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As a geriatric newbie I would appreciate advice on how to make the most of my retirement gift greenhouse. Ihave been a bit trigger happy and have already planted out my seed raised plants. I have chillies,peppers , several basils,tomatoes cucumber and aubergine, all pretty well established. I would like to have a floral/foliage display on and beneath the staging. Any ideas?

My eight year old grand-daughter and I are learning as we go (Mostly from my mistakes). So, we would appreciate advice on what would work here in the heart of Gods country, the North East of England.

Not sure if this the correct Topic- I am as unskilled with computers as I am with the garden.



Hi reiver

The most important thing is to get a seat in the greenhouse for tea breaks and thinking. Sounds as though you're doing Ok on the plant raising side. Isn't retirement wonderful 

Wish I was you, how nice to receive a GH as a retirement gift.

You already sound knowledgable with the stuff you are growing, I can't for the life of me get basil to grow in there. How big is the GH and what type of plants do you like.   

Hi reiver, I'm a relative newbie to gardening myself so will let the more experienced answer your question, but happy retirement and enjoy your learning, there's some great helpers on here 


Thanks all.

The GH is 10x6 . I have over watered and have had to rescue several trays. I do get advice from a neighbour. we stand and discuss manly things over the fence

As I tell his wife, it's not gossip, it's the garden university.

Any way the next thing to learn is PATIENCE.!!!!

As my mum used to say

Patience is a virtue

Possess it if you can.

Seldom in a woman.

Never in a man!

HEY HO Time to go and NOT water anything.


Thanks again folks



Woodgreen wonderboy

I have a small long wave radio so's I can listen to test match special, and a small table for my flask of tea. Oh yes... and some plants. I will grow a couple of Tom. plants in large pots inside this year to try to avoid the dreaded blight.These are the varieties you don't have to pinch out. Also some new potatoes in even larger pots for the same reason. I am growing cosmos for planting out later  and some chrysanthemums. Half of my g'house is in fact for alpines... but that is another story.

Have fun...


How lovely reiver.  If you're anything like me the greenhouse will soon become your sanctuary.  Unfortunately I'm a long way off retirement, but I absolutely love popping in to my greenhouse first thing in the morning and as soon as I get in from work. A much welcome place for some peace and quiet away from computers, phones and meetings. Like woodgreen wonderboy, a radio is essential, as is a place for a cuppa. It's my first year of being a proud and happy owner.  I was wondering if courgettes and runner beans can be grown in one or do they do better outside?  Ooh and aubergines too.  Like you, I am guilty of overwatering.  

I reckon I can physically feel my stress levels drop when I step inside mine!  Love it!

Betty Brown Eyes

Hi Riever

I too am a novice GH owner, it was supposed to be my hubby's hobby but he prefers the piano! We got the GH(4'x6') last year so I am slowly learning and loving the do's and dont's. I am also a little too keen with the watering can, I also prod and poke the soil of seedlings when they don't emerge as fast as I think they should, just looking for a shoot! I grow Basil, Coriander, Mint,(dead easy) Parsley,green beans, Tomatoes (Rosada and Sungold), also flowers, Cosmos, Marigolds, Sunflowers,pansys,primulas. Thats all i can fit in!! Im sure you will enjoy your retirement and the special time that is all yours.Let us know how you get on


Woodgreen wonderboy

Hi Toot.  Like you this is my first year of having a proper Gh, apart from the little plastic jobbies, which are good. I have gardened for more than 40 years and I am kicking myself for not having one before...aaaaargh.

I move indoor cacti in there when the weather warms up and sow biennials in the GH August/September time ready for planting out later in the season other than that it's mainly the usual veg... toms, peppers, chillies and aubergines. I'm going to grow yard long red noodles in there this year for a first  

Can't help with suggestions for a floral/foliage display, I'm sure another poster will be along to make suggestions though. 

Happy gardening...


Next year (too late for this one) I'm going to try melons!  I'm told some varieties work very well in greenhouses.

For floral displays, what about some of the plants that will be good companions for your veg?  Say marigolds to help distract pests from the tomatoes?

And I'd suggest going for fragrance - to make your heavenly nest just that little more heavenly! 

Whatever you do, enjoy it - let us know how you get on...



They say the best things come to those who wait Woodgreen!  I'm banking on mine saving me some money; not because I'm growing things to eat, but because I don't want to go on holiday and miss out on my greenhouse time!  

Ooooh, and isn't it fab when it starts raining outside and you're all tucked up with the tomatoes?! 


Hi, hello Reiver. Good size greenhouse. Don't bother with tea, make a shady area under racking for a glass of wine.

I don't have flowers in mine other than to germinate, and to overwinter tender ones. How about sewing a planter / trough of cut & grow lettuce, good time to do it and it can go outside pretty soon.

Enjoy your retirement, what a pressie!


Thanks all-

I have marigolds pelagoriums,cerinthe(dead easy), and some unamed house plants that needed rescueing.

I have raised ,zinnnias, antirrhinums,rudbeckia, schithanus (grand-daughter shows off with that one), asters,achillae, gypsophilia and marigolds. Early potatoes are well away, onions, garlic and leeks coming along nicely. The chives and salad onions are a production line and we are on our second pot of carrots(G-daughter loves to eat these straight from the pot) I would not garden if I could not grow beetroot and we had suprise, in that the rhubarb I killed last year is thriving!!

I have very little space in my garden and have planted pots en masse in one space. Hostas add foliage and I hope the taller flowers will enhance the overall effect. The neglected lilies are again ready to bloom. It seems that I would do better by developing a hands-off approach.

The real success has been the heucheras and alpines I bought(

They are thriving. I need to rearrange the heucheras next year but they are lovely.

I will take some "Work-in-progress" pix and will probably have to ask my 8yr old foreman how to upload them

KEF- I love the way you think.

TOOTLES- I agree, I do have a small radio, a birthday gift from my son(He was feeling guilty for promoting his daughter to be my foreman). I either listen to the glorious music of Classic FM or or argue with the RADIO4.


No gardening today-wet miserable. Family away to York. Not for me , not at half term Definitely "Grumpy Grandad"

Rose "Darcy Bushell" is budding up nicely and the cinnaria is going to give a silver base to allow her to show her best(I hope).

Chrysanths are 50/50. I may have to resow or buy plants.

I look forward to the warmer days when I can sit and listen to the music or the TEST and make amateurish blobs with my watercolours.

Retirement is great- No annual reviews- no targets(Except self set).

I can enjoy being selfish ( I suspect I always was).

Back to the books- I need to select plants with perfume for the G/H and More insect friendly types for next years garden. Trouble is -- I WANT THEM ALL.

Now then, where is the corkscrew?



Hey reiver - I'm trying to grow gypsophila this year for the first time (for daughter's wedding in our garden, I need industrial quantities of the stuff!!!)

Can you give me any advice on it?  My plants are now outdoors in pots, about 12 inches high, looking terribly floppy and no sign of anything that looks like flowers yet - do you think I should worry?


Hi Rosie31

The Gypsophilia I have I grew from seed. It seems to be the most recalcitrant and uninspiring seedling. It flops around like a truculent teenager and sulks if moved , transplanted, watered or neglected.

I had some crowded in a pot -- died.

Some in individual pots -- look like sad weeds and making little progress.

I have some in the garden- they sulked initially but now seem to be ready to do their thing.

All I can suggest is patience and have lots of spares.

Isn't being "Mother of the Bride" stressful enough without opting to do the flowers I recommend a benevolent, proud and slightly tearful smile, accompanied with a glass of champagne


Thank you Reiver - so good to know that my gyps are not the only ones that are sulking!  I shall give them a stern talking to and tell them that they will be grounded if I don't see an improvement in their attitude soon.  Perhaps I shall move their pots next to the cosmos, who are being entirely delightful and obliging, to show them the sort of behaviour I expect in return for all my TLC.

Oh yes, the DIY flowers concept seemed like SUCH a good idea at the time! To be fair, we are getting a professional to do the really important bits (bouquet etc) but I thought I'd have a shot at the table centres and so on.  The reception is in a marquee in our garden, so it seems like a good idea to bring the garden into the tent!  But I am only too willing to fall back on local florist at the last minute if it all provesc too much.  More importantly, I have been practicing the proud and tearful smile in front of mirror since January, and am now looking to get in some serious practice with the champagne.  I think a few bottles between now and the end of July should be enough - just - to perfect the 'raise to the lips and sip with right degree of mother-of-the-brideness, don't you think? 

All great fun!  Right, now I'm going outside to have a chat with the gypsophila.... .


Well done. May I please request pictures of the floral display --- and --- The Hat

I to live in gods country Durham I find if I put my finger into the compost and it comes out with compost sticking to it they dont need watering and vice aversa  BOB