What is occurring in the greenhouse? I’ve shuffled everything around to make way for the building of the heated propagation bench so it’s all a bit of a squash, but there’s plenty going on.

Germinating (I hope) seeds, no visible action:

  • Libertia peregrinans “Gold stripe”
  • Stipa gigantea
  • Lysimachia ephemerum
  • Salvia nemerosa “violet queen”
  • Clematis tangutica
  • Artemisia absinthium “Lambrook silver”

Germinated seeds, not yet pricked out

  • Physalis, several have poked their heads up.
  • Lobelia tupa
  • Euphorbia
  • Penstemon Digitalis, one so far
Physalis, on their way.
Penstemon ‘Digitalis’

Pricked out and growing on

  • Veronica mixed
  • Dianthus “Brilliancy”
  • Aubrieta mixed
  • Monarda superb
  • Geum (just 1!)
  • Evening primrose ‘Apricot delight’
  • Dianthus
  • Veronica
  • Aubretia
Evening primrose
Aubrieta
Monarda
Veronica
Dianthus, more than you can shake a stick at…

All are quite mossy and a some have a bit of liverwort too. I’ve de-crusted the surface of some a couple of times, and I’m now a bit concerned I’ve lost some seeds in the process, we’ll see. This year I’ll use more vermiculite on the surface to neaten things up and stop the crust forming.  In general, germination of these perennials has been slow. Not necessarily an issue, these are not annuals which are evolved to germinate fast as they have just one year for their life cycle, and some need a cold period to trigger germination. I do think that warmth will help, now that we have had a few weeks of chill, just need the heated bed finished and connected up to the juice.

I note that a few labels have either gone walkies or have faded to the point of illegibility so the contents of some trays are a bit of a mystery, especially as I’ve moved them around so much. I can probably guess by elimination which is which. I am hoping my new plant label printer will make this issue go away. I am keeping that for this year’s sowing, a new kit treat.

I have some overwintering pellies which seem happy enough, one is even trying to flower despite the ‘house being unheated.

Pelargoniums. Or pelargonii?

At the Current Mrs J’s insistence I sowed an ancient packet of parsley seeds last summer. I wanted to chuck them out but was overruled. They have taken up residence, rooting well through the tray and into the gravel bed below. I may have a job extracting the tray.

Rampant parsley

I don’t heat the greenhouse and didn’t insulate it either. It’s in a fairly sheltered spot but we have had some frosty nights down as low as -8c, pretty chilly for us soft southerners. Nothing seems to have seriously suffered, maybe held back a bit. The lack of heat and insulation is due mainly to lack of will on my part rather than any deliberate decision. It is very wasteful though to try to heat a volume of poorly insulated, leaky space especially when the whole volume does not need to be heated, really just the bits close to the plants, which is where the heated bed comes in. It should also act like a storage heater and heat the surrounding area a little bit too, bonus.

Nice to survey the scene on a sunny, if chilly, lunchtime. Back to work now, sadly.

I’ll be back over the weekend with the completion, I fervently hope, of the heated prop bed.

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