Low Temp: 3C
Today I've been taking the tops off the Dahilia's as the frost at the weekend blackened them off. I also dug up the ones that I wanted to raise some cuttings from next year, they will also act as an insurance policy incase we have a bad winter and the ones left out in the ground don't make it. So I have at least one of each variety drying off at the moment, I will get something to store them in next time I go to the garden centre. Do any of you store your Dahlia's or leave them in the ground I wonder? If you do lift and store what do you use to store them in? I've always used the tradition medium of peat but as that's becoming less and less PC its probably time to think about using something different. There were years when I was at the farm when I lifted and boxed them and never put anything around the tubers and they still seemed to do okay the following year but I don't think this is a standard method.
Also today I've been cleaning up the door handles to the conservatory. I don't think they've been cleaned since Queen Victoria was on the throne to look at them. This information will be totally useless as far as most people will be concerned, with relation to greenhouses anyway as I don't think there will be many off you with door furniture like this on your greenhouse but who knows it might come in handy for something else and I find it interesting anyway just to see the difference one can make.
In this first picture is one of the door catches from the greenhouse before it's removal, as you can see its pretty dirty. I take it off the door completely which is a job in itself as the screws don't want to come undone.
Once this is done I scrape off all the old paint and then put all the pieces to soak in white vinegar. For this job I cut a plastic bottle right down the middle to make a bath. I leave then in a couple of hours or so and then take them out and give them a rub with some fine wire wool. I repeat this process again by which time its pretty much got rid of the tarnishing although one piece as gone back in again and I will leave it there all night as its really bad.
In the picture below I have dirty and cleaned items just to show you the difference. The vinegar softens the tarnish a treat, when that's all removed I shine it up with some ordinary metal polish.
The two pictures below are the first catch I did from the conservatory door, I have the another one off the conservatory ready to be polish and the one in the first picture in this post is from the greenhouse which should be read to be replaced by tomorrow.
The only trouble is they now show up the paintwork! Did you know that in times past polishing the door catches to the greenhouses was the daily job of the garden boy, THIS garden boy will do them once a week if they are lucky and maybe not even that often in summer.