Greenhouse and Cutting Bed in Mid-May

There have been so many things in the garden to write about and enjoy that I haven’t had time to update you on progress in the cuttings bed and greenhouse.

There is now some colour in the cuttings bed (not much, but this is a beginning!). The first of the sunflowers that I sowed on the first of February has opened its buds and it is covered in flowers, several large heads at the top and maybe another 8 or 10 down the stem. I’ve just sown some more sunflowers which have already germinated so I’ll have some more plants to replace the 4 that are all have large promising buds.

Today I planted out some of the plants from the greenhouse; the bed appears to be nearly full already and there are other seedlings waiting their turn to be planted out – what am I going to do?

This is what is now in the bed:

Echinacea pallida, Cosmos Orange Phoenix, Sun Flowers Van Gogh Mix, Lysimacchia ephemerum (the seed very kindly sent to me by Pauline from Lead me up the Garden Path, thank you so much Pauline), Gerberas (bought plants), Knautia (divided from plants already in the garden, a Butterfly mix, cornflowers, pink shades of Cosmos, Dalia single mix and some D. Bishop of Dover which I’ve had planted in the garden but they will flower better here with regular irrigation and some Asters including Monch which again I hope will flower better here with regular irrigation and so provide flowers during September.

The cutting bed, I planted more this afternoon so it is almost full now

The cutting bed, I planted more this afternoon so it is almost full now

Here's the sun flower, isn't it amazing?

Here’s the sun flower, isn’t it amazing?

The leaf damage is due to the hail on Easter Saturday.

In the greenhouse the shade netting is covering most of the space now and I am leaving the door open most nights, the temperatures fall to about 10°C at night and rise to about 35°C during the day; that’s actually cooler in the day than it was in April so something strange is going on.

All the tomatoes have been planted out and those in the greenhouse have one or two trusses!

Wide view with tomatoes on the left and zucchini on the floor to the right

Wide view with tomatoes on the left and zucchini on the floor to the right

You can see there are two of the tray stands outside the greenhouse, this is a good place as it gets very little direct sun but there is plenty of light.

Lemon Grass (because I can't buy it here) carrots and spinach in pots

Lemon Grass (because I can’t buy it here) carrots and spinach in pots

Tomatoes, some rainbow chard I planted into the bed for a quick crop and an Altromeria I bought on Thursday to use as cut flowers and infrost of that a tray of Frigetelle (a kind of sweet pepper that is the size if a lage chilli

Tomatoes, some rainbow chard I planted into the bed for a quick crop and an Altromeria I bought on Thursday to use as cut flowers and infrost of that a tray of Frigetelle (a kind of sweet pepper that is the size if a lage chilli

The biggest truss right my the door so the pollination was quite good

The biggest truss right my the door so the pollination was quite good

Newly germinated squash including Butternut, Gold Nugget and Lakota

Newly germinated squash including Butternut, Gold Nugget and Lakota

2nd tray of sweetcorn ready to be planted out (when I can find space

2nd tray of sweetcorn ready to be planted out (when I can find space

I have begun taking cuttings of Teucrium, Sedum, Senecio (from my MIL’s garden) and some fine leafed salvia that I would like to grow on the slope as well as in the vegetable garden.

I will be taking a lot more cuttings this year especially from the Cistus.

What’s happening in your greenhouse at the moment, are you running out of space? If you have a cutting bed or garden I would love to hear about that, I need to learn what you grow, how long from seed sowing to picking the flowers. Has anyone grown ‘Bells of Ireland’, the germination rate has been terrible – is it just me?

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25 thoughts on “Greenhouse and Cutting Bed in Mid-May

  1. That sunflower is amazing! Impressed with your tomatoes too, I only noticed flowers for the first time today. I have tried lemon grass for the first time this year.. it seems to take a while to get going?

    • The downside of sowing mixed seed is that I don’t know what variety this one is. Yes lemon grass is very slow, it has lots of heat here and I give it a lot of water. At Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons I saw they grew their lemon grass outside during the summer and then put it back in the greenhouse during the winter. I was thinking I might even plant it into the ground in the greenhouse, being tropical it shouldn’t mind the heat as long as it has enough water.

  2. I love your sunflower, it is amazing! I’ve already put my sweetcorn, beans,corgettes etc outside, we never get a frost here after May 15th, having said that, we probably will now! On Gardeners World, Monty Don was just sowing his sweetcorn, so I don’t know what is best! It’s lovely seeing all these baby plants and imagining what they will grow into.

    • The corn grows and ripens very quickly in the sunshine but I still use seed from the UK as it seems to have better flavour. I usually start picking in early July. As soon as the peas and broad beans have finished I’ll use some of the bed for a second crop of sweetcorn and the rest for squash.

  3. So prolific I am impressed …I am struggling to find spaces for all the annuals I’ve sown…..still when I can get rid of all the spring bulb leaves I’ll be a happy bunny…..Love the greenhouse.

  4. Christina, I am massively impressed. Sunflowers always remind me of driving through Italy. Your green house and cutting garden look fab. I had an epic fail with my cutting garden when I planted potatoes in it! I was seduced into buying more without thinking through where I would plant them. My tomatoes are shameful compared to yours too!

    • Potatoes take too much space for me to grow them, last year I was tempted (like you) by some good French seed potatoes; I planted them in huge pots but they weren’t a great success. More about the tomatoes soon.

  5. My seed starting was a complete washout this year. Don’t know why. Bells of Ireland have never worked for me (boo…I do love them in bouquets). Your cutting garden should support your vase habit well into autumn. What fun!

    • I hope there will be flowers through the dry part of summer. The cutting bed is irrigated so hopefully it will mean I have some flowers to use when the garden is only producing perovskia!

  6. I tried some varieties of tomatoes I usually grow from seed here in a very small, covered staging. I dismantled it too soon when we had a hot spell and the tomatoes did not prosper. I will persevere and they may fruit if we have a long summer. I lost some poppies and even sunflower seed for the same reason of highly fluctuating temperatures. My outdoor sown asters, cosmos, antirrhinums and gaillardia have all survived. Your greenhouse looks very fruitful and productive but I expect you’ve put a lot of hard work into it. Amelia

    • Fluctuating temperatures are a major problem here this year, Amelia. It can be too hot in the day for germinating seeds, I have have to do the next batches inside the house where it’s cooler!

  7. Wow, how do you keep all this going? Impressive Christina. My former neighbor grew Bells of Ireland one year, but don’t know about the germination rate. She had so many she gave me big armloads of them and they were very long-lasting in water.

    • I looked at the packet again and it said I should have chilled the seed first! I’ll try again. It’s good to know someone grew them successfully, thank you.

  8. My, you have been busy – and will be for some time by the look of it! I only dabble in propagation, but would love to do more – if I had the time! So far a only a few veg/salad seeds.

    • Propagation is one of the most exciting parts of gardening for me, I always intend doing more than I achieve but this year I really want to produce a lot of cistus for the slope, putting in smaller plants is more successful than larger pot grown specimens.

  9. It can get really hard, working out where to cram things in, can’t it! I suspect I am not watering my lemongrass enough, I really should be moving it outside soon to make room in the conservatory. That is a wonderful sunflower, I didn’t sow any this year as I wasn’t sure where to put them. Your cutting bed sounds as if it will be amazing, how are you going to support the plants? I was planning how to arrange my two beds in the middle of the night and was really happy, until I got up and realised I had about doubled the size of one of them, and it is going to fill with herbs anyway. Eek. I was so sure I was going to gain a huge bed when we moved the greenhouse, but paths take up a surprising amount of space. At least I will have lots of dahlias.

  10. Great to see your cutting bed coming along. I’ve just planted out my sunflowers. I can’t believe you have flowers already. Would Lysimachia ‘Beaujolais’ work in your climate? It’s everywhere at Chelsea this year and makes a great cut flower apparently.

    • I did have the Lysimachia once but it died, it would probably do well in the cutting bed as it would receive enough water, it is a wonderful colour. Have you ever grown it from seed?

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