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More furniture for the green house

 by Francescso Zezza

With the end of summer coming closer (regrettably I have to add) I had to face the truth that the way green house was arranged last year left too much to be desired. Actually, the only target which was reached (even though it was the main one!) was to offer shelter to cacti and succulents. However, there were quite a few things that called for a revaluation and rearrangement (e.g. reaching a plant placed in the background many times resulted in a full scale operation)

Furthermore:

  • Seedlings have grown - from seeds collected in Mexico and from plants I already had in my collection such as Astrophytum ornatum and Astrophytum miriostigma (a.k.a. the “bishop cap”) - both in size and number (of plants/pots).
  • Many other plants have grown (absolutely normal when well kept) and some have been propagated (from cuttings) = more pots to shelter.
  • Late in August there have been (for the very first time in, at least, five years) some addictions to my collection (picture will follow) and namely (TWO Uebelmannia pectinifera, ONE Astrophytum capricornae (as a matter of fact Astrophytum is a genus I like a lot), ONE Astrophytum asterias (again …), and ONE Turbinicarpus kinkleriaus). All small specimens, but …. one of the Uebelmannia and the Turbinicarpus were already, upon purchase, “nested” (this meaning more plants contained – having naturally propagated, in the same pot) which calls for more space in the near future.

To make a long story short the matter was perfectly clear (to me) … time to think (a.k.a.: project/built) more furniture for the greenhouse has come … When I studied the situation closely, the main topics were clear:

1)       Two piece of furniture were needed and supposed to be: wood made (I like wood since it is cheap and easy to work with), easy to project, build, paint and whatever else was needed (since I always lack “spare time” ...)

a.       Will be placed, respectively, on left/right sides as we enter the greenhouse

2)      Designed to contain both plants I already have in single pots as well as seedling coming form germinating trays, having been moved or not to separate  (small) pots.

a.       Were – then - supposed to help the already existing furniture in handling pots and plants

b.       Reducing the number of pots laying on the floor and making winter maintenance as easy as possible.

c.       Offering more sheltering room for few, new (really selected) plants/pots (I wish I could!!!).

I think this gives you an idea on the draft project. Following that, a draft (not that accurate I have to admit) drawing was prepared (see below) and a carpenter was asked to perform the “sawing game” (thus preparing the actual pieces). After purchasing the screws I found out that an electric screwdriver …was absolutely necessary, so I bought it and then came back home.

Here comes the drawing (for those actually interested in details, all others can skip directly to the pictures of the two finished pieces of furniture).

 

The left part of the drawing refers to a larger furniture placed on right side (entering the greenhouse, yes I chanced my mind on the go …). The same is true for the stuff shown on the right which was actually placed on the left. Here come the pictures (taken in the basement where one of our cars is usually parked) showing the result of my efforts:

 

At this point some short explanation are – I think – due, here we go:

1)       Largest Ferocatus (actually Ferocactus peninsulae. Possibly reclassified, gotta check …), pot placement. Size of plant/pot (roughly 70 cm high) asked for a “dedicated” spot.

2)      Middle sized (mixed) pots placement.

3)      1st seedlings/plantlets (plastic) tray placement.

4)      Middle/large (mixed) pots placement.

5)      Middle/large (mixed) pots placement (same as previous point).

6)      Small sized (mixed) pots or 2nd seedlings/plantlets (plastic) tray placement.

7)      Small sized (mixed) pots or 3rd seedlings/plantlets (plastic) tray placement.

8)      Small sized (mixed) pots or 4th seedlings/plantlets (plastic) tray placement.

Last addition (not pictured) has been a LARGE “rubbish bin” 50* 50 cm (footprint) * 70 (total height)  used as a “soil reservoir” (for re-potting plants) and a cylindrical canister with a diameter and height of 50 cm in case any cold water fish/plant require an unexpected shelter for whatsoever reason … after all I’m an aquarist).

And here are a few pictures of what’s going on (right now, Sept. 2005) “inside” the greenhouse:

 

The large (above mentioned) Ferocactus (sheltered) in its place once the setting of the green house has been upgraded (it has – on top – room for further growth).

 

This image is offered simply to demonstrate that plant-keepers (the same way fish-keepers do) need to be PATIENT! This is how the (pictured) cutting looked one year ago: rather different, isn’t it?

 

The top shelf (at our right as we enter the greenhouse) carrying many seedlings/cuttings from Mexico and (bigger rounded pot) Brazil. All plantlets were obtained (I will report how, sooner or later …) as seeds and are aged one to four years.

  

Detail of growing (Mexican) seedlings after being put in soil here in Italy (summer 2002). They will eventually resemble the (pictured in wild) Mother-Plant … in two hundred years or so. I’m afraid it will be too late for me !!!

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