Friday, March 23, 2012

Geenhouse Makeover Phase One

Since we can’t be out planting things in the gardens and fields yet, we’ve been working in the greenhouse. But, our greenhouse is in very bad shape, so before we can really do the things we want to in there we have to fix it up. Oh sure, we’ve been getting some seeds, but for what really want to do we have a lot of work to do first.

This was our greenhouse a week ago. It was so overgrown that we could hardly walk through it. Hippylady’s been doing her best, but with her declining health it’s been harder and harder to keep it up. Add to that the odd handyman or two that decided to do their own things (none of which turned out to well), and now there’s structural problems as well.

This is our greenhouse as of this morning. We’ve been working in there, cleaning things up since the snow let up a few days ago, and just the little bit of effort we put into it has made a huge difference. There’s still quite a few things that need to be done, but we’re getting there.

Our goal: For us the greenhouse should be more than just a place to grow plants and start seeds. It should be a place that people actually like to be. It’s also a kind of physical therapy for Her Majesty and myself, as we both have vicious arthritis and the warmth in the greenhouse helps tremendously.

To this end we’ll be installing universal sitting and work areas, along with finishing out the inside wall and greenhouse office. Yes, our greenhouse has it’s own office on the west end, but right now it’s in such bad condition that I refuse to post pictures. I have taken some ‘before’ pictures, and I promise to share them once we have some decent ‘after’ pictures to go with it.

We’ll also be widening the path, which even now, is way to narrow for a wheelchair or walker to go down. We have to keep that whole accessible gardening thing in mind with everything we do. This also means that we’ll be installing pavers down the path, but instead of buying brand new fancy pavers we plan to use old broken concrete that used to be a house foundation (or some such thing) once upon a time.

As you see here in this picture, someone already started laying concrete down, but this is far from what the greenhouse path will look like when it’s finished. We plan to use grass mortar to hold it all together in the end. Of course, we have to take these ones out and level the pathway first. Because we need to allow room for roots to grow under the path we won’t be using normal leveling techniques or leveling sand. We plan to put the blocks directly onto packed soil, then fill the gaps with enriched topsoil. Then, of course, plant grass.

As you can see, there is much to do in our greenhouse. Hopefully you can also see the potential as well. We’ll keep you all up to date on our progress and share the details of the projects we complete. Maybe the blood we shed will help someone else. No, really, Grossmond and I are bleeding today after fighting with the creeping periwinkles. But, that’s a story all by itself!

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