars, it'll take some clearing up!

21 Sep, 2009

 

Why are you worrying about tidy? Its in the garden!!

21 Sep, 2009

 

I don't enjoy leaf-raking, Marie! Wading knee-deep to the greenhouse and delving in the heaps of leaves for plants is not my idea of fun! Ah well, at least they make good leaf-mould...eventually!

21 Sep, 2009

 

You've found a good way to keep making memories with your mum. Amazing what a good man can accomplish when left alone to do it. Have you considered shade cloth over the hot house? Black netting that comes in different meshes for different percentages of shade, eg 30%, 70%; or it's so wide, you often can double it over. Erin's hothouse cooked till we added cloth, and some bamboo shades.

21 Sep, 2009

 

Its gone now but we had a large ash tree that overhung our gravel drive and each autumn the leaves were like a carpet. John used to set the mower on high and suck them up.
I love the design of your greenhouses, by the way.

21 Sep, 2009

 

Thanks, Orgratis - yes, the older greenhouse was covered in some shade-paint until a couple of weeks ago - but we certainly didn't expect the warm weather we have here at the moment! I shall get some mesh to cover the propagator - at the moment, during the day, I'm covering it with newspaper as a temporary measure. The nights are getting chillier, now, so I won't paint the glass until next summer.

We do that on the grass areas, Dawn - but this 'work' area is all gravelled, so we can't do the same there, unfortunately! The leaf blower might help, though...

Yes, I like the shape - they are both Hall's. They've changed the name to 'Highgrove'!! I now have Royal connections! lol.

21 Sep, 2009

 

Ha ha Spritz, watch out Prince Charles and Camilla may take up residence.

21 Sep, 2009

 

Its a greenhouse, not a stable, Dawn!

21 Sep, 2009

 

Probably just as well Madperth

21 Sep, 2009

 

LOL!! They are not that far away from here, up the M5 - you never know!

21 Sep, 2009

 

Watch out for an Aston Martin approaching but I guess they're 10 a penny in your affluent area Spritz, we just get Reliant Robins here, ha ha

21 Sep, 2009

 

Well at least you'd get some gardening advice!

21 Sep, 2009

 

Whether you wanted it or not! ! !

21 Sep, 2009

 

Hey! This is a farming community - most of the village people live in rented cottages owned by the Lady Lieutenant of Somerset! You can tell which ones she owns - they all have a yucky brownish - purplish colour door! Most of the traffic is tractors - old rickety ones, too! Tell you what - if an Aston Martin came here, the whole village would know at once! News travels VERY fast.

21 Sep, 2009

 

Ha ha Spritz, they dont miss much then.

21 Sep, 2009

 

No - we had our oven cleaned by a firm and EVERYONE knew! How embarrassing was that!

21 Sep, 2009

 

He he .... your open garden days must have caused quite a stir then.

21 Sep, 2009

 

Well, that's where knowing everyone helped - we had plenty of helpers there. :-)

21 Sep, 2009

 

That's nice to hear.

21 Sep, 2009

 

One thing that helped us to be accepted so quickly when we moved here was Henry - I got known as 'Henry's Mum' before they knew my name! People here are just so friendly, you always get a greeting when you meet anyone!

21 Sep, 2009

 

That's really good in this day and age, I remember when I knew everyone in our village, but not any more.
I often get talking to people when I'm walking Bonnie, especially other labrador owners.

21 Sep, 2009

 

This blog is a lovely and loving tribute to your Mum Barbara. You will fill that beautiful greenhouse with flowers just as she would have done and you'll enjoy it all the more knowing she is there with you. x

21 Sep, 2009

 

Here Here Lily. xx

21 Sep, 2009

 

Thank you, Lily. I appreciate your message, and all the others I've had today. Everyone has helped such a lot!

21 Sep, 2009

 

Sorry im late finding this Spritz :/ Its a Fab Greenhouse&i know ul be thinking of Your Dear Mum every time u step into it Spritz :)XXXXXXXXX

22 Sep, 2009

 

Thanks, Jac - no apology needed....:-)))) xx

22 Sep, 2009

 

That purplish-brownish color is known as "puce" among the cogni-scenti. Must be very expensive to get enough blood sucking fleas to squeeze for a bucket of paint.

22 Sep, 2009

 

You should see her mansion! Jacobean, and enormous! We haven't managed to get a look inside yet - there are guided tours at certain dates in the spring...at a price!

22 Sep, 2009

amy
Amy
 

I'm sure your mum wold be more than happy with your purchase Barbara , just think of all the years of use you will have from it . enjoyable hours spend in it , wet or dry weather .........
My new one is already overflowing with cuttings , they grow like magic in it ... :o)

Do you remember me saying that I was going to try to take some cuttings off the Perovskia . Russian Sage .. well I did and have about 17 which have rooted , i'm so pleased ........

22 Sep, 2009

 

My goodness! My new one seems to have died - so I'll need to ask you how to take cuttings from the other one, if you don't mind!

22 Sep, 2009

amy
Amy
 

I'm no expert Barbara , I looked for the nice new side shoots near the bottom of the plant , took it off by the ' heel' cut it off as close to the ' heel as I could dipped it in rooting hormone powder , each piece was about 3 / 4 " long . I cut the top off if it was to long ... .. potted them up about 4 to a pot , today I have been putting them in single pots ...
If mine keep growing well I can let you have some in the spring ...... good luck with yours :o)
Let me know how it goes !

22 Sep, 2009

 

OK - I'll have a go - and then if no luck, I'd be pleased to have a couple of yours, Amy! Thanks.

22 Sep, 2009

amy
Amy
 

Your welcome .. I don't use anything special to put the cuttings in .. just a multi purpose compost ... :o)

22 Sep, 2009

 

:-))

22 Sep, 2009

 

Sorry just reading this now Spritzhenry a lovely greenhouse you will be kept busy, also nice memories of your mum a lovely way to keep her in in your heart.Enjoy!!:~)))

23 Sep, 2009

 

You husband will never see you now..............( a man and his shed, comes to mind!!)
Your Mother will be delighted to see you have put her money to good use, I would have a little plaque made and hang it in the greenhouse.....good luck with all your cuttings, nothing can stop you now Spritz. :~)))

23 Sep, 2009

 

Dear Spritz
I loved your blog and really enjoyed watching your beautiful greenhouse materialize. It is such a lovely compliment to your darling mother to buy the greenhouse and I feel it will be "your and mum's" place where you can communicate with her. I wish you lots of happiness as you go about your propogating.
I also believe that if you find a feather a loved one has called. Love Sue xx

23 Sep, 2009

 

My husband has just retired from teaching...and he corrects me by saying ..."it's not retired FROM it's retired TO something else." at present he's enjoying a very expensive telescope and we're learning the stars. In this passage of our lives, the wonder is still there to be had, and seeing your greenhouse and propagator made me smile... How nice that you have this wonderful facility that will help you increase the size and the beauty of your present garden! And you'll have hours of enjoyment from "learning the ropes"...so nice to see a legacy that's the source of happiness and fulfillment.
Mum is smiling!

23 Sep, 2009

 

Not only is Mum smiling, but so are we. Very heartwarming and beautiful "blog." Your greenhouse will bring you many quiet moments of reflection, not to mention the experimentation with propogating. Thank you for sharing those pictures "under construction." My husband built me one with window panes which I will have to share with you sometime. Unfortunately, we didn't do pictures as he went along. ;-(

24 Sep, 2009

 

Shame - it would have been interesting!

Thank you for the lovely thoughts and warmth you've sent to me...:-))))

24 Sep, 2009

 

Sorry Barbara, only just found your blog. How I can relate to your feelings, our mums are one of the most important people in our lives. I miss mine terribly, I helped her in the garden from when I was 4 years old, she taught me so much. What a lovely idea to buy the greenhouse it will be an ongoing memory for you.

25 Sep, 2009

 

Thanks, Bob - you might be a late-reader, but I still appreciate your comments! :-))

How are you on using propagators??

25 Sep, 2009

 

Hi Barbara,
Modern propagating frames supercede old ones of the past with thermostatic controls. The main secret is not to overcrowd the frame, the double decker is well designed with light all around. Plants rooted too quickly are harder to raise. Many hardy cuttings will grow with no heat. Remember a greenhouse full of rooted cuttings in January leaves no room for seed sowing. Before the cold frame is re-erected think of making it into a heated frame, a deep hole some 4 feet deep filled with fresh stable manure will give hardwood rooted cuttings a home through the winter.
In your new greenhouse a shallow tray filled with water in the morning will give your plants humidity through the heat of the day.

25 Sep, 2009

 

Thanks! That's helpful, but we won't be able to dig where the coldframe is - there are pipes and wires underneath! Shame - that sounded like a very good idea.

25 Sep, 2009

 

What a shame, never mind, in a very full garden like yours you have to confine the glass area in one place. Have a great time with your new project. I look forward to seeing more on this.

25 Sep, 2009

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