In the Coop on Saturday: A Few More than Six

Noelle recently asked if I could perhaps show the contents of the Coop and my working greenhouse on Six on Saturday sometime, so today we have the latter. It’s not particularly exciting just now, as even though I aim to have plants of interest all year round, it means that as well as things in flower there will generally be some things winding down too. There is a useful selection of terracotta pots under the staging, though, mostly bought from homeware store Wilkinsons or Morrisons supermarket, particularly when reduced at the end of the season. One year I was even able to add to my stock with some surprisingly good quality ones from one of the local pound (£) shops. It’s wonderful to have some streptocarpus still flowering though, although today I have brought them into the house for the first time to minimise any heating needed in the Coop.

The Coop is a lean-to greenhouse, so the pink wall is the side of the house, taken advantage of to train Hardenbergia violacea ‘Happy Wanderer’, which should sport a good sprinkling of (disappointingly) small purple flowers over winter. It was repotted earlier this year after a couple of seasons of non-flowering, upon which it seemed to be on the point of turning its toes up altogether; an email to the specialist nursery I bought it from triggered the recommendation of a different compost, and fairly quickly it perked up again and soon began producing leaves on dried-out stems, as well as numerous new shoots.

Also moved into the house is a small collection of young clivia, some grown from seed. You can just see a fading nerine bloom from one of 4 or 5 pots. The nerine pots will go under the staging now the foliage is beginning to die down.

In the process of being moved under the staging are pots of eucomis, the huge white bloom being that of Eucomis pole-evansii, flopping over now the steam is weakening. On the upper shelf are pots of tulbaghia which, being semi-evergreen, will remain where they can be seen; one of them flowers over winter too. Next to the eucomis are two greenhouse ‘fantasy’ chrysanthemums, with which I have a love-hate relationship; they have struggled this year, but are now beginning to produce a few blooms (IAVOM spoiler alert!).

About half a dozen pelargoniums are on the higher shelf on the other side of the Coop, against the wall; I fully intend to trim these back this year and allow them to go dormant, something I forgot to do last year and which they definitely did not thank me for. The little window is for a shower room and toilet, and the only way we could fit a worthwhile size of greenhouse into the space was by allowing the window to open into it.

We must have had the Coop for about 4 years and one of its first occupants was a pot of carnivorous sarracenia, now desperately needing re-potting. Next to it is new acquisition Oxalis spiralis ‘Sunset Velvet’, one of a number of plants recommended by UK nurseryman Bob Brown for winter interest in a cool greenhouse.

There are one or two other things I have not shown, including early spring flowering bellevalia, Tropaeolum tricolor and hippeastrum, but there are also pots of winter flowering narcissus and forced hyacinth as well as crocus, iris and dainty Narcissus bulbicodium, the latter already showing signs of growth.

I have not counted my photographic contribution today, but I know it is more than six!- hopefully Six on Saturday’s host Jim of Garden Ruminations will forgive me. Do visit his blog for no doubt more concise contributions.

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21 Responses to In the Coop on Saturday: A Few More than Six

  1. Rosie Amber says:

    Thanks you, it was lovely to see all your plants.

  2. Jim Stephens says:

    Actually, I’m only making it six, so you’re in the clear with me. You’ve a fair bit of overlap with me plantwise in your greenhouse, I hope I’ll be showing off Narcissus bulbocodium and Tropaeolum tricolor at some point, the latter is growing inches every day. I must dig up my Eucomis too, thanks for the reminder.

    • Cathy says:

      Oops, I have counted, and it’s only six because there are two I forgot to include (including one of the narcissus, etc that I referred to) – there are now eight!!

  3. tonytomeo says:

    Clivia miniata all seems to be Belgian hybrids nowadays. Seed seems to be rare. My colleague down south found an odd selection of seedlings of various shades of orange and yellow for his own garden. (He used Belgian hybrids for work.) Since they are seedlings, I suspect that they may produce seed later. I miss the feral sorts that naturalized in unrefined portions of landscapes in Southern California. I find the Belgian hybrids to be rather garish.

    • Cathy says:

      That’s intriguing – some of mine have come from specialist Hoyland Plants and I will check their website again, but I am fairly sure they do a lot of their own crosses. None of mine have flowered yet, but one is a yellow variety and another is green – and one is a mystery as I took the seed from a plant at a property we stayed at about 4 years ago… I am hopeful it might flower next year!

  4. janesmudgeegarden says:

    I enjoyed reading about your greenhouse. Hardenbergia grows wild here in very poor but well drained soil. We see glimpses of it along the side of the road and in the bush as we drive along. The flowers have been outstanding this spring as we’ve had so much rain.

  5. Pauline says:

    What a fantastic collection of terracotta pots you have! I’m always on the lookout for more but they are hard to find round here.

    • Cathy says:

      Wilkinsons have a range of sizes during the season, plus pot saucers – but it would probably be worth ordering them for pick up to make sure. Morrisons have very reasonable big terracotta pots, always reduced at the end of season. When we went to Ireland a few years ago they had them reduced in the Morrisons on Anglesey so we bought several on the way back in case they had sold out at our local store (they hadn’t)!

  6. Cathy says:

    I have brought my scented pelargoniums into the house, but perhaps that is too warm for them. Do you stop watering them completely in winter? It is a lovely space you have there for special plants. 😃

    • Cathy says:

      I think I aim to water them about once a month – must check, and do my cutting back too – persistently wet here today, so it would have been a good opportunity to do it today, although I think it may well be a wet week

  7. Heyjude says:

    You have a lovely collection of terracotta pots there Cathy. I struggle to find any around here.

  8. Noelle says:

    Thanks for the tour Cathy, loved the pots all clean and nicely stacked.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Noelle, I will confess to being in the routine of always washing pots and trays soon after they are emptied, although not in an OCD way I hasten to add – just stops them building up!

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