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This is the looking back bit.
In my previous blog, I insulated the greenhouse and did a general tidy up, getting ready for winter and spring.
In this episode I would like to take you back to the spring and summer of this year and last. As I’ve said previously I spent a lot of money last year on plugs, pots, compost etc.
This year I’m going for mainly seeds, and making the displays for the bowling green from the results. ( I hope ).
I have entered the bowling green into the local " In Bloom " competitions for the last 4 years , in the business and public spaces section. We came 2ND. in the first year, getting a Silver, we won in our second year (gold), we were 2ND last year ( gold ), and this year we came 5Th, getting a silver. The winner was a large factory with a frontage of regimental beds, it looked like it was looked after by a professional garden maintenance company, call it sour grapes, but, we don’t really stand a chance against these places but we will endeavour to try.

These are mainly plugs, geraniums, trailing geraniums, petunias, doubles, singles, and trailing, begonias, also with seedling of cosmos, snapdragons, tagettes, and a few other bits and pieces.

This year I had the benefit of the “new” greenhouse, with electric heating and lights..

The “old” greenhouse was heated, when needed, by an old paraffin heater which was given to me by an old chap up the road. Its old but does the job, its got 2 wicks, so burns quite a lot of fuel when its really cold.

One of the main reasons I wanted to put the lights in was to get early blooms, as the judges for the competition come to look in the first two weeks of July normally, however this year they were a week later. The lights are “sun lights” , and what I tried to do was rotate all the trays around, top to bottom, every evening. I turned the lights on for 2 hours every night, hoping to get results. I kept one tray back and let them grow naturally, so as I could see if it made a difference .
Here are two plants, one with the light and the other without. Spot the difference.

So, it was working. Then I realised one mistake I had made. PEAT POTS. Well they’re not made of peat, but made of recycled cardboard and the like.
These things are a pain in the b*m. The only reason I used them was to keep cost down, plus they were a nice size to fit into trays. I was buying 5 plastic trays from the £1 shop, and these “peat pots” worked out cheaper.
I had over 2000 plug plants on the go, and just couldn’t get the watering right with these “peat pots”, so eventually I ended up transferring the plants to trays and normal pots. The cardboard pots went rotten quick, and the mildew started to affect the plants, I most probably lost about 10%. Lesson learned.

When the plants are ready I pot them on and also plant straight out into the gardens surrounding the green.
I normally make up a couple of Busy Lizzie planters out of laundry baskets.

Here are a few pictures of the displays and the garden around the green. It’s nearby a large housing estate and a railway station, so we get loads of people passing by every day, and the compliments are worth the while.
I’ve included some pictures from previous years. Hope you like them.

I tried a “new” variety of climbing petunia, they reached about 4’ in the end.

A couple of years ago I made some wooden planters from old bits of wood lying about which then gave me an idea for this year. I knew a chap who was closing his building supply shop down and he offered me some odd bits of skirting board for nothing, so after a bit of planning, head scratching, applying fence preserver, this was the result.

I sold a few of these for £20, which included the tray and plants.

My OH, Julie, tends to look after our display in the back garden, we haven’t got any flower beds, so we stick to the pots and containers. Here are a few pictures of this summer just gone. ( I don’t know where she gets her ideas from! LOL.)

These are the wooden planters at the green.

Well thats about it.
Really looking forward to the new year, Happy gardening and winter well everyone. X

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You've worked with great dedication to get all your plants finally into bloom and I can see why passing folk would be complimentary with your efforts. Looking very cheery and colourful, LL.

You've got your greenhouse all kitted out very well and I hope you have a successful year once again, growing, planning and planting :)

16 Nov, 2010


what a lot of hard work, glad you put this on, when you see a display you dont always appreciate the hours of dedication that go into it
all the very best.

16 Nov, 2010


I really enjoyed this,and your displays are wonderful...Congratulations on your successes,,you deserve them:o))

16 Nov, 2010


A brilliant blog :o)
Wonderful displays.
You should have got 1st prize lol

I like your lit up greenhouse very much, and I thought Julie's pots gave a riot of colour :o)

Interesting about the 2 plants grown with light and no light ...

16 Nov, 2010


I agree with everything Hywel just said ... exactly what I was thinking! Well done to you both for all the effort you put in. : o ))

16 Nov, 2010


Well done agree with Hywel and Shirley.

17 Nov, 2010


Crikey, what a lot of effort you put in!

17 Nov, 2010


Its great to see such dedication and effort, thought your displays look great, especially the planters that you made.

17 Nov, 2010


Absolutely fantastic what a lot of hard work but so worth it looking at the end results

19 Nov, 2010


Thankyou all for your wonderful comments.

20 Nov, 2010


Smashing blog.. well done :o)

20 Nov, 2010

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