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My greenhouse by Nicola Lindsay

By Nicola Lindsay, a proud Hartley Botanic greenhouse owner.

Although I use the greenhouse for potting up and caring for my plants, it is very much a sunny retreat and a lovely place to have a cup of coffee with a friend. A Victorian table and two chairs (which we painted green to match their environment) were bought with this activity in mind! A hidden radio is tuned to a Classical music station. So, with the perfume of lilies, Nicotiana and Jasmine and the soothing sounds from the radio and a good cup of coffee, all our needs are catered for!

Nicola Lindsay having tea

We used terracotta and white Victorian style tiles for the floor, in keeping with the appearance of the greenhouse. Our cat likes to stretch out on them and enjoys their warmth on a cold day. I use rain water for the Venus fly trap, Saracenias and the Gardenia and for general misting in hot weather. The vine, (which was miss-labelled and should have produced a white grape, has red fruit) is planted in the bed against the back wall, along with the Jasmine and the Goji berry and the nasturtium. Instead of using fly sprays, I planted two Saracenias and a Venus Fly Trap, which are slightly gruesome but do a great job in keeping down the fly and woodlice population!

Nicola Lindsay in greenhouse

I am particularly fond of white or cream flowered plants, as you can see from my choice of Gardenia, Jasmine, Nicotiana and Solanum. And I love the scent of the Jasmine and lilies as I work or simply sit, reading a book or chatting to a friend. I absolutely adore figs, so I’m hoping the fig tree will really get going for its second summer here and I’m also counting on the Goji berry to earn its keep – it’s grown like mad so perhaps it will bear fruit too.

Morning Glory in the greenhouse

The first year I had the greenhouse, I was so thrilled with it, I went a little mad and when all the seeds started germinating, I couldn’t bear to throw any away. The result was that I ended up with a hoard of tomatoes, courgettes and aubergines; so many that there wasn’t room to move. This year I am determined to be a little more sensible!


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Plants in Nicola Lindsay's greenhouse

White Jasmine
Fig – Brown Turkey
Tomatoes – ‘Shirley’ and ‘Money Maker
Courgette – ‘Ambassador’
White Solanum
Venus Fly Trap
Cymbidium Orchid
White Nicotiana
Yellow Nasturtium
Begonia – several hanging varieties
Saracenia Oreophila
Sarracenia flava