“Greenhouse Day” Part 1

17 08 2014

I’ve been thinking about a greenhouse for the last three years.  I’ve been doing my thinking, drawing, budgeting, for the last few months, slowly getting more and more excited.  It finally came together in one (long) day with two good friends.  The plans had been drawn up months ago and everything seemed to basically work.

I made sure to get one last structure-less picture of that “corner” of the garden:
imageFelt a bit borin’ dinnit?  Yeah.  Nice corn and just had a HUGE harvest of beats, carrots.  Where the shed would go we’d just put some bland carpet on the ground keeping the weeds mostly at bay.


imageThis will be the front wall.  The back wall is being finished by bum in the back.  Side wall is in the upper right.


imageThese were the two sidewalls before plywood and raising.  The whole yard was walls….everywhere.  At this point, there was still so much to do to make that wood look more like something interesting.  Don’t kid yourself though; it’s in the cutting and measuring where the greatest fits and bestest looks get produced.   It just took a long time.


None of us had any experience.  We are not carpenters.  We have not framed a thing.  I think the biggest thing my friend has build is a table; the other fellow re finished his shed.  I built a cold frame.  This was just the biggest thing any of us had build.We started to lift some stuff into place and hammered.  We had to problem solve a few things.  And it was in the building of the front wall where we saw both our cleverest moment as well as our biggest mistake.  The greenhouse glass sits about 2 inches low on the bottom.  That was not how it was designed but when we were putting the front wall up, we saw our calculations around the front of the roof to be out of kilter.  It’s not noticeable though and the greenhouse is sitting on pilings so there’s no stress on the windows.  If you look carefully, the window on the door side peaks up over the side roof as well.  Guess what?  Don’t care.  What’s that?  The whole building will crumble and fall into a splintered pile of death sticks and glass?  Yup.  That’s cool.  I’ll be fine.

My favourite thing about this structure is that it’s temporary.  This thing is not something you’d see out of the home builder mags or library tomes.  I designed it myself with the understanding that this if we would ever leave this house, I would dismantle this and it would come with us!  Now with that said, when we stood that back wall up and it TOWERED over us without the context of the other walls, it suddenly became intimidating.  It’s kind of a fine balance between temporal, and rock solid.  Painting will still need to be done and that will make the place look aces!  But there is no hard press to get that done.


imageYou would probably note a missing roof.  Clever!  That’s cause there is no roof.  I’ve been wiggling and jiggling through my choice of how to roof it.  By the time the day came to build, I still hadn’t decided and I counted for the lumber incorrectly (didn’t include about four 10′ 2x4s for the roof).  The three choices are glass (not really an option we had decided), rigid plastic corrugated sheets, or 10mm sheet plastic.

By happy happy happenstance, the current door opening is sufficient for the wheel barrow.  That will be a fantastically placed barrow in the corner.  Bonus point if you noticed there is no door!  Horray.  I’m going to have to make one of those by hand.  I grabbed a bunch of hinges from a friend’s dismantling project.  I plan to make a simple plastic door.  Again, not 100% sure when that will be done, other than, before it warms up next spring.

Certainly, you can see a bit of an over hang.  I intend to make a fascia and a guttering system so I can collect the rain water.  I’ve been thinking about putting a rain barrel inside the greenhouse as well.  A black rain barrel filled with water inside the greenhouse would be a tremendous heat sink in the early spring and late fall.  That would require extended downspoutendry work which I guess I have to learn or make up on the spot.


imageSo that is a pretty excellent result if I say.  We did trample some tomatoes and corn.  I knew that would be a problem at the beginning of the season but I still planted the corn and tomatoes as close as I wanted.  I lost a few branches and a couple corn plants.

In terms of painting and decorating I’ve been trying to think about how I could carry on the farm theme from the compost bins into the back of the greenhouse.  I had some very odd thoughts, but I like the sound of at least one of them.   It’s a secret.

So yeah.  Almost done!