Plans 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.
Rather 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….