I have wanted a greenhouse for as long as I can remember. Probably not for the reasons you may think. I wanted a greenhouse to ease my guilt. Every year I go out and I buy quite a few ferns and then come fall I watch them curl up and die away. It’s heart wrenching to watch. I am not sure I can fully explain how much pain this brings to my soul. It’s slow and agonizing and if it was an animal, I’d put it out of its misery. I have tried saving them indoors, but they shed, a lot, and I go from feeling sorry for them to wanting to kill them with my bare hands. So a large part of wanting a greenhouse is to save the ferns.

The Process:

It has taken me a few years to get to this point, to actually build one. A lot of thought had to go into the schematics first (more on that later). My husband and I had to finish arguing over the size, the material, the practicality, etc. Compromises had to be reached, hurt feelings had to be mended, but we did it. I have a greenhouse and I love it!

The Foundation and Walls:

Made from of 4″ x 8″ x 16″ Solid Blocks and pressure treated green boards. A heads up: pretreated boards need to dry before you can paint. Test the wood for moisture before you paint. Drizzle some water on boards if the water beads up the wood is dry enough to paint. Unfortunately, this can take up to 1 – 3 months depending on the elements.  I would also suggest using an acrylic-based latex primer before painting. The primer provides a canvas for the paint, eliminating the need for multiple coats of paint.

Made from white vinyl barn sashes and a winterized storm door. I purchased square trim and cut it into 1/4″ strips and fitted that around the windows, inside and out, for a custom frame. We wanted the greenhouse to conform to the other sites on the farm. Therefore, we used leftover siding from the barn for the walls and sprayed the inside wall with foam insulation to keep that warmth come the dark days of winter.

The Inside:

Since the greenhouse is on the smaller side, 8′ x 10′, I need to maximize all the space. I am doing this by adding repurposed brick, from the chimney we torn down when renovating the farmhouse, for the flooring. This will allow me to use the floor for additional plants. The cracks in the brick will also allow and excess water to drain properly.

I added O-hooks to the rafters and threaded a wire through it which will give me ceiling space to hang planters.

I installed a work shelf on one side which will be reserved for heating mats, seedings, and pot shelves on the other which only come out 12-inches keeping the space a little roomier.

The Final Project:

I cannot leave without pointing out that the I in t(his) story is really he. My husband took the saw out of my hands (shrug) and only allowed me to screw a few nuts and bolts in place. Therefore, all the building glory goes to him. After renovating three homes and a zillion home projects we both know our places: I’m the eye, he’s the muscle.

Happy Gardening!

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