Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My little shade house revisited

In July last year I wrote about the small, disused aviary that I'd converted into a little tropical shade house for the summer months.  (You'll find the account here.)  It was pretty successful.  The plants seemed to enjoy the conditions and mostly looked in good shape when I brought them inside at the end of October.

Once inside some went on window ledges but most of them sat under one of my continuous photo lights, a 50watt daylight balanced fluorescent, to wait out the winter in a north facing room. There's enough additional light to prevent leggy growth so they've finished the winter and come into the spring in reasonable shape.

April has been awful.  Cold days, wind and rain - and even colder nights.  I despaired of getting them into their summer quarters.  But, finally, with the advent of May the nights have warmed up sufficiently to put them outside again.

I've added a bit more standing room by displacing the wormery in favour of an old table so I've room for even more plants.  All need feeding, some need potting on - but I'm looking forward to seeing them grow through the summer months.

Here's what it now looks like:

Current inhabitants include Begonias 'Lucerne', 'Benichoma' and 'Red Robin', an Aphelandra squarrosa I rescued from a local garden centre for the princely sum of £0.99, Stromanthe sanguinea, a Dieffenbachia, Areca lutescens, Calathea zebrina, Tradescantia zebrina and some Streptocarpus.  The bromeliad Aechmea 'Blue Rain' and the spider plant will go out in the garden once they've acclimatised to the great outdoors.  A pair of bromeliads and a maidenhair fern are in an outside basket hanging from the end of the roof rafters and I've managed to fit my little Tillandsia cyanea into a convenient hole in the vertical ornamental cherry that partially shades the house.  If you are wondering what the leaves to the left and right are its Camellia sasanqua on the left and Hostas 'Frances Williams' and 'Big Daddy' in the bottom right - pot grown to avoid my slugs.

With the structure already in place its cost me nothing to recycle the old table and the bench from my destroyed greenhouse (replacement, hopefully, later this year) but it's certainly provided a very interesting little garden feature.  I've even got space under the table to store some pots of summer bulbs until their foliage breaks surface.

1 comment:

  1. You certainly have some gems there, especially the begonias. Hopefully you'll get a replacement greenhouse soon, and fill it up with more gems!