After a late start, it looked like winter was actually going to make an effort this year. We had some cold spells, some snow, lots of ice, and the usual January thaw, but now it’s just losing steam. A February thaw is in the works, and the freeze out there this morning is the one exception in a ten day forecast that doesn’t even dip much below freezing. To be honest I’d be thrilled to see this in March or April… not so much February.
This weather will quickly bring on the snowdrops and winter aconite, and once that happens I’ll waste every minute of daylight wandering and poking around the garden imagining just how nice everything is going to be this year. In the meantime though, I’ve come to a decision on a real winter greenhouse, one which involves glass and benches and expensive heating. Before you get excited for me (doesn’t everyone get excited for people who get new greenhouses?) I want to make it clear it’s not going to happen. Our local climate is relatively extreme and although that in itself is an excellent reason to get a greenhouse, I just can’t commit myself to worrying about extreme low temperatures, brutal hailstorms and blizzards, heating system failures… and most importantly the extra heating bill.
But wait! Don’t get the wrong impression here. I’m not having some budget-wise revelation that includes spending less and denying myself things in order to save for our retirement or the children’s education. I just came to the conclusion that with only a few more grow lights I can change the whole workshop over into a very satisfying pseudo-conservatory. So I did a little searching and found three more light fixtures on clearance. $39 a piece, about $120 total… so much better than their $52 normal price.
$120 is an amazing bargain compared to buying an actual greenhouse, so in reflecting on how much money I just saved I don’t think I’d be way off in subtracting it from the budget rather than adding, but on second thought a visit to the accountant taught me a new word which might come in handy here. Depreciation. From what I gathered (and often what I gather is more what I want to hear rather than real facts) I can take this long-range purchase and pretend it’s really money which has been spent over a couple years. So for the 2018 budget I’m going to pretend I only spent $30 and we’ll see if I remember the remaining $30s in 2019, 2020, and 2021.
The lights are more of a next winter plan, but you never know. In a fit of boredom a week or so ago (apparently you can’t spend forever sipping beer and staring at cyclamen) someone got it in their head to pot up the coleus cuttings and start a few succulent cuttings. They’re in the very back of the workshop, in a room with the furnace, and hopefully will stay warm enough there to get shoots growing and roots forming. We will see.
I don’t need more succulents in February, let alone May. It’s another one of those #becauseIcan moments, but I’m just itching with a compulsion to start more. Another 25 or 50 more isn’t out of the question and I’m sure something can be done with them in the spring.
In the meantime have a great weekend!
$30 for new growlights
$318 total so far for the 2018 gardening year