I love my dome. It is the coolest thing I think I have ever had built. But I have a bit of a problem with it… It is not ready. The builder has done his amazing bit and created it. He has even put in a concrete floor with a ramp, so I can get Wilbur the Wheelbarrow in easily if I need to. There is also a drain, so I can hose it out if it gets mucky and a pipe, so I can pop a tap in there too. I’m toying with the idea of putting a sink in there as well, so I can wash things. But the initial thoughts for the tap was so I could irrigate the seedlings automatically as Hubby the Un-Gardener is making noises about wanting to go away for family time on his boat from time to time.
This is a bit of a conflict for me as, as much as I love family time and enjoy the boat – the boating season clashes dreadfully with the gardening season. So, I have to find a way to ensure my garden is happy while I’m off on the water being happy. I can’t really begrudge him and the boat. He is as passionate about it as I am about my garden, and like the garden it resulted in a bit of a budget blowout while restoring it, so now I feel justified in having my budget blowout so long as it isn’t more than he spent, and we are still a country mile away from that!
So, all that remains for the dome to be a sanctuary for my seedlings is glass and shelves. The shelves aren’t too much of a problem – I could give it a crack, under the direction of my builder and I can get to use the drop saw I picked up at the op shop for $24. We’ll soon see if it is up to scratch… The glazing on the other hand is a specialist job. And we’ve had folk around to give quotes and wait with bated breath. One suggests a very good price but a terrible time line – I ideally would like it done yesterday, and we are still waiting to hear from others. I have no idea how much it is going to cost, but I’m in too deep to back down now.
Having said that, I am close to just temporarily getting a roll or two of that plastic they use to wrap pallets and go around and around and around until it is water tight. These are desperate times. You see, the season has begun. Seeds have been sown. It has been a long time since I had to grow seedlings on windows. In fact, the last place didn’t have adequate window sills which is why I jumped into the greenhouse journey early on.
Like with the container gardening I have being doing while gardenless I have been humbled by how others garden when there is no other choice. I really take my hat off to container gardeners, you need to hover over your plants like a helicopter parent and take care of their every need because they aren’t in a position to do it for themselves, being stuck in a pot! Unless you grow in containers you really don’t know how needy plants can be.
So now I am window sill seed raising. The first and biggest problem is Fennel the Cat and Turducken the baby chicken who is in the process of being weaned to outdoor living. I solved this problem by popping my seed trays into large clear plastic containers with lids. So, it didn’t bother me too much to see Fennel sleeping on top. It is the sunniest spot in the house after all.
This new house is blessed with fabulous bay windows and my seedlings are currently occupying the better part of the best one that gets east, north and west sun (when it is shining). I thought ‘clever’ me. I’ve sussed it and it will be fine. But then it would seem the clear plastic wasn’t clear enough, and my tomatoes are erring on the side of leggy! Argh. This meant bringing the plants out as they germinate, into the full sun of the bay window and exposing them to the risk of cat or chicken damage. I did have some under a laundry basket, but there are too many now.
I pulled the curtains and leaned things up against them to make it seem like an impenetrable barrier. I think I can convince the chicken, but I still don’t trust the cat. I’m also hoping the white lining of the curtain will bounce light back onto the plants as I’m currently turning the trays regularly to try to get strong stems, not leggy ones reaching off in one direction. If things don’t improve soon I’m considering attaching tin foil to the back of the curtains…. That doesn’t seem too desperate does it?
My hat is now being taken off to all those keen gardeners who start their gardens on windowsills, you work so much harder to get healthy plants than those of us with the luxury of a greenhouse.
And now I need to go and find the hanging basket system I got the boat builder to put a place for on the boat, so I can garden at sea… well you have to have fresh parsley with fresh fish!
Come again soon – the garden is becoming closer to being ready each day.
Sarah the Gardener : o)