Project: The Greenhouse

Unlike sheds, not every garden should have a greenhouse. OK, that’s a lie, every garden absolutely should have a greenhouse. It doesn’t have to be big and it doesn’t have to be clever as it is what you do with it that counts. Hmm, that sounds familiar… I have a small penchant for owning things that are not ‘the norm’ (not Norm from Cheers, although if I get round to having a bar then I might well call him) and so a regular rectangle shape wasn’t going to cut the mustard. I looked about and found that other shapes, hexagonal and octagonal etc, were REALLY expensive and so I decided I’d let my penchant slide this once. No-one would know.

Cardinal Rule

A cardinal rule in gardening is that you don’t pay for something you can get free, recycle from old parts or re-use something someone threw away. If you can’t get it free, you get it 2nd hand or cheaply somehow except in the rarest of circumstances. It’s just one of those things. So a trawl through the local ‘Freegle’ or ‘Freecycle’, can occasionally give you a bargain and sometimes even greenhouses. Not in this case though. Which brings us neatly to option 2 – eBay. Can’t get it free, so get it cheap. There are thousands of greenhouses on this auction site, up and down the country. You filter these out by location, cost and condition. Easy. Except in my case when I looked there was nothing near me. I was a bit distraught and gave up.

Then I got over it and tried again the next week and stone me if there wasn’t a hexagonal greenhouse, just like I wanted, for a ridiculously low start price. Seeing, as I had, how these auctions can get a bit out of control I sent a message to the seller and did a deal there and then. It was mine! Think Gollum with the Ring in his hands type of joy.

‘Buyer to disassemble’

Yep, the norm is for a buyer to disassemble the greenhouse. This is a good thing as it shows you how it goes together. First rule: bring a camera and take photos. Lots and lots. Second rule: take a friend or have the owner help. Third rule: have something to wrap the glass in. Some will break, take it as a given and move on.

Buyer to also reassemble!

So it was apart and back to the manor (ahem) so where to put it? I have to admit that if I were to re-do the garden it wouldn’t be where I put it which is in the far corner, but that’s where it got put. It does have very early light blocked but gets it from around midday onwards until 7-8pm in summer which is pretty good.

Which base? Again, in my opinion, I chose the wrong one. You can have a solid one (like I did) or an earth one (which I didn’t); the difference really is that one you can plant into the ground under glass and the other you can’t. C’est la vie. There are pro’s and cons to both options but it’s really irrelevant to me now!

The construction starts with a base which must be solid and level or your greenhouse will twist and the glass shatter and that could really crap on your day so take your time and get it right. If you don’t get it right, do it again.

After that it’s a 3D puzzle and luckily you have photos to refer to. Oh the joy. It’s a pain in the backside putting a hexagonal greenhouse up but they do look great, if a tad small. Bolts will shear off so buy some spares before the build. Ditto the glass clips.

Anyway, after a while it was up and the air a little bluer, if you get my meaning.

It’s great. And now I want a bigger one. That’s the other thing about greenhouses – they’re never big enough. Which also sounds familiar…

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