A Peek Inside
My greenhouse is not just a growing space, it's a living and working space, too. I have it divided into different areas, each with it's own function.
Just inside the door is my seating area where I can relax during a cold spell or a rainstorm. And past the seating area is bamboo work table with cafe chairs where I sit and work with the plants.
Snug up against the windows is a long, tall tray table where I put all the seedlings once they're transplanted, and right above that are hanging shelves made from slat boards where I keep tender perennials.
Across from the windows there's a pegboard wall that's painted black to retain heat, and a barrel stove to provide the heat.
On the far wall opposite the seating area is an old dresser painted peacock blue that I use for storage, a shelf for my collection of clay pots, and some old washer tubs re-imagined as planters.
The peacock pen borders this wall, and I usually find them gazing longingly through the windows at the greenery inside. And every once in a while they manage to actually sneak inside. I don't blame them--it's an oasis in the middle of winter, and a great place to work and relax!
And who wouldn't want to relax right there? Hard to resist...
One of the most popular herbs I grow on the homestead is lavender. I grow it everywhere I can because I can't get enough of the silvery stalks, the lovely purple blooms, and the lovely fragrance wafting through the air. Not only that, but it's a main ingredient in my body products. So I need to grow it everywhere. And I plant more every year.
But lavender doesn't grow well from seed for me. I've solved this problem by rooting lavender cuttings. In late summer I grab a pair of clippers, fill a small bucket with water and head off toward the lavender patch. I find a young pliable stalk and clip off the top 3-4 inches. I immediately plunge the cutting in the bucket of water and keep it there until the bucket is full.
Then I take it into the greenhouse where I dip the wet stalk ends in rooting hormone before sticking them in shallow trays filled with sandy soil. Disposable muffin tins work well for this. I place the trays of cuttings on the upper shelves in the greenhouse, and they stay right there through the winter. As long as they're kept moist, they'll develop roots and be ready for planting by Spring. This has been a great way for me to expand my lavender patches without the frustration of starting them from seeds. And the best part is that it's inexpensive!
My greenhouse gets a lot of use, mainly due to our crazy Ozark weather. It serves as a shelter for cuttings and seedlings, as a space to over-winter tender plants, and even has a small seating area for use as a sun room.