Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Peek Inside the Greenhouse 3

It's time for another look inside the greenhouse to see what's progressing in there.

The greenhouse from the front door

A few weeks ago I gave everything a nice drink of fish emulsion, which in the enclosed space gave off a strong smell of bad sushi. But more recently I had noticed that smell had dissipated, and in its place was another scent, just as strong, but more lemony and much more pleasant. I wondered what it was, but had no clue until one morning while pulling out of the driveway to take Nigel to the train station, I noticed a bright orange glow behind the glass. I recognized what it was immediately, and was amazed that I had overlooked it.

What's that orange glow?
 One of my Brugmansias liked the fish emulsion and the conditions inside the greenhouse so much that it has already started flowering.

There's the shy bloom hiding behind a couple of Agaves

Right side view through the door

Left side view

My castor beans, which had just been sowed at the time of my last greenhouse post, have sprouted like crazy.

I'll have lots to share at the Spring Portland Garden Bloggers Plant Exchange next weekend.

I have an abundance of a variety of castor bean called New Zealand Purple. Chiltern's website, where I bought some of my seeds, has this to say about the variety: "Looking for a plant to impress the neighbours? Then try this one! All parts of this splendid and handsome specimen (including the seed pods) are deep purple; but not just any old purple but a sunlight-reflecting, metallic rich coppery-bronze which gives the enormous leaves the impression of having been hammered out of the finest alloy. A variety that will illuminate any garden. 6 ft."

A good start to my tropicalesque vision for my front garden.

Another plant that is very happy to be inside the greenhouse is my Musa sikkimensis 'Red Tiger.' It is pumping out leaves that are hitting the ceiling, and is going to have to exit the greenhouse lying down in a couple of weeks.

And it has produced three offsets.

The third offset is small and perhaps hard to see, sitting at about the 7 or 8 o'clock position around the banana's stem.

I thought last year when I put it in this large pot that it would be happy there for a few years, but...perhaps not.

The Bromeliads under the big wire-topped bench are very happy. They get a drink of water into their cups every so often, and get dripped on by the others above them as they drain.

Wide-leaved Cordyline 'Miss Andrea' is happy, also pumping out new leaves.

I have lots of flowers on my variegated, orange-flowered Abutilon.

And the beginnings of a flower on brand-new greenhouse resident Alstroemeria 'Rock and Roll.'

Tiny pincushion-like Euphorbia obesa is also a new acquistion.

Begonia boliviensis is finally showing indications that I didn't in fact kill it via neglect over the winter.

Unfortunately I can't say the same for the Bougainvillea that I bought from WeHOP last fall. She is apparently dead as a doornail. No pictures, may she rest in peace.

I added a folding chair and a stepladder. I seldom use the chair, but the stepladder has been useful.

In a few weeks, around Mother's Day (here in the U.S. Mother's Day is in mid-May), many of these greenhouse plants will be moving out into the sunshine for the summer, and the tomatoes and peppers will spend the summer in here getting big and fat and hopefully chock-full of fruit. For a while after that there will be more room in there, so I might re-arrange things and set up the chair and a little table, for those rare moments when I am out in the garden and actually think about resting, which isn't often.

I hope you enjoyed this view inside the greenhouse. I posted as a participant in Helen Johnstone's meme 'The Greenhouse Year.' You can read her post here, and check out the comments, where others may leave links to posts about their greenhouse goings-on as well.


  1. You've made such good use of your new greenhouse already, Alison! I'm envious of all your seedlings - I didn't do well with the seeds I started inside under lights this winter but my direct sown seeds are doing much better. (I just hope we don't get "Death Star" heat too early this year.) I'm going to follow your example with my Brugmansia - it's looking sad right now after taking a beating under recent high winds but I've moved it to a more protected spot and now will add fish emulsion.

  2. I know it's a greenhouse post, but I am excited to notice the progress on your new front garden--yea!!!

  3. I covert your large spacious greenhouse. It's so tidy and you have spare space

  4. That Cordyline is quite something, love the colours in the leaves.

  5. Beautiful plants. The fish emulsion was worth it. The cordy is amazing. I think I need to start some Castor seeds. I love your variety. I know you'll post photos, right? Have a wonderful Easter.

  6. Your plants look very happy to be in that beautiful greenhouse.

  7. That New Zealand castor bean is awesome. I grew it last year from Chiltern's seeds. Enjoy.~~Dee

  8. Looks great. One of these years I am going to grow castor beans at home, so I always say. I like the outside approach to the greenhouse very much.

  9. You are making such good use of your greenhouse, can you even imagine not having it now?

  10. So many beautiful plants inside your greenhouse, they all look healthy and lush. Fish emulsion works wonders on plants. Abutilons are one of my fave plants.

  11. I love these check ins on the greenhouse. I'd probably watch a live stream of the inside if you made one available. And your castor beans, wow!

  12. I can hear how excited you still are to have your greenhouse and why not, it's glorious. Thanks for keeping us updated on what's going on inside there!

  13. Your greenhouse looks so tidy and organised, and love the chandelier too, nice touch!

  14. I love having a nosey in peoples' greenhouses. Yours is packed full of treasures. Thank you for the tour. How lovely to have a Brugmansia in bloom.
    I am intrigued by your fish emulsion. I'm not quite sure what it is but your plants seem to love it. They all look so healthy.

  15. What a wonderful gardeners' playhouse. I didn't even know that Brugmansia was fragrant.

  16. You have such a great space, there! I'm stuck starting seeds under lights and in the window.

  17. Very nice greenhouse. And I love all your plants. Unusual to me, it makes me feel like I just have the commonest ones. Love those brugs. I have been tempted to try them but don't like bringing inside for the winter. But the "bells" are so tempting. Love the way they hang down.

  18. You know how I love a peek into every nook and cranny of a greenhouse.

    Brug -- late summer I plan to take cuttings so I can have early brug blossoms next year. Some of mine are just now thinking about whether to sprout this year.

    Carmencita is the Castor Bean seed I have, saved from some summer back. I think to just direct sow some in the former Red Bed. A man in town had Castor Bean Trees that were more than 20 feet tall in a kind of sheltered location.

    Mama believed in fish emulsion, especially for ferns.

    We had 4 days of rain and distasteful chill. I am so behind.

  19. I enjoy seeing what you are doing with your greenhouse. It looks like a great success so far.

  20. gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous...and throw in a bit of greenhouse envy! impress, Alison.

  21. You need a bigger greenhouse! It's amazing how quickly you have filled it to the brim and all the plants are loving every moment of it. How did you not get a green house sooner? I love seeing all your seed starting too!

  22. If anyone deserves a greenhouse, it is you.

  23. Not sure I like the sound (or rather smell) of the fishy thing, but what a lovely greenhouse you have, so many wonderful foliage plants, all shiny and healthy. I'd love to spend some time browsing around it.


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