Greenhouse Update

I don’t grow a great deal of veg at the Priory (given the size of the place) and I don’t post much about it either.
Courgette plants with sweetcorn behind
There are so many really good veg blogs out there such as Karen’s and Trevor’s – that I tend to leave to them, and others, the intricacies and how-to’s of vegetable growing.  Perhaps next year I’ll write more about it.
Leeks front, then onions and chard at the back
I used to work one day a week in a garden where pretty much my sole duties were looking after the large vegetable gardens.
Runner beans scrambling up my rustic beanpoles (harvested from Margaret’s wood)
And it was incredibly rewarding and very, very productive.  I’d like to grow more food at the Priory (it’s not like we haven’t got the space) but even with just the current six raised beds we’ve got potatoes, sweetcorn, onions, leeks, garlic, courgettes and chilli peppers.
Part of the garlic crop – a good year!
In the past I’ve grown sweetpeas and sunflowers in the vegetable garden.  I haven’t this year and regret it.  (The sweetpeas I decided against growing and have really missed them.  My sunflower seedlings got slug munched).  I think veg and flowers work brilliantly together.  I have planted a few of my Harlequin marigolds in amongst the beans though.
Meanwhile, in the greenhouse the tomato plants have had their growing tips pinched out now that they’ve reached the roof.  (Compare them with how they looked when they went in, back in April).

They managed to shrug off the aphid attacks they suffered as small seedlings and are heavy with fruit.

That little charmer, Tumbling Red, is a star performer and I can’t resist necking the small, sweet and warm cherry tomatoes at any given opportunity.

Sweet peppers are filling out and  a couple are pretty much ready for harvesting.

Cucumbers are also producing.  This is an all female variety with the rather bizarre name, Femspot – sounds like something altogether different.   Growing a variety that only produces girly flowers means you don’t need to take off the male ones.  If you fail to do that you end up with bitter cucumbers.  Which, one year, I did. Not good – loads of cucumbers which were perfectly horrid!  And nobody wanted.

The aubergines will be a while yet …

Just a few of my semps.  I ought to really release them into the wild
Outside, basking in the sun, is my far too large collection of semps.  What am I to do with them all?
Some more.  Too many do you think?
I used to sell plants on a little table outside our old cottage. Easy money.  I’d produce loads of plants from seed, cuttings, offsets or divisions and pop them on the little table.  And then, remarkably, customers would post coins through our letter box.  Always hugely exciting to scramble around on the floor looking for pound coins and, occasionally, notes.  Used to make quite a bit of pocket-money actually.   Kept me in Beanos, fizzy pop and sherbet fountains.
My favourite, Sempervivum ‘Calcareum’
Semps always sold very well but my new house hasn’t got the passing traffic that our old house had.
So my collection of semps and rhodohypoxis and other alpines just sit outside the Priory greenhouse enjoying the sun.  Not a bad life.

9 thoughts on “Greenhouse Update

  1. Hi Kendra, really sorry – only just found your comment – thanks for popping over. Will do the same!

    Thanks Janet, I do love semps – does it show? Haven't posted a great deal re rhodohypoxis but there are a couple of photos in Blooming Priory, if you're interested. (Gosh, but you're keeping me busy responding to all your copmments. Chortle).



  2. Your sempervivum collection is stunning. I haven't come across a photo of your rhodohypoxsis yet or have I missed them? We have a shallow pot of them and the seem to have been flowering for months.


  3. Wow great pictures I love the Green house it is lovely I need one here in our winter months! I just found your blog and see we have a lot in common you should check my blog out and follow if you like
    I always follow back

    🙂 Kendra


  4. Hi Simon, I've only been to Heligan once – about four years ago and I was truly smitten. Eden was good but not sure I particularly want to go back. I'll look up Tresco. Computer glitches, huh? My life is strewn with them!

    Hi Janet, no plans for a sedum/semp roof but I do stick small semps in cracks in brick walls and under roof tiles with a little soil. They never get to a size but do look good. Been away for a few days so returning to see the toms with a sense of trepidation!



  5. Beautiful photos of lovely veg – and semps. And, strictly speaking, fruit! I am finding that Tumbling yellow is ripening faster than tumbling red – go figure. The semps are sumptuous all lined up there – isn't there a green roof you could create for them?


  6. Dave…. Forgot to say…. Brilliant photo's!!
    Yep, I went to Heligan… again!! 🙂 I love that place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂
    Went to Tresco abbey gardens and Eden while there also… had a proper horticultural trip (much to Sarah's annoyance)
    Been trying to post on your blog for a couple of weeks but it wouldn't let me until now (have to uncheck the “stay signed in” box when entering my password…. typical computer glitches!!!


  7. Hey Simon, good to hear from you!! I can't believe that your veg isn't top notch. And semps – well, what's not to like. Did you go to Heligan whilst in Cornwall?

    Hi Stacy, (nowt wrong with a little nosiness!), the veg is grown for the Priory owner and I take some home as well. The alpine nursery I used to work at raised twenty or thirty different semp varieties. I've got probably a third that.

    I did hesitate over the calcareum bedewment. Hehehe. But it was a nice photo and we do get a lot of dew and rain here. Short of wiping them with a tissue …..

    Sorry to hear about your toms. I suspect tomato blight is lurking for me as this is the second year I've grown tomatoes in the bed in the greenhouse. I think this autumn I may remove all the soil and replace with fresh – just to be on the safe side.



  8. Just out of curiosity (well, sorry, nosiness), what happens to all the vegetables? Do you hand them over to the owners with a sigh, or do you get to take them home and chow down? Your tomatoes look gorgeous–I lose mine to curly top virus every year and have given up growing them (for now). I totally agree about combining vegetables and flowers.

    What beautiful semps (all of them)! I haven't seen such a striking variety in the nurseries here and nothing like that 'Calcareum'. Lovely photo, by the way–so tastefully bedewed…


  9. Looking damn good Dave!!!!!!
    I've popped a few semps and assorted succulents in this year after my trip to Cornwall earlier on…. i love them now!!
    Your veg looks absolutely top quality Dave!!!

    Puts me to shame really!



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