Three quarters of a span Posted on September 6, 2013

Autumn never announced its arrival more clearly than by today’s damp chill after two days of almost unprecedented late summer sun. We have had our little garden sprinklers on every night for weeks; without them I’m sure there would have been no growth in the garden at all. The climbers thick on the walls (and the roses thrusting six feet above them) suck all the water from the ground. I don’t grudge it, but I must replace it.

Meanwhile preparations are afoot for our new greenhouse. They

started in May when we cleared the biggest bed in the garden (be under no delusion; it’s tiny), digging out, skimming that bilious yellow-leaved spirea, a red-leaved maple, a clapped-out pittosporum and a tall hibiscus. The hibiscus is doing well on intensive care in another spot. A neighbour accepted the maple; the rest went on a skip. We had to remove 80 bags of soil (through the house, of course) to lower the ground level for the future greenhouse. The plot has been filled with potatoes, runner beans, courgettes and salads for the summer. Now comes the prospect of building the base for the house, due to arrive in November.

It is a little gem of an aluminium greenhouse from Alitex; three-quarters of a span, the third quarter resting on the western garden wall. With its finials and its little spiky ridge it will look (we hope) as Victorian as if it came with the house, but need minimum upkeep. There are quite a few plants in pots waiting impatiently for its arrival before winter sets in.

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