“This is a really volcanic ensemble you’re wearing, it’s really marvellous!” ~ Duckie, from Pretty in Pink
Archives for February 2012
“Who loves a garden loves a greenhouse too.” ~ William Cowper
When my sister and I were kids, our entire play life was mostly about searching for, finding and creating the perfect cubby house.
The most memorable was an old chicken pen behind a house where we lived in Bridgetown. Our cubby was generously furnished with the unwanted household off-casts from the nice old couple next door. We decked ourselves out in an outrageous smothering of old costume jewellery and felt like queens in a castle.
Now, almost 30 years on, I am back to creating the perfect cubby house. Though from now on, I will refer to it by its most appropriate adult pseudonym, “Greenhouse”.
My $70 greenhouse from The Reject Shop failed to see out it’s first year and started to fall apart almost instantly after purchase but was finally finished off by our last good gusty storm.
But now, by ways that will remain known only to me, I have managed to convince my husband to build me a proper
cubby greenhouse. And I have just the place for it.
You will probably have a space similar to it at your house. It is tucked down the back corner of the block and has an awkward aspect. But it is perfect for me. It already has a fence and gate to section it off from prying little hands. It is partly paved, with plenty of space for the potting bench, a potting sink, some shelving and plenty of storage. It even has an outdoor electricity plug.
I have already cleared the weeds since this photo was taken. The next step will be to clear the mulch from the beds, put down weed mat and lots of pebbles on top for good drainage while cutting down weeds. It will be getting a roof structure too for added protection. The transformation is going to take a few weeks, so watch this space. I can’t wait to move in!
The fairest thing in nature, a flower, still has its roots in earth and manure. ~ David Herbert Lawrence.
Living near the beach is lovely. You don’t have far to go for a refreshing dip. The sea breeze is always at your house first on a hot day.
After Veggie Patch Armageddon, some plants were too sick to survive so I have pulled them out. The roots of these plants were as small and spindly as their stunted foliage. While contemplating my abysmal veggie growth and yield, the answer was obvious. My soil is just too poor. Thanks to its very high sand content, my soil is very alkaline. It repels water so well that I stand in puddles as the water runs off to the pavement rather than sinking into the soil.
The answer to both problems is a shitload of poo.
Sheep manure, to be precise.
As my soil is already alkaline and coarsely sandy, adding chemical fertilisers isn’t going to solve the underlying problem. Sheep manure will help provide some texture to trap water, will temper the alkalinity of the soil and add some much desired nutritional value to my starving soil. I will also be adding compost to the soil to build up humus. Mushroom compost and chicken poo are likely to make the alkalinity problem worse. Apparently pig poo is good too once you get past your gag reflex. (it smells terrible) So once again, I will experiment for results.
It is too hot to plant now anyway. So the next task in the garden is to pull back all the mulch and dig in some good measures of poo and let it mature into the soil in time for autumn’s planting.
Luckily, the kids are now back at school for the year and I can just start to get stuck into it without too many wails of protest about the smell.
Heat, flies and poo. I can’t wait to get started!
Worms are the intestines of the earth. ~ Aristotle.