Empty Greenhouse and a lamb softie

The lady who lived in my cottage before me was a very keen and talented gardener, and so I have inherited a beautiful, English country cottage style garden which, in spite of the attentions of my two large and very clumsy furry friends, is still looking lovely (though not quite as neat as before!)

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It’s lovely being able to sit in my conservatory, happily stitching away, and look out at the plants and flowers.  At Coombe Leigh, in common with many older houses, you couldn’t actually see the garden from inside the house.  I read once somewhere that this was so the servants couldn’t watch their employers relaxing, but I’m not sure if this was true or not – perhaps somebody might know?

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That’s my sofa – you can just see it in this picture, and I’m hoping that it will be nice during the colder months too as my garden is south-facing.  The conservatory is great to take pictures in as well, including my latest pattern for the Bustle & Sew Magazine – a little Lambkin softie…..

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His head is adapted and simplified from a vintage pattern – it’s a very clever method of construction though it needed a little tweaking to bring it up to date.  I didn’t use the body from that pattern though as it had separately constructed, wired legs and I wanted my little Lambkin to be a suitable toy for a child.  He was a very self-indulgent make, using some beautiful furry fabric I ordered on Ebay and was intending to save for Christmas stitching.  But when it arrived it was so wonderfully soft and tactile I had to use it straight away!  The Lambkin pattern will be in the August issue of the Magazine, which is published in less than 2 weeks.   But back to my garden – there is one part that is looking a little desolate and unloved – and that’s the greenhouse…

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I have never had a greenhouse before and am at a bit of a loss to know what to do with it over the coming months.  I have already decided that next year I’d like to try tomatoes, peppers and maybe even aubergines, and it will be good for overwintering some of my terracotta pots which, together with their contents, have suffered frost damage over the years.  But I simply don’t have any ideas as to what I could plant in there now?  If anybody has any suggestions for a total greenhouse newbie I would be very grateful.  It seems to be crying out for some love and attention and I simply don’t know how to make it feel loved again.


I love your conservatory, Helen. I’d love to have one of those. What a perfect place it would be to sit and stitch. Your little lamb is very cute.


Thanks so much Christine, yes it is a lovely bright spot – though I do still rather miss my summerhouse. xx


That is quite true, the gardens in the big houses could not be seen by the staff, they either had a out buildings for storage or the bigger mansions had a dense hedge or just a brick wall to block the view from the servants.
If it were mine I would personally leave the greenhouse, and just clean it thoroughly and be ready for next year, I know someone who grows grapes in theirs, you could try cucumbers……….?
Love the lamb………..might make it one day……..
Julie xxxxx


Oh, OK, thanks Julie – perhaps I could then start my Christmas bulbs off in there in the autumn do you think? Not fond of cucumbers, though Rosie is – but I do like tomatoes so will definitelly try those.


Thanks so much for the tour of your garden! It’s perfectly lovely! I’ve never had the good fortune to own a greenhouse so sadly I have no ideas to contribute, but there many commercial ones in my area and all quite barren this time of the summer. I’ll look forward to see what you decide….
Darling little sheep and perfect for a child!!
X Linda


Aw, thanks so much Linda. I will have to do some research on greenhouse gardening I think!


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