When Tom retired full time from teaching he built himself a greenhouse. He built it over the concrete block wall along the property line and used recycled windows from our then church Sunday School building, which he had been storing for some years for that purpose.
Tom likes to propagate fancy leaf geraniums from cuttings and has collected quite a few varieties.
It's time to take cuttings. Tom has spent quite a few hours painting, cleaning, and refreshing his greenhouse in the last month. Then he made a new batch of potting soil using his homemade compost. Next he filled all of the recycled nursery pots and made the cuttings. Here you see them all laid out. They need to harden off for 24 hours before planting. Now they are in the pots and the hope is that at least half will make it through the winter. It is not an exact science.
Tom also likes to start things from seed. He grows all of our tomato plants, plus many to give away. Last year he tried peppers, keeping them in the greenhouse much of the summer. Last year's poblanos were a success so this year he tried out some free seeds for red and yellow peppers. They were all in the greenhouse until mid summer, when it got too hot.We have been enjoying vine ripened tomatoes for a long time now. We're running short of ripe ones. I hope more will have a chance to ripen.
I roast poblanos, dice them and freeze them to add to dishes like shrimp and grits.
The red and yellow ones are sweet peppers and I am trying to be creative and find uses for them, since we don't enjoy them raw so much.
Another plant he likes to propagate are hardy cyclamen. From a few that he purchased years back, new plants are popping up all over, starts he has made and planted out, some spring blooming, some fall blooming.
By October Tom's greenhouse will be filling up with starts from cuttings and over-wintered tender plants. His raised beds will fill up with protected bonsai and volunteer plants he has dug up and potted from around the yard. He doesn't like to throw plants away. My sister's plant sale will again benefit.