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new greenhouse installed, more or less


140331 – new greenhouse

I’d bought this a couple of weeks ago during a wander round Percy Thrower Garden Centre – it was half price, so I grabbed it (later I found that the ones on Amazon are still cheaper! but maybe the green cover makes a difference)

Finally got about clearing some space for it. my choices were rather limited; didn’t want it standing in the foreground, and there isn’t much background (yet!) to disguise it – besides, there’s shrubs all around and I’d still need to be able to get to them (or someone would).

Without emptying and moving sheds about (which would be a bit much for me on my own) there was really only one place it could go, or two variations on one place: on the concrete slab against the fence, or on the concrete slab backed on to the shed.

The idea of a greenhouse is to get the light as much as possible, and either way there’d be times of day when it would be in shadow. But then, I’m hardly in the “sow racks of seeds” department – even if I had somewhere to put the seedlings that I managed not to kill in the process. Really, I wanted somewhere to put the plants I’d brought with me, which were still huddling in as wind-proof a corner as I could find.

I did think about having it against the fence, where it could be tied on (the wind does whip round that corner a bit sharpish) but it’s only an inch or so less wide than the concrete, and could easily slip off. Besides, I wanted to be able to reach the dustbin-butt behind the shed, which still has some water left in it, and will have more later.

So decided to back it against the shed – covering the window (of course!) but no real option, other than moving the shed forward and putting the greenhouse the other side of it

Swept the area, then opened the box and checked and sorted the contents:

They’d very helpfully labelled every item, not just the packs, so that even when the pack was open and pieces removed, the labels still told you what number part it was.

The instructions were fairly clear, though some parts hadn’t been shown on the drawing and I had to undo a couple of pieces cos I’d guessed wrong and only found out a bit later on, when I was that piece short for somewhere else.

Day had been fine, but started clouding, and a few spits of rain happened along. Thought, I’ll have to put the cover inside the shed to keep it dry, then thought, if the cover can’t take rain then it’s nbg as an outdoor shelter!

The last bit was not easy to do: it’s well above head height (or my head height, anyway) and trying to join the second part of the roof angle to the first already in place was no fun at all.

Finally managed it, though I dare say that all parts could do with tightening; they were just push-in connections, and I’m sure someone else could have pushed a bit harder than I could manage by this stage.

Finally, the cover. Unfolded it and got swamped with plastic while trying to find the zip so I’d know where the front was. On the back I saw a label: “make sure that the frame is firmly connected and fit the cover with the zips closed to ensure a good fit”.

Have you eve tried fitting a greenhouse cover from inside with the zips closed?? Especially when you have to lift the edge over the top and ease it down the back and sides?! I looked at the cover, looked up at the height of the roof, thought a few short words and opened the zips – still had to stretch on tiptoe but at least managed to get the back of the cover over the roof and down the back, inch by inch – lift slack with left hand, tug down at back and sides with right.

And there were ties to secure the corners to the frame – and this is supposed to be done with the door zipped closed?!! Of course, I expect that it’s supposed to be assembled by two people, one inside the frame feeding the closed cover down the back and sides and one outside, lifting the rest of the cover as the “feeder” eases it down. Once it’s in place and the ties tied, then the zips could be opened to let the prisoner out. (didn’t think to look to see if the zips can be opened from inside – it’s hardly a place where one would choose to imprison oneself, after all!)

Done. I suppose the frame could do with tightening, that’d save a few millimetres, and the cover could be snugged down a few millimetres here and there so as to ease the strain on the corners and so on the zips. But for one twit working alone, that was enough for one session.

The bars on the ground all have holes in, and they supply metal pegs for securing them into the ground. That ain’t gonna happen, not with concrete! They also supplied four guy cords and pegs, and that ain’t gonna happen either. Might tie it to the shed if it seems that’ll be needful.

I put some stacks of plastic troughs on the base to help add some little bit of weight at the base

They obviously can’t stay there if I want to be able to get in to the “step-in” greenhouse! But they’ll hold it, or help to hold it, for now. If it hasn’t taken off overnight, I’ll see what I can do about weighting the base tomorrow.

So here’s my “working corner” – I moved the 4-tier along so that I could still access the dustbin-butt, if I breathe in a bit.

The eyelets in the bottom of the cover should, I think, be on the ground, or nearly so, so maybe it does need a bit of settling and snugging down –

Maybe that’ll be easier after it’s been up overnight, the creases should have dropped out by then. Maybe I can tuck the ends under the bars and weight them, that’d help hold the cover. I do need something over the bar at the front, because every time I went in I tripped over the damn thing!

Anyway, it was raining harder by then, so I thought that enough was enough for one day

Ps they weren’t kidding about “compact”!!

More blog posts by franl155

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Hi Fran its nice to have somewhere to put things in to keep them warm and help them grow.Very well done in building it up.Unfortunately you may have to get someone to attach it to your shed to help give it more support and strength as with the high winds in this country it will blow down.Sorry to put a downer on your lovely walk in greenhouse.Wish you all the best .Mark,julie,jordan and bonnie x

1 Apr, 2014


Thsts what I was thinking Mark, top and bottom maybe......

its a brilliant job though Fran, especially on your own.....all those parts!!

1 Apr, 2014


Well done for putting the greenhouse up by yourself. What an achievement!

1 Apr, 2014


Well done Fran! It's going to be a great long as the wind doesn't destroy it. But let's think has the shelter of the shed. Happy propagating!

1 Apr, 2014


Thanks Mark and Pam and Littlemc and Karen.

lot it wasn't really "an acheievement" - there's only me, so if I don't do it solo it don't get done. Of course I could have got the handyman to do it (and may get him to tighten the connections, he's stronger and taller than me) but that'd cost - all it cost me was time and a bit of temper!

It was still there this morning (but that doesn't really prove anything!) It;s facing the direction that the wind usually blows hardest, so the door would have to be kept closed to avoid ballooning from inside - and it's got the shed behind it for a "backstop", even if not actually tied to it yet.

I was able to tweak the cover down a tiny bit, so it'll probably be able to be pulled down more as the creases settle out of it; or maybe it rode up a bit - the ties are quite short and thick, not able to get a really tight knot in there, and only some of them are placed to tie under a shelf where the junction would hold it in place, the others are just tied to a length of pole where they can ride up. I thought of Velcro (I've got Velcro plant ties, just cut a length, wrapit it round the object and stick ends together) but need to find attahcment points on the cover; maybe tie the ties to themselves and thread the Velcro through.

And need to find better anchors - small enough to let me in, heavy enough to hold it down. Found some bricks under a pottted plant that looks dead, can use those; half a dozen bricks should make a difference.

No doubt I'll be tweaking it for some time, little bits here and there, but at least finally I've got the think up to *be* tweaked!

1 Apr, 2014


Wow Fran, well done, think I'd have been yelling for help before it was even half done.

Hmm could you tie some lengths of rope (something strong anyway) to the base of the greenhouse then anchor them someway outside - that way you've still got easy access. Oooh instead of ropes fix the guy ropes in place and anchor them with something heavy - or a couple of heavy duty eyelets screwed into the shed maybe?

1 Apr, 2014


The eyelet idea above is a good one, Fran. That's what I did years ago when I had a greenhouse like this (but smaller). You certainly are determined, aren't you? Good for you, well done :)

1 Apr, 2014


Good thought, Samjp! I've got stack of string, cord and rope af various thicknesses. Never occured to me to use them, so thanks for that!

i could tie a brick and fasten the ends through a couple of eyelets; they could go inside or out, and would be small enough not to be too much of a nuisance.

Given that they supplied guys, they whould have put attachment points as well.

There's a small gap between shed base and concrete slab, i might be able to get pegs down there, but don't want to do anytihng permanent until I'm sure of the final location.

I was chattering away to myself while I was putting it together, or to the bits of it, scolding them for being the wrong pieces that I'd picked up by mistake!

Thanks, Gee. lol more bored than determined! at least to start with, but once I get started I like to finish - if I leave some of it to another day,, I'd proably lose the boxes of bits!

1 Apr, 2014


My little wooden greenhouse shifted in the wind this winter. My brothers one like yours landed in a neighbours garden, and he thought it was anchored firmly! Friends at Melksham found their one in the car park. The cat was really miffed as he had commandeered it for a shelter. All this happened this winter and never before, so you might get away with it. Maybe if you tie through the eyelets onto the shelving, then weight 2 bottom shelves, one either side with pots of stones, paving stones or soil.

2 Apr, 2014


shee, Dorjac, that must have been some wind!!!

I'm hoping that the other shed will be some kind of windbreak, or diverter, at least - it's end-on, about six feet towards the gate, and hte wind - of course, wind that's diverted still has to go somewhre, and might end up somewhere even more undesirable! (got to think about that when putting up a windbreak on the house corner; where will it get diverted to??)

I'll certainly tie the eyelets to the frame, and also to bricks, at least - if I can get some pavers that should be even more effectie - or, lol, concrete the whole thing in place! and that'd save me tripping over the entrance, too! but not till Im sure it's where it'll tay for the duration.

2 Apr, 2014


Wow Dorjac, I thought my greenhouse walked far this winter. That must have been one strong wind.

Lol Fran pavers may help, but don't count on it. My greenhouse was screwed onto 2 blinking big heavy paving slabs (the big old fashioned concrete things), it still went for a "walk" down the garden several times this winter. I'm going to screw mine to the garage this year (or concrete a wooden post in the ground and screw it to that).

As a temporary measure I'd go with a mixture of ropes and bricks and something heavy on the bottom shelves. Once your sure where your putting it you can always work on something more secure for long term.

If you need to divert the wind around it, how about some trellis with a climber positioned between the prevailing wind and the greenhouse. Rather than diverting the wind it will slow it down some. If you haven't got any planting ground there you could always get one of those planters with trellis ( this sort of thing I mean)

2 Apr, 2014


thanks Samjp - gee, your wind prob soudns even worse than Dorjac's!!

Ii've got larage sacks of compsot and bark chips which should weight the bottom of the greenhouse, but the only frame right at the bottom is on the outside, nothing on the inside edge of hte shelf to put something on for ballast. Of course, getting the sacks there will be fun (60 + 100 litres), and they'll slowly be used, but by then I should have found a permanent home for the g'house.

They're just inside the back gate at the moment, half-covered with an old shower curtain - good enough for sealed bags, but once I start dipping in they'll need to be covered. Not really sure about bending down to get them in place, or out again, but only one way to see if it can be did.

The g'house is backed on to one shed, with the other in front of it, end-on, the "composter bed" between them. The wind mostly comes from the left-hand side as you face the gate, and the sheds are on the left, so it'd whistle round the first one, then round the corner of the house (but the composter was on that concrete slab and ended up halfway down the garden path! - but that was empty, and presented a wide surface to the wind, even in the lee.)

can't really divert the wind - just slow it down a bit would do - a fence with air-gaps would last a lot longer than a solid fence that would probably soon be pushed over.

I'd like a lot of windbreaks or at least, wind-disruptors around, but they need to be held strongly enough that they can do their job! I did think about roofing the whole gate end, car-port style, but the front edge would have to be lower than the fence, or the wind would get under it and just lift it off. And the wind would still have to go somewhere after ...

thanks for that link; I'd seen these, and other similar, and had thought about them, but as usual, "where?" is the qustion!

2 Apr, 2014


Not sure its quite that bad, but we're fairly exposed here. There's nothing but fields directly in front of the house so the wind tends to rip across us and somehow the back garden can be a bit of a wind tunnel (even with the village behind us).

I'm hoping the trellis on the top of the new fence will help to slow the wind down a little bit and stop it eddying over the fence.

Sounds you've got quite a dilemma there. I'd probably look at trellising and shrubby type plants that will stand the exposure. They will help to filter the wind and slow it down. You may be able to fix the trellis onto the side of the shed. Or you can get trellis feet (is that the right word) that can be bolted into concrete (or other hard floors) if there's no were to push a post into the ground. Oohh how about a willow screen (or similar), theoretically that would still allow the wind to pass through. May not survive the winds for long though.

No worries Fran. OH found the link a couple weeks back, the prices seem quite reasonable on there (for the wooden planters anyway)

2 Apr, 2014


the main prob is that the path wrpas round the corner of the house that the wind blows from, so how to block it or slow it without obsttucting the path? did think of adding an internal gate, which might help. or not, of ocurse!

I should wait to see what the weather's like the rest of hte year before I make any definite plans - this has been an exceptionally stormy season, and might not happen again (till next year!(. if it's only seasonal, maybe have to learn to live with it.

Besides, the rest of the garden at the back and the side does need measuirng, plotting and planning - and you can bet that any plans I make now will be superceded in six months. and as everything depends on everything else, I don't want to have to undo anything I've already done - at least, not when it comes to permanent structures!

Aslo I need to check wthi HA - what counts as "improvemnt" and what counts as "leave things as you found them"??

ps, leading on from that link yuou gave me, I found "101 things for kids to do utside", which I posted as a separate blog - some of those sound fun for grown-ups, too!!

2 Apr, 2014


Thought of another belt and braces idea Fran. A row of cuphooks upside down screwed into the shed and hooked over the greenhouse framework. One of the sections of clear plastic roofing on our canopy was flapping up and down in the worst gale. I fixed up a Heath Robinson solution (indescribable) then a friend came and got up and reslotted the panel back into its rubber insert with a few hearty bashes with a rubber mallet. I presented him with a dirty great clamp from hubby's workshop and it is still up is the panel. The panels have been there for 25 years and never budged. So this was a very extreme prolonged weather event all over the country.

3 Apr, 2014


that's a good idea, Dorjac, thanks, will make a note to add to the other helpful notes! That sounds a very long-term solution and so a very effective one.

As the g'house cover is in one.piece, it'd man puncturing the cover to get the hook over the frame - *s* if you don't mind I won't do that immediately! but the 4-tier is cover-less, so I could do it for that

But it's a damn good all-round fix-it, and I'm sure I'll find uses for it all round the garden, and indoors, too

*nominated Dorjac for GoY "brilliantly simple idea" awad*

3 Apr, 2014


Hmm awkward spot, I see your dilemma. Have to admit I'm stumped now. Will have a think though.

That's a great idea Dorjsc, so simple but should be really effective. I second Frans nomination.

3 Apr, 2014


once I've tied the eyelets in the bottom of the cover to the frame, and tied at least two of the guys to the shed, and tied bircks or similar to the bottom frame on the inside, that might be all that's needed! at least until we get winds such as we had before, when further steps might be needed (probably steps next door to get my greenhouse back!). But the suggestions I've had from you lovely people won't go to waste for other things around the garden.

3 Apr, 2014


Thanks for the comps Fran. I think my weird solutions to probs come from years of doing none harming battle with some very determined foxes. They do their move and I move my piece on the chess board of the foxy game. Sometimes they win and cubs trash the garden sometimes we win and the garden stays untrashed with no cubs. My brother is good at that stuff too but is sometimes beaten by extremes.

4 Apr, 2014


One mostly has to learn by trial and error, but there's a lot of experience and wisdom "out there" which is a well waiting to be tapped.

"experience is a comb nature gives us after we have gone bald"!!

4 Apr, 2014


While I sympathize with all your problems, Fran, I just couldn't chucking away to myself at the things you mentioned & your experiences, etc!

I have nothing to add to the advice others have given you -BTW I'd third the nomination for Dorjac! - & I hope you have been able to "fix" your greenhouse in place now.

I know this comment is late but I've only just managed to catch up with the blogs this evening & still have yours to finish.

10 Apr, 2014


late but always welcome, Balcony!! and a laugh is a good thing to have caused.

I did an "anchoring the greenhouse" blog, so hope it's enough for ow. of course, i won't know till we get more big winds, so i'm happy to remain wondering for a year or so!

11 Apr, 2014


I saw & commented on your other blog.

Hope we don't get such strong winds again in a long, L-O-N-G time!

13 Apr, 2014


lot second that, Balcony!

and the road curves a bit about here, so the wind has a starught run, and the shed near the gate funnels it more. I'm thinking of getting some sort of ga te or windbreak - not to stop the wind, it'd just push it over! and to stop it from blowng here will just divert it somewhere else, where it mgiht be even worse! just to break it up a bit

13 Apr, 2014

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