Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Greenhouse

Hello and welcome to Fiona's weekly 'Make it from Scratch' posting. I come from up the road at 'a pot, a thought and a smidgen of dirt', where I got an amazing email from the lovely lady of here asking me to do a weekly post. I almost fell off my chair, I can tell you. I adore my garden with a passion, I just started pottery and well, anything new from jewellery to writing I have a go. So, when I got the email, it was a thrill!!!!! did I mention I am a nutty kiwi (New Zealander) now living in the UK?

So a little about me and mine. I live with Mom aka Margaret, two cats, Sootie and Pebbles, and saving the best till last, Garak, our soon to be ten year old springer/lab. Nothing in this house is ever done with out those three getting their noses in and their approval. So they will be popping up here and there. I am a student at Open University studying creative writing this year, as well as trying to get our garden sorted so we can totally live upon it, sorting this house out for decorating and trying to make a living out the things I love to do. So that is a little about me and now for my first 'Make it from Scratch' post!!!!

ps. one thing about me, if there is a cheaper way to do something, I will find it!!!

The Greenhouse

As you can see from the picture above, that is my dream glass house, the fact that it is bigger than my house and well into the thousands, I thought I would go for a cheaper version. With one of our favourite (cheap) garden shops, Wilkinsons, we brought this kit set one for £39.99. WHAT A BARGAIN!

As you can see it is all kit set, but it is so easy to set up, if I can do it anyone can. Inside you get a piece of paper with all the info on it, everything is labelled with letters, ie, A,B,C,D etc. This is a must, MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THAT EVERYTHING IS THERE BEFORE YOU START. I can't stress how important this is, I know it is so exciting and you want to get started straight up, but the amount of times I haven't done this and you can guarantee that something is missing. Some places now if something is missing will just send the piece, but some still insist that you take back the whole thing. Strong words have come when having to undo it all.

So now it is all there and with coffee/tea at the ready (lots of tea), its time to get started. Basically, all you need is a patch of ground, some weed cover and 20mm gravel. Unlike myself (rolls eyes at self), make sure you get enough, we used eight standard bags of gravel to cover 120 by 190cm. Silly me, thought only four bags would do it.

(take one dog, to chase cat away who being a pain)

The reason we used 20mm gravel instead of of 10mm,

First, the 20mm doesn't sink into the ground, I was told that with the 10mm it tends to sink.

Second, for comfort, wanted it where we could walk around in bare feet and not end up with sore feet. Also good for the animals, they can have a sniff around, lay down and basically make a nuisance of themselves.

After Pebbles (our little girl cat) has done her inspection, all the pebbles are laid out level ready for the greenhouse to be assembled. Putting the frame up for the glasshouse is really easy, just follow the instructions. They are very basic, A goes into B, C connects with D, start from the bottom up and take your time, remember this is fun, so have a ball with it. I personally loved it, Mom made the drinks while we chatted and the animals had a ball inspecting everything while running around the garden.

It took me about an hour to put everything together, this is with the animals been involved as well and taking my time. Once this is done (and after another cuppa) all you have to do is put the cover on. Open the cover right up and slip it over the top, gentle pull it down over the bends extra, please, be careful here (unlike me who on last year's smaller one, pulled really hard and ripped it!), they are made to fit a tight fit, so take this part slowly.

After this, I think Pebbles was feeling she wasn't getting enough attention, so in her style she decided to climb up onto our roof!!! so the next half hour was spent on how to get the cat of the roof without breaking her leg. In the end she came down on her own, looking rather pleased with herself. Never minding my heart beating to the drums of Africa.

Now the moment comes, you are almost done! Woohoooo. With this one I got, it came with four metal pin pegs that go through the bottom metal poles, then four plastic ones that go into the ground with ropes attached to the greenhouse. Later on when I have time, I will buy the proper ones to hold it in place.

This is a really basic greenhouse, is cheap but of good quality and I love walking out there every morning to open up the door. Once I start doing my seeds it will look amazing. During the summer we are going to be growing exotic vegetables and fruits from Turkey, Mexico etc inside, will let you know how that turns out.


  1. This looks great! What a treat to have in one's own backyard!

    Sylvia C.

  2. Briliant post Fiona,

    I am looking forward to putting our smaller greenhouse up when we get into the new house.we are lucky, we already have the pebbles and ground cover fabric down, so just have to make it up and peg it down.....

  3. Welcome Fiona! What a wonderful first post!

    I was hoping to get a cold frame or small greenhouse up this spring. It didn't happen. I didn't realize it could be quite so cheap and easy! :)

  4. Well Fiona,you can't just fit that beautiful greenhouse in the garden but this one will do. Mom aka Margaret

  5. Looks like you guys did a great job! AND it sounds like you did it right...take your time, enjoy doing the project together!

  6. They aren't the most wind-proof - unless it's in a very sheltered spot, you'll need to take it down before winter. Also, remember to go out there and poke any water that's pooling off the roof, or the plastic will sag and weaken.


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