Friday, May 17, 2013

Finally..... A Dream Come True....

Dreams are funny things.  Things happening during the day can become all mixed up together at night in your head as part of a vivid dream that almost seems real. 

I don't know that I've ever really had a dream about a greenhouse, but I have certainly spent a lot of time thinking and dreaming about having one, and wondering when the day would come when we could actually afford to buy a greenhouse.

Well, this weekend my dream actually did come true... But first.... you may remember how I started seeds indoors back in March.  Well... many of them came up, but some of them didn't.  I had a problem with the peat moss seed start pots. Those pots were horrible, and began to grow a fungus, and I ended up throwing it all away.  The seeds I started in the plastic 36-cells grew just fine.  Here below is a picture of what I was able to plant this week from the seeds I started indoors a few weeks ago. 

I was able to plant kale, spinach, broccoli and dill.  Because they like colder weather, I planted them outside in these large wooden barrels with southern exposure. 

I thought I would show you a few pictures of how spring is looking here at my house.  I planted these petunias a couple of weeks ago when we were still getting frost almost every night.  They survived! I never brought them in at night, but just got up early enough before the sun hit them, and watered them, and they have not only survived, but have thrived!

And here are my brave tulips!  They finally popped their heads and announced to the world the arrival of spring.  They haven't had an easy go of it.  Annie loves the dirt that they are planted in, and I know a few of my tulips were eaten by Annie before they even poked their heads up very far.  These three luckily made it... at least long enough to bloom.

WHAT HAPPENED?  One morning my three brave tulips were showing off their beauty, and the next morning I came out here to see this.... WHO could have been the culprit?

Ah yes... my sweet innocent looking Annie was the culprit... how do I know?

Just check out this rose bush that I received from my son for Mother's Day.  I had planted it in a beautiful pot.   Found my lovely rose bush just lying scattered on the ground outside all tore up and half destroyed.  I put it back in the pot... but I'm not sure if it will be able to survive the destructive force that chewed it up! :(

Annie had chewed off all the new growth on the rose bush, and just the stubs were left after her "dirty" work was finished.  What a bad little girl she can be... but looks as innocent as can be.  I've spanked her with a newspaper but .... I'm afraid for my plants, very afraid.  What to do to keep her from eating my plants!  She is still just one year old, another year to go before the chewing stops... oh my!  Lord give me patience!

Moving on to other parts of my yard... here are some other things I've been doing since the sun decided to come out and play!

I found these two ancient green tackle boxes at a  yard sale recently for 25 cents a piece! What a steal!  I knew immediately how they were going to be re-purposed in my yard!

I've found the old ladder also at a yard sale for a song and a dance... and it's now displaying my tackle boxes turned flower pots!  Can't you see that I'm just having too much fun outside with my flowers... just hoping Annie doesn't decide the plants need to go fishing!

Here are two hanging baskets that I received for Mother's Day from my dearest husband.  I've still got them inside the greenhouse, because the nights are still very cool, and we had one night of frost this week, got down to 28 or 29 degrees here.  So, I am patiently waiting until after Memorial Day to hang these outside, as all the locals around here say that is when you are usually safe to begin planting flowers and plants outside without fear of frost.

Oh greenhouse... did you just hear me say that! OH YES!  I did finally get my greenhouse that my husband had been promising me for a while now. MY DREAM HAS FINALLY COME TRUE!!

It was my BIG Mother's Day present (I helped with it of course!) But, my son and husband worked most diligently to get the greenhouse up and ready for me to have fun with.  In the picture above, you can see my heat lamp mounted on a PVC pipe that is concreted into a coffee can.  This arrangement has been working perfectly, to keep the temperatures moderate in the greenhouse during our cold nights.  I also have a fan blowing in the greenhouse to keep the air moving, and from becoming stagnant. 

This was the temperature inside my greenhouse late in the evening, when the sun had already set and temperatures were dropping.  Things are looking up for my plants!!!

Here are some flowers that I've got growing in the cell grower.  The zinnias (seeds given to me by a friend in Texas - thanks R!)  sprouted up almost overnight, after I put them in the greenhouse.  They are just loving this new greenhouse! 

These are the plants that I started in the plastic seed cells that had grown big enough to put into the ground.  I was able to plant beas, peans, and squash right into the ground from seeds that I had started.  The area we chose to put the greenhouse had previously been a garden, and it didn't take much work to get the soil ready to accept the plants. 

My pumpkin seeds are coming up beautifully.  Going to get them just a little bigger before I find a happy place for them too.

Here is a picture of the greenhouse that we put up this past weekend.  It is made up of five cattle panels which are arched and held in the ground by tent stakes on one side, and Y-ties on the other side, attached to the wire fence.

We used Y-ties to attach the plastic to the cattle panels, and then placed rocks around the edges to further hold down the plastic.  My husband also stretched some cord over the plastic in intervals to further secure the plastic from catching the wind.  Lastly, we dug up earth on either side of the greenhouse, and will be banking the sides of the greenhouse with that extra dirt. 

Not a terribly fancy greenhouse, and certainly not as pretty as some I've seen... but... for my first greenhouse, this makes me very, very happy.  I added up the cost, and here is what I came up with:

6 cattle panels @ $22.99 each = $137.94
1 pkg 6 mil plastic + 1 pkg 4 mil plastic = $50.00
Y-ties pkg of 100 - $4.00
Comes to a total of $191.94, but I had some coupons that I was able to use, and saved $15.00, so my overall cost for this project was about $175.00... not bad for a 24' long x 5.2' high x 8' wide greenhouse that is portable, and movable, if necessary.  Most greenhouses I've seen are much, much smaller than this one, and triple or quadruple the price.  Makes me one very happy gal!

Added to my Mother's Day delight was a special card from my daughter, and beautiful flowers from my husband in addition to the greenhouse, and hanging plants, and a beautiful (now half-eaten) rose bush from my son... which makes for the most amazing Mother's Day ever... What a blessed woman I am!  

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