Going, Going, Gone……

greenhouse.matrixPlans can change in a moment or take a different direction, and yesterday saw us off at the crack of dawn to travel the 60 miles or so to pick up a greenhouse we had bought on eBay. There had been a hard frost overnight, so we drove past white fields, rolling fog and grey skies until the sun broke through and left a blue sky completely devoid of clouds. It might have been a chilly day, but we didn’t notice it at all while we dismantled our bargain buy – not a difficult job, just a case of systematically unclipping and unbolting, the only tough part being removing the metal base of the frame from where it had been securely affixed to the concrete base with very sticky mastic and a few random nails. We had just stacked the last pane of glass before beginning on the frame when there was a crack! as it seems this was the final straw for the two smaller panes which had been removed first. Not a bad casualty rate, although a further two succumbed in transit. The Golfer is brilliant at knowing how to load odd shaped items in the car – who would have thought there was a 6 x 8 foot greenhouse in there?!

The original scheme had centred on replacing the polycarbonate of the existing greenhouse with glass, and reusing the former in a ‘vertical cold frame’. The cost of new glass proved to be far more than that of a secondhand greenhouse, and now we had the latter it made sense to adapt this instead of pursuing the cold frame plan. As we drove back, we discussed the permutations of cutting it down, replacing our existing one with this and cutting down the old one, retaining it as it was, etc, as well as possible different orientations. We have a certain flexibility of space and a large quantity of the very useful Brute Force and Ignorance which is required for projects like this, so it was just a matter of choosing a preferred option. It may have been a ‘6 x 8 foot greenhouse’ but in practice it is actually wider and longer than that, and on checking measurements at home there was in fact only one practical option – a 6 x 4 greenhouse on the same orientation as the existing, which also has the advantage of retaining the location of the existing water butt.

IMG_1100Rather than setting up the scaffolding to investigate a leak in the roof the Golfer has already begun the transformation, partially erecting the frame to enable him to cut it and establish where new fixing holes are required. A useful asset, the Golfer, but we still have a leaky roof….


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17 Responses to Going, Going, Gone……

  1. Wow this is quite a project

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Donna – it’s probably one of those projects that look bigger than they really are. The hardest bit will be cleaning the glass which was very very grubby 🙂

  2. Joe Owens says:

    Plans are nice, but many days they just do not swing the way you expect. I am glad to see you came up with an alternate plan. I have a 12 x 16 hoop house I use to get things started in the spring and ready for transplant.

  3. Annette says:

    Well done, Cathy, although it seems to me you’re slowly outgrowing your space 😉

    • Cathy says:

      We shan’t be going anywhere else Annette, but I do sometimes wonder what the one neighbour (with a massive garden which is all grass, trees and conifers) would say if I asked if he would consider selling us some of his garden….

  4. bittster says:

    The pair of you are quite the industrious duo!
    Seeing your garden always makes me feel so wasteful with my own space, my lawn is a completely underutilized wasteland…. I need to reexamine and maybe add a few walls and greenhouses 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Dividing a garden up does make for interesting corners, and extra boundaries to plant against, but it depends what you think about your lawn…. Our garden was almost all grass when we first arrived, but it has been gradually whittled away to the square for my Tai Chi and the bit by the stream…

  5. wellywoman says:

    Ah! The joys of greenhouses. We put ours up over a year ago now. The thought of having to dismantle it next year doesn’t thrill me. We had so much less stuff when we moved here. I can’t say I’m looking forward to all the extras we’ve acquired over the 6 years. Greenhouses are exciting though, aren’t they? Bet you can’t wait to get growing in it.

    • Cathy says:

      Hard to believe that we sold an old 10×14 foot greenhouse a few years ago because it was too big – but it was very much the wrong location and wouldn’t fit in the sunniest corner of the garden anyway. I was thinking last year that perhaps we should have got a bigger replacement greenhouse as I was now utilising it to the full – but this two thirds size addition was not even a vague though a couple of weeks ago! It will be used for hardening off seedlings and young plants – I aim to grow flowers especially for cutting this year, as you know.

  6. Chloris says:

    You two amaze me. No project however big daunts you. When does the Golfer get to play golf I’d like to know?

    • Cathy says:

      🙂 That probably sums us up, Chloris – and hopefully we shall continue to use it until we lose it, if we ever do… The Golfer would normally play golf Mon-Fri, starting about half-six or whenever it gets light, but the course is pretty much waterlogged just now and half of it has been out of bounds.

  7. You’ve gotta love ebay for the great bargains you can get! Well done on scooping this greenhouse, I’d love one but they’re so expensive to buy new! (and in a communal area, any greenhouse I had would have to be vandal-proof). Happy sowing, once it’s up!

    • Cathy says:

      We had seen what others were going for on eBay but ours was a good bit less than average (and about a quarter of the new price) – perhaps having to dismantle it put people off? Difficult for you in a communal area, as you say. This one will be used for hardening off seedlings – well, that’s the idea at the moment!

  8. Anna says:

    Oh now that looks a great buy Cathy and you are going to have so much fun putting it to use. Now if that is what you can fit into the boot of a car just imagine what you will be able to get into a camper van 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Tee hee – you would be amazed what we have transported in a car before now, Anna, but the Golfer is brilliant at knowing to fit things in or tie them on safely. But get our new campervan dirty?!

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