For the past 8 or 10 years I’ve experienced the joy of greenhouse gardening, thanks to an old neighbour. Well, he wasn’t that old, but he sold his house and moved away so that makes him an old neighbour. In fact we have moved too, so it was an old neighbour in an old neighborhood who gave me an amazing deal on a 6’ x 8’ single wall polycarbonate greenhouse (the kind you can buy at Canadian Tire). Being a meticulous sort of fellow, he had built some sturdy, two tiered wooden shelving for it, but when it came to actually using it, he didn’t!
When he sold his house he wasn’t interested in moving the underused greenhouse, but the folks who bought his house weren’t interested in buying it from him and I guess he didn’t want to do them the favour of leaving it there, so he offered it to me for about what it would have cost to buy the two by fours to build the shelving. Lucky me!
I remember how excited I was on the day that we shifted it from his backyard to ours; we enlisted a crew of about eight people and simply lifted the bloody thing over the six-foot fence between our yards and carried it up to the back of the garden.
How I loved that little greenhouse! The ability to grow tomatoes that don’t keel over from blight at the end of the season, peppers that actually set and develop a good crop of fruit and a sheltered place to overwinter my tender, potted treasures has been extremely rewarding.
The only thing is, I’m a greedy gardener, and always want more…
When we moved to our new house and I began to design the layout of the backyard, I left space for the greenhouse that I wanted, rather than the one that I already owned. I imagined a lovely big greenhouse, with a shed at one end and a pergola running along one side, dripping with grapes.
After building a new house (and going over budget, as every new home construction project I’ve ever heard of does) there was no way I could afford that lovely big greenhouse too! The pergola, however, was a reachable goal. My husband built the pergola and I snuggled my small greenhouse up to it. It looks rather ridiculous, but what’s a gardener to do?
Four years (plus) later I’m finally going to achieve my dream! Just a few days ago I ordered my new greenhouse from BC Greenhouse Builders and I’m eagerly anticipating spending the next several months obsessing over every detail of my new greenhouse project.
There are many things to decide upon and tons of prep work to be accomplished. First I have to clear off the site, which involves moving the small greenhouse to a new site so that I can continue to use it this season during construction. I’ve already moved a bunch of soil from the temporary raised bed that I created by dumping an entire bin’s worth of compost on the ground right where the new greenhouse will sit.
Then we’ll need to:
- Bring water and electrical services from the house;
- Pour the cement foundation, and
Don’t ask me if those are in the correct order; I’m the grower, not the builder. Even my very smart and skilled husband admits that the scope of this project is just a bit more than he is comfortable handling alone, so we are enlisting some professional help with the tricky bits.
I’m hip deep in diagrams and research to determine important stuff like:
- How tall the shed will be;
- What sort of permanent beds do I want in the greenhouse;
- Where in the greenhouse to put them;
- What kind of material to side the shed with, and
- About a million other options, choices and decisions to be made!
I hope to find a funky exterior door and window(s) at our local Restore, maybe a big sink for the greenhouse too.
This is going to be SO MUCH FUN!!!!