have i missed the boat?

Hi,
I am new to this forum, having just been biten by the gardening bug. have recently bought a house and for the first time have a garden and greenhouse. Can anyone recommend a good beginner flower, that I a unlikely to kill and that will grow at this time of year? I really wanted to try a type of Lilly but think this may be a bi adventurous. Thank
-- samhowden
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They're all easy and they're all hard. It all depends on a million factors, most of which are beyond your control. Where do you live?
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Doug Kanter Wrote:

I live in Nottingham Eat Midland
-- samhowden
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To get a feel for your greenhouse, I would recommend radishes. They grow quickly, and you can eat them. This may sound funny, but the main thing you need to learn about a greenhouse is to manage the heat. A greenhouse is a solar oven and can kill things easily. When you feel you have a handle on it, then try some bedding plants for this spring. And, of course, everyone in the UK has some tomatoes in their greenhouse. It is a little early to start them now.
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Stephen Henning Wrote:

Thank-you. When would be the best time to try the tomatoes? Do yo know the best way to monitor temperature, is there a good temp to stic too
-- samhowden
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On Fri, 27 Jan 2006 13:36:16 +0000, samhowden

I'd suggest some quick growing things that like warm temperatures, and some that like cool temperatures. Grow several pots or flats in various locations in your greenhouse -- a pot of cool-loving next to a pot of warmth-loving plants, and watch what happens. For cool-loving plants, you could choose any of the cole crops or lettuce; for warmth, tomato, eggplant or pepper.
What I think you'll find is that during a sunny day, ventilation has to be good to keep from cooking your plants (and they'll also need more water than you imagine!), while at night, you may see symptoms of a little too cool temperatures. During long periods of heavy overcast and rain, you'll find the cool temperature plants doing fine, and probably outgrowing the warmth-requiring plants. Depending on the size of the greenhouse, the amount of "thermal ballast" in it, and the exposures and shading from structures and outdoor plants, you may find some areas of the greenhouse are better for plants requiring warmth, and others better for cool plants. Or you may decide that you need a fan to help even out temperatures in the greenhouse a bit.
On the other hand, if you're just looking for something simple to grow from seed and that will flower soon, you might try the humble marigold, particularly the dwarf or signet types. They're pretty resistant to all sorts of abuse. Zonal pelargoniums ("geraniums" in US garden speak) from cuttings or established plants can also take quite a bit of environmental abuse and survive.
Kay
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The family Geraniaceae includes:
Erodium Geranium Monsonia (formerly Sarcocaulon) Pelargonium
Erodium is a small genus that includes geraniums of Europe and South America and Australia, especially mountainous regions.
Geranium is a genus of plants having a beaklike torus or receptacle, around which the seed capsules are arranged, and membranous projections, or stipules, at the joints. Most of the species have showy flowers and a pungent odor. Sometimes called crane's-bill.
Monsonia is a genus from South Africa with actinomorphic flowers and are succulents usually found in areas with extreme drought.
Pelargonium is a large genus of plants of the order , differing from Geranium in having a spurred calyx and an irregular corolla. Most are from South Africa.
Many plants classified in the genus Geranium by the earlier botanists are now separated from it under the name Pelargonium, which includes all the commonly cultivated "geraniums" from South Africa.
Hence, geranium (with a small g) refers to all plants that were formerly in the former grouping of the genus Geranium including Geranium and Pelargonium. Pelargoniums are a specific group of geraniums which excludes the crane's-bills.
Native American Geraniums include:
G. arboreum G. atropurpureum G. bicknellii G. caespitosum G. californicum G. carolinianum G. cuneatum G. erianthum G. hanaense G. humile G. kauaiense G. lentum G. maculatum G. multiflorum G. oreganum G. richardsonii G. robertianum G. texanum G. viscosissimum G. wislizeni
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This is how the list of genera should read:

The four genera in the Geraniaceae are distinguished primarily on the basis of the number of stamens, actinomorphy vs. zygomorphy and the nectaries.
Actually Sarcocaulon was originally included Monsonia but was raised to a separate genus on the basis of its persistent fleshy stems and certain floral differences that turned out to be illusory. Recent morphological and DNA studies show Sarcocaulon to actually be a subgroup within Monsonia. Sarcocaulon has simply been reunited with Monsonia where it belongs. The majority of the species in the genus are annuals or herbaceous perennials. The genera Pelargonium and Geranium also include species that are shrubby or have fleshy stems.
Erodium is the only genus in the family to include species with both actinomorphic and zygomorphic flowers. Monsonia and Geranium are actinomorphic only and Pelargonium are exclusively zygomorphic because of the nectary spur.
The other genera that have been associated with the Geraniaceae (Biebersteinia, Wendtia, Dirachma and Viviania) have been shown to be unrelated and are now placed in other plant families.
The South American genus Hypseocharis has been shown to be closely allied to the Geraniaceae in many floral characters but has been placed in its own family Hypseocharitaceae because of differences in the fruit dehiscence and other characters.

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