Wrapping gifts is easy… try a greenhouse

Boy oh boy do we have a damn good chuckle to share with you guys today… this weekend… we wrapped the greenhouse. Yup, you read that correctly, we WRAPPED THE GREENHOUSE.

OK let’s go back to the start… it will all make sense that way.

For you guys who have been following our adventures all this time (jeesh since 2012), one of the things you will know is that winter can be a pretty bleak time here at Ar Bruadair. We were learning to garden as we went so it took a few years to get the hang of what could or couldn’t survive a Scottish winter and about which plants offered colour over winter and… what type of colour.

We have, to be fair, come a long way since then and this year’s learning curve is about how we can effectively get one over on mother nature. So this year, we’ve done a lot of research and work on winter and growing or at least keeping things going over winter, especially, stopping our hydrangea from getting frost damage as they usually get absolutely ravaged by frost.

We tried fleecing them, but it really didn’t seem to make all that much difference, and last year was the first year that we took them into the greenhouse for protection- which was no easy feat – but they still got frost damage. Not as much but enough that we lost a lot of the new buds which had formed. So what can we do?

Roll on 2020 – this year we it is a full on battle and we are determined to win. So………

It all started with the usual, end of the season (October) clean out of the greenhouse, chop down the tomatoes and peppers and clear out anything in the greenhouse. Once it’s empty it’s the big soapy water game. Clean, clean, clean.

I am still amazed by how much quicker and easier it is to clean a glass greenhouse than a polycarbonate one. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of that.

Knackered – we took a break for lunch.

Then the fun started. So… basically, the idea is this. Over winter, the greenhouse is quite cold, especially at night. Now without installing heating (which is not happening), I can’t really do much to make it warmer in there by anything of a sizeable degree. What I may be able to do though is make it a frost-free zone. So that’s our focus. It’s a bit of an old gardener’s take, and I don’t know if it will actually work, but we have basically covered the inside of the greenhouse in bubble wrap with the hopes of adding a degree or two of insulation against the Scottish winter.

It was hilarious though, I kept losing Kate in amongst the screeds of bubble wrap and we both just kept laughing like maniacs.

It was hilarious though, I kept losing Kate in amongst the screeds of bubble wrap and we both just kept laughing like maniacs.

So in there now, I have one of all my tender herbs, and I also have backup plants on the kitchen window ledge. The hope is that we can keep having fresh herbs over winter. I’ve also got my cuttings and bits and bobs in there. Finger’s crossed.

By the end of next week, the smaller hydrangeas will be moving into the greenhouse in the hope of protecting them, although a couple are just too big so we will be wrapping them in bubble wrap (their own personal greenhouses/cloches. We will of course keep you all up to date on how this all works out. But so far, the temperature readings have been really interesting.

They have always been a bit up and down, understandably because it gets really warm in there on a sunny day and the nights are proper cold now but over the last week, we’ve really seen a bit of stability. Still hot and cold but just with less of the peaks and troughs. One to watch I think.

Although… I’m not sure how this is all going to reverse, cause come spring… we need to take it all down again.

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  1. I have just had a Rhino installed and I also live in Scotland. It has been so helpful getting your hints and tips as I am an absolute newbie to all of this, especially appreciate the Scottish slant as some English advice just doesn’t work up here.
    Love the videos and your winter automatic vent sorting video was exactly what I was looking for.
    Thank you

  2. I’m so chuffed that you are finding the videos and blog useful Sue. The whole Scottish advice thing was exactly why I started doing this, when I first started gardening I was trying to follow the lovely Monty’s timings for planting and as you can imagine… there were many dead plants and unfruitful sowings 🙁

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