Splashes of red in a winter greenhouse – and a significant amount of rambling.

Normally winter is a barren and unproductive time in the garden, apart from the usual suspects that at this time of year are beginning to be regarded as boring – well the cauliflower is.  I planted heaps without checking that the freezer was already full of them and to compound the problem I somehow planted a row I what I hoped to be broccoli for them to develop a lovely white curd in the centre and not the lush green I was expecting – opps.  I’m giving them away now.

Just what I need - more cauliflower!

All the other winter crops are still developing so we haven’t had any cabbage, Brussels sprouts, carrots, beetroot or broad beans at all.  I think the soggy soil is holding them back.  We haven’t had rain for a while now and it is turning from a soggy winter with grey days to a cold winter with sunny days. The “experts” have stated the worst of winter is over and things should get better and by the end of August we should have a whole hour extra of sunshine. Hopefully the ground will dry out and the mud will disappear, which will be great news for the Joeyosaurus.  I sent him out the other evening to shut the greenhouse door and when he didn’t come back in I found him stuck up to his ankles in the mud crying.  Luckily I found him before he started to freak out.  The mud was holding on to his gumboots tighter than his little 5 year old legs could pull them up.  I haven’t asked him to do that job again.

Don't be fooled by that mud - it can EAT small children!

Now I am just rambling on about the weather.  I find that as a gardener it has become almost an obsession as to what the weather is up to and I’m sure I bore people with it, almost as much as when I talk about the garden.  People ask me how I’m doing and I invariably end up replying “great, but I wish the rain would stop so the garden will dry out.”  It’s up there with the madness that prompts people meeting at a doctor’s clinic to respond to the same question with “I’m fine” which clearly you aren’t or you wouldn’t be at doctor’s clinic.

Anyway, I started writing this blog to share with you the exciting treasures to be found in my greenhouse and I let my fingers take over the keyboard and all this other stuff came out…

So in my greenhouse I have a red tomato, a red pepper, an eggplant, a sunflower and 3 potato shoots – all of which are out of season and doing great!  What started as an experiment to “see if I could” has brought excitement to an otherwise impatient gardener.  But it won’t be long now, before I can start planting those spring seeds… how cool will it be to nibble fresh tomatoes while doing so!

winter tomatoes

winter peppers

winter eggplant

winter sunflower

winter potatoes

Come again soon – spring is around the corner – I can feel it in my bones!

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

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