Not so good

The nor’wester wasn’t quite the cyclone bearing down on Miami, but it toppled the greenhouse. And it was enough to put the wind up Dora who rushed up behind me and, quite unprovoked, pecked me on the leg.

Those spooky looking hands at the top of the photo are my gardening gloves hanging on the line. They look for all the world like manifestations of the wind giving the glasshouse a casual push.

Fortunately, the tomato plants are fine. The seedlings are a bit battered but okay. The basil was fine too, until it got the second fright of its young life when Dora rushed in like a robber’s dog.

It must have been quite a sight: me struggling against the wind to put the inflating greenhouse up, reinserting the piping where it had popped out of its sockets, rescuing upturned plants, and fending off the chooks at the same time.

Once again it’s upright – now inelegantly anchored with heavy paving stones (on newspaper so they don’t damage the plastic or the piping) and logs. Then, because the wind was catching the top of the structure I tied it to the fence. The knot is in the doorway so I can undo it easily. There was potting mix on the walls which I hosed off. Finally, I re-sowed the salad-mix lettuces.

Knot so good. The crazy stick-figure knot reminds me to improve my rope-tying technique. I have a book: Knots – An Illustrated Practical Guide to the Essential Knot Types and their Uses.

And the wind has died away, as if there is no more fun to be had.

So far so good

The next day, having ascertained that the greenhouse could be viable, I bought plants which I normally wouldn’t purchase for at least another month. Here is the greenhouse, complete with cover, and with two tomato plants in the ground. I have to wait a little longer for the “lunch-box” pepper plants I prefer to be available.

In pots on either side I’ve planted a “tumbling tom” tomato with which I have had success before, and basil. There is also a pot in which I sowed salad-mix seeds. Two containers of seedlings – sweet peas and lobelia – are safe on another shelf ready for planting outside. The terracotta-coloured pot has a chain attached and I’m considering planting something edible in this pot and hanging it from the ridge pole to make use of the upper space.

We had a frost the morning after I planted, so I was pleased to see that the plants seemed unaffected by the cold outside.

To take this photo, I had to wait for the condensation to clear. It was warm inside the greenhouse. When the sun is on it, I unzip the flap and put the piece of trellis (leaning on the left) lengthwise across the doorway to keep the hens out. If it is warm enough and the moisture on the plastic has evaporated, I roll up the door and secure it with the ties.

“Northwesterlies, gusty at times” are forecast. The greenhouse, although nestled into the fence, is not secured – so fingers crossed it stands its ground.

So far, so good…