Greenhouse under construction

This is the backdoor to my living-room on the South-Eastern (shady) side of my house. To the left is the table where I have been pottering with cuttings since I moved up here. To the right are two newly acquired propagating tents and beyond that, under construction, my greenhouse…

greenhouse - complete, doors closed

Last week the sealed structure was completed and I could start taking temperature readings to compare minimums and maximums inside and outside the structure; I’m also experimenting with heating in the propagating tents – that is an indoor-outdoor thermometer for a car you see on the empty seedling tray. The greenhouse is 3.5m wide and 12m long.

greenhouse - complete, doors open

Here the near doors are both opened. Look how niftily the whole area under the eaves opens out! The same happens on the far side. My father had the brick wall built in such a way that my mom would be able to plant her endless azalea cuttings at a comfortable height. There is an existing drainage ditch under the alley, and water and outside electricity were already available; in fact, it was in all ways, including aspect,  the perfect spot for a greenhouse, as summer heat is more of a problem than keeping temperatures above freezing in winter. Just to the left of the open door the white min-max thermometer is hanging. Minimum temperatures, without heating, have been on average three degrees higher in the greenhouse over the last eight days, with max about five degrees higher. With serious ground frost, if not extreme weather, we were still  a few degrees above freezing in the greenhouse. I believe one domestic heater, perhaps two, will give all the heat I’ll ever need there – especially once heating in the propagating tents is sorted out.

Greenhouse complete

Up against the embankment along the entire length there are inward opening hatches for maximum ventilation in summer. Clear corrugated polycarbonate and silver woodwork means maximum light enters the greenhouse. A gutter is still to be fitted. In the photo below the open hatches are being given their first coat of white paint. Treated gumpoles stamped into the embankment support the structure, which is tied to the rafters on the other side.

Greenhouse - painting the side vents

Here is an early construction photo. Interestingly the main bedroom and bathroom to which the windows belong are considerably lighter than before, because of the reflective silver woodwork which mirrors sunlight back into the rooms. And from  my bedside I will be able to monitor the temperature in the greenhouse using the car thermometer  – how’s that for cool! (Or should that be warm?)Winking smile

Greenhouse beginning to happen

The next greenhouse photos I share will show me (and the propagating tents and table) moved in and – hopefully – spring veggies and flowers a-sprouting! Meanwhile other things have also been happening – one of which is the moving of the old fashioned roses to the New Old Rose Garden (half completed) and the building of the seating platform that will overlook the Mothers’ Garden. Below is an overview from the guest room’s bay window taken this morning, with details from it below that.

Building in the Mothers' Garden s

Building in the Mothers' Garden detail

Building in the Mothers' Garden - extreme detail

Centre bottom the corner of the platform can be seen, with a curved grass path in the New Old Rose Garden beyond it. The tree which is still autumny – in mid August! – is our original Liquidambar formosana, a Christmas present from about thirty years ago. It is arguably the most stately of all our trees, not only because of its classically lovely shape, but also because it holds on to its leaves long after all others have shed theirs. It is the Queen Mother of our garden.




  1. Great pictures, as usual, Jack! Of course, as you know by now, my favourite season is Autumn! I love your greenhouse – looks as if it’s really convenient for you. Take a look at my diary over at Moosey’s for a look at a spectacular Dock plant in full late-summer colour. I took it today while on a dog walk.

    • Thank you, and welcome to my blog! I can’t wait to ‘move in’ and was ‘measuring the furniture’ yesterday!

  2. Jack, I’m always amazed by the scale on which you garden, and it was really brought home to me in this set of photos. The greenhouse looks like a wonderful addition! (I have to admit that it took me a minute to get my head around the southeast side of the house being the shady side — but I guess that’s what happens when the equator is to your north :-).)

    • Sometimes, Jean, I am also amazed…. As things happen, all I am aware of is lack of time and money, but as time passes the achievement swells (literally!) into something that takes me by surprise too… 🙂

    • With 6ha of garden I need to do plenty of propagating if I am not to go bancrupt! 🙂 Where is your balcony? – I battle to find the person/people behind your blog 🙂

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