a burgundy zine

Our Greenhouse in Southern England by Simon Holding

By: Simon Holding

Simon Holding’s greenhouse in Southern England

Source: Not You Mate

Simon Holding of Not You Mate shares his experiences gardening in Southern England

Source: Not You Mate

I’m sure when you think of English gardens, you think of gorgeous perfect gardens – ha! Ours is nothing like that. Compared to American gardens, I guess ours is rather smaller than yours!

When we moved into our present house a few years ago, one of the plus points was a greenhouse already located in the back garden. This was something I had always been keen on, and we had previously grown vegetables in our old house back garden – but a greenhouse was an interesting proposition.

Now we always keep things ultra basic: seeds in a pot with some soil/compost, give it some water… We wait and see what happens, then everything that grows goes into bigger pots in the greenhouse or into the garden soil beds. Our success rate is well above 50% – which is fine, they are only a few seeds, after all.

We regularly grow tomatoes, chilli plants, peppers, cucumbers and runner beans. These are all relatively easy.

We have grown Gigantimo Tomatoes, these are the massive ones, and they were fun. We could have done them better with a bit more care and time, though.

We try to do a couple different types of tomatoes each year, just to see what happens.

Now that we have two young children, we tell them to pick the red tomatoes only. This confuses them sometimes, as some of the tomatoes they pick are good as yellow or green!

Our greenhouse is 6ft x 8ft, glass around an aluminium frame – I’m assuming it’s at least 25-years old – but it works for us very well. We don’t both paint the outside glass white for early summer, we just rely on the glass heating the plants to accelerate their growth.

Supermarket vegetables don’t come anywhere near as tasty as home grown ones!

So even if you have no idea on growing vegetables, just have a go!

Another aspect of nature within our household are our pet guinea pigs and we have been very lucky in having another two litters arrive this month. Four were born on the 11th from Plato, and then Aristotle delivered four the 20th. They have all been enjoying the sunshine out on the grass!

Gotta love nature on whatever it both throws to you and offers you.


Bug’s Two Cents

Simon, thank you for another wonderful post! I’m always happy to hear about your guinea pigs and read about them on your blog, but I had no idea you had a green thumb, as well. Guess gardening and animals kinda go hand in hand though, right?

I’ve often daydream of the days in which I’ll have a greenhouse of my own. Actually, my most vivid daydreams involve tending to a conservatory of my own.

For the time being, I’m pretty content with cramming house plants and fruit trees along my windowsills, garden window, and bay window, but I’d love to have an entire space dedicated to gardening.

Congratulations on the baby guinea pigs and good luck gardening this year! Wishing you a fruitful harvest with some very juicy tomatoes.


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