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The overwintering gazebo


I previously wrote about my autumn project to renovate the gazebo by the pond to store the plants frost free over winter.

Well I am pleased to say I got it done on time and as the freezing weather of this week comes ever closer, the plants will all be tucked away inside a few degrees warmer. Anyway here’s how it was done.

this is the gazebo how it was, with just a wooden frame covered in plastic sheeting with a plastic greenhouse under the cover. The Colocasias can be seen at the back having been removed from the pond earlier.

here is the gazebo having had the roof redone with polycarbonate sheets and also at the top of the side and rear walls

this is the all important recycled glass from my brother’s old portico roof 5 sheets approximately 6 foot by 15 inches in size

the wood for the window framework

framework wood cut to size – 6 foot lengths can stand up in the garage as opposed to original 8 foot lengths

here is the framework all painted and layed out ready to start fitting the glass

the framework complete with the first three sheets of glass. It had to actually be done in segments as the 5 sheets of glass would have been too heavy to get down the garden in one go, plus the gazebo was not an exact construction, so the height varied – getting lower from left to right as viewed from the front.

the first part of the gazebo front window is in place.

here are the other two sheets being framed

here is the complete front window comprised of the five sheets of recycled glass

the west facing side, glazed using my brother’s old shower screens

the same side viewed from the inside

sun streaming in through the south facing front window

all bubblewrapped for winter warmth

That was the main construction completed by the 28th of October. Since then I’ve simply added some shelving at the rear made from old wooden pallets. The Colocasias were put onto this shelf. Then the trays were put on the floor and filled with water for the cannas to sit in for the winter. I’ll get some pictures of these to finish this blog off later this week hopefully.

As promised here are pictures of the finished article housing the plants, the recycled theme being maintained by the shelving for the Colocasias being constructed from a broken wooden pallet.

here is the proof of the Cannas being truly aquatic thus overwintering in trays of water

The rest of the Cannas

Just the Thalias to come in now as they are actually the hardiest even though they come from Florida! They’ll be in this week as minus 3 or 4 is nothing to a plant that survived minus 10 last winter. Though it did so only just, I’ve thus left one in the pond, to be simply cut down to remain in situ all winter. Unless it gets to be the same as last year, when it will be removed to join the other three in the gazebo – and all of the plants in there will be joined by a propane greenhouse heater I got off ebay just yesterday – the winter is covered all ways up this time around!!

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gosh you have been busy. but should the cannas stand in water? I thought they had to be kept on the dry side whislt dormant. Perhaps I am wrong as i dont grow them. :o)

24 Nov, 2010


Looks as if you`ve done a good job there, recycling at its best.

24 Nov, 2010


thats very neatly done and when it comes to summer you could turn it into a hot tub shelter!!?

24 Nov, 2010


thanks all for your kind words

you are right seaburn girl cannas do need to be kept on the dry side when dormant normally - except mine are different in that they are true water cannas hence truly aquatic, just as the irises etc that stay in the pond as more hardy.

If the roots wouldn't freeze, you could simply do the same, cut the foliage down and leave them in the pond too. But as the current weather shows that could happen hence they are moved under cover. But if then however you let the roots dry out for a long period they will die, that's why they are in trays of water.

The thalias will be joining them tomorrow. Now the real frosty weather has come. One will stay in the pond to prove the hardiness again. Even last winter in all its worst for 28 year efforts couldn't wipe out a plant that actually comes from Florida!

As for summer use, this property actually belongs to my parents. When we were growing up we lived in Bristol and had a greenhouse attached to the south end of our shed. Our mother used to sit in it in summer with temps in the 100's fahrenheit wise - so doubtless she may well seize the opportunity as this new glazed structure indeed faces south!

26 Nov, 2010

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