The lost weekend

When we put up the greenhouse in our last house – a 30ft long, 10ft wide, rather basic model – we said that it was the last time we would ever put one together. But the move over the Irish Sea, a blank garden and the need for a greenhouse made this a rather idle boast.

The pad for the greenhouse was put in place at the same time as the garage and shed but, two years after they were erected, it is finally time for the greenhouse. For the past two years the pad has been the holding area for soil conditioner of various sorts but with the veg beds popping up round the space it was time to take the plunge and the greenhouse arrived in three boxes on Saturday morning. I wish I could say that the two days, so far, have been plain sailing.

Tackling the seemingly endless sea of extruded aluminium and bolts is something of a challenge and it all comes down to the battle between using your initiative and following the instructions slavishly. I am unusual in that I tend to read instructions before I start putting something together. I think it comes from writing so many step-by-step instructions in mags. So I am happy to mindlessly do as I am told. Which is all very well as long as the instructions are ‘correct’. But when some of the parts are numbered incorrectly you either have to sit in a corner pulling out your hair or you have to use your initiative. And then you start to ignore the instructions, having lost faith in them!

Whatever you do, you will NOT have slid enough bolts into the aluminium sections and you WILL have to loosen something your previously thought was complete. In some cases following the instructions led to problems and we had to ignore them and adjust things to make things work – especially the staging which was a @*!&*. But after two days we are finally at the stage where, when the wind and rain passes, we can put the glass in.

Today is a break so my head can recover!

12 Comments on “The lost weekend”

  1. Annabel finnegan
    May 3, 2021 at 10:13 am #

    Hello! I see a polytunnel in the background. I would have thought that polytunnel and glasshouse serve more or less the same purpose ? Just curious to ask you why you decided to add to the polytunnel with a glasshouse? Aesthetic? Lazy me would have gone with another polytunnel.
    Best of luck with rest of construction.

    • thebikinggardener
      May 3, 2021 at 11:43 am #

      A polytunnel is great to grow veg but it is easier to control the environment in a greenhouse. Heating is easier in a greenhouse too and I want to grow tender plants and overwinter plants that need a little heat in winter. I will also section off a part that will be heated to minimise heating costs and allow more reliable plant raising. This spring has been unusually cold and I have had to use the polytunnel for plant raising but with frosts most nights in April the plants, though they have survived, have not done as well as they should. I like, and want to grow, cacti and winter-growing, South African bulbs and a greenhouse, with more a controlled environment will make this easier. Of course, a polytunnel gives much more space for your bucks and allows the cultivation of toms and early crops.

  2. Annabel finnegan
    May 3, 2021 at 12:08 pm #

    Thanks, that makes sense! April has been the month of almost daily moving back little seedlings out to cold frame or polytunnel to back indoor shelter for the night!

  3. Meriel
    May 3, 2021 at 12:53 pm #

    Good luck witH it all – I’m sure it will be worth all the effort. I’d been meaning to ask why Mia isn’t allowed out on her own?

    • thebikinggardener
      May 3, 2021 at 2:02 pm #

      Well, Because she is a pedigree we were not sure how streetwise she would be – we were not sure if she had ever been out before we got her. And she is very clingy and is happy to be out with us and usually, but not always, stays within sight – she is a cat after all. And because of a neighbouring cat I don’t want the vet bills from fights that I had with the last cat. She is content being indoors much of the time but does hate being left indoors when we are out. So I do take her out when I go, till the worry of keeping an eye on her while I am working gets too much! She is spoilt rotten but she is quite dog-like the way she follows us around. I would not sleep if I thought she was out at night. There is also the bird issue – she is a born hunter and I am happier to be around her to scare off the birds before she gets them. it seems rather sadistic to feed the wild birds so they are too fat to fly away so the cat gets them!

  4. Paddy Tobin
    May 3, 2021 at 1:36 pm #

    Great fun and certainly wait for a calm day before adding the glass

    • thebikinggardener
      May 3, 2021 at 2:03 pm #

      Yes -they are large panes and even though it is toughened glass I want the Gods on our side before we start!

      • Paddy Tobin
        May 3, 2021 at 3:07 pm #

        God on your side and lots of mastic!

  5. Mitzy Bricker
    May 3, 2021 at 2:36 pm #

    Beautiful. Congratulations!

    Blue Rock Horses Frederick County, Virginia bluerockhorses.com

  6. summercloud
    May 6, 2021 at 10:26 am #

    That’s as really beautiful greenhouse! And generously sized, too. I didn’t think I needed one but now I want one anyway…

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