Taking Walkway Lights to New Heights

My mom, Erika, has been coloring outside of the lines again.  This time, she’s come up with a DIY garden lighting project that is simply beautiful and beautifully simple.

She has taken three ordinary solar-powered walkway lights and turned them into charming elevated garden lamps.

Let’s Head Over to Mom’s Garden

Mom initially installed these solar walkway lights in her garden because they are good quality, attractive, and, being solar-powered, they are easy to install and care for.

lights before elevation

They also give a nice warm glow at night and cast off an interesting light pattern.

She recently came up with the idea of grouping and elevating three of these lights to turn them into an interesting and functional garden accent.

Lamps made with walkway lights

How She Did It

Once she got the idea of elevating the lights on vertically placed pipes, Mom had a hard time finding the right pipe.  At the big-box hardware store, no one could find a pipe or tube in the diameter that she needed.

Then she came across some thin-walled metal closet rods with about a 1-1/4 inch diameter – just the right size to fit the post of the light into.

lamp and post separatelamp and posted united

The closet rods came in 6-foot lengths.  She bought three and cut them into a 5-foot, a 4-foot, and a 3-foot length.

Lamp post pipes

Then she spray painted the rods to match the lights, pounded them into the ground with a rubber mallet, and set the lights in.

Tip:  The walkway lights originally came with their own stakes, but they proved useless for this project.  Mom discarded them in favor of simply pounding the closet rods deep into the ground to make the lamps as stable as possible.

Beautiful Simplicity

Then she was done with the project – no electrical cords to run, no pesky wires to worry about.  The lamps would be easy to disassemble if she ever wanted to move them or use the walkway lights for something else.

They are beautiful at night.

Garden lamps at night

And by day, they add a timeless accent to the garden.

Garden with lamps

And since this trio of lights worked out so well for her, Mom did another trio by her leaf fountain.

Elevated walkway lights

Elevating solar walkway lights – the possibilities are endless.  Mom, I’ll be stealing this idea soon!


Resources:

These lights are similar to Mom’s and by the same maker.

Mom has many passions and talents, and writing is among them.  She currently has two books available on AmazonYear of the Angels, a touching historical fiction novel based on her childhood during WWII, and Cries from the Fifth Floor, a fun paranormal thriller/murder mystery.

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Spring Container Gardening with Smoke and Mirrors

We are very fortunate here in the Puget Sound area to have one of the best flower and garden shows in the nation – the Northwest Flower & Garden Show.  Mom and I attend every year to find new gardening inspiration.

The show deals in the fantasy of gardening as much as the reality.  That is part of what makes the show so much fun.

steampunk clock tower edited
A steampunk display garden, 2015 Northwest Flower & Garden Show

Early blooming hyacinths bloom alongside fall-blooming hydrangeas.  Outdoor living spaces boast fine fabrics, chandeliers, and artwork because, in a fantasy garden, you never have to worry about rain.  Oh what a lovely dream!

sleeping room
An outdoor sleeping room, 2015 Northwest Flower & Garden Show

 

willow ball lights
Display garden, 2015 Northwest Flower & Garden Show

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

I suspect that in these spectacular display gardens, everything is not always what it seems.

Trees are planted in large pots among flowering annuals and perennials – or are they?  Maybe some are just cut branches pushed into the soil to look like trees.  After all, they are only needed for a short time, and who is to know the difference?

Trying This Trick at Home

This is the time of year in many areas when we are pruning our trees and shrubs anyway.  So why not just push some of those cut branches into planting containers for use as faux trees?

It’s an easy and inexpensive way to add height and texture to spring container plantings.

Curly Willow Container

I already had some curly willow branches in a container left from a front porch Christmas decoration.

willow pot
Christmas container with curly willow branches

I just planted an anemone, a white primrose, and a sedge among the branches, and pushed some clippings from an evergreen shrub into the soil, to come up with this fresh spring arrangement.

Spring container gardening

 

Spring container gardening

In a few months, I can easily remove the willow branches and the spring bloomers and plant the pot with summer-blooming annuals.

Flowering Quince Container

And here is my little flowering quince tree.

Spring container gardening

Of course, it’s not really a tree, just some cut branches.  Since these branches already have blossoms and leaves, they need to be in water.  So I placed them in a small, partially buried vase in the middle of the container.  The vase is then hidden by the primroses.

Spring container gardening

The beauty of it is that it’s so easy to change later when you want to move on to a different look – no digging up root balls and possibly breaking your container or damaging the plant.

After all, it was just a fantasy.


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Heidi’s March Plant Pick: Flowering Quince

The flowering quince (Chaenomeles) is an insignificant and easily overlooked deciduous shrub that just sits there quietly minding its own business – until late winter when it blooms.  Its blossoms are a paradox – old-fashioned yet exotic.

In late winter, when just about everything else blooming is either yellow or pale pink, the flowering quince comes up with its passionate scarlet flowers.  Or are they rose?  The color is hard to describe.

Flowering quince

These stunning beauties are originally from China, Japan, and Korea.

Flowering quince blossoms

My favorite way to arrange the flowering quince is to just highlight a few stems so that each exotic little blossom becomes more important.

Flowering quince arrangement

Varieties

There are many varieties of flowering quince, including some that do well in containers.  Some can even be trained into bonsais.  Some varieties only grow to about three feet while others can reach 10 feet.

The most common blossom color is shown here, but there are others including pale pink, white, salmon, and crimson.

Care and Feeding

The flowering quince does well in hardiness zones 4 through 9.  It adapts to many soil conditions, including clay soil.  It also adapts to high altitudes, and it’s deer resistant and moderately drought tolerant once established.

Unless in a hot climate, this shrub is happiest in full sun.  My flowering quince is planted in the shade, where it still manages to bloom a little, although the branching is sparse.

It needs air circulation to help avoid mildew and to help it bloom. So it’s best not to locate it in a garden bed that is already densely planted.

Pruning

When pruning, keep in mind that the flowers form on the previous year’s growth.  It’s best to prune the plant early – before the buds begin to appear.

Fruit

Even in the shade, my flowering quinces have produced a little fruit.  Although the fruit looks a little like small pear, it is not tasty to eat raw.  But it is good for jams, jellies and liqueurs.  Wildlife is attracted to the fruit, so what little fruit I do get, I just leave on the plant.


Resources:

The quince blossom lends itself to many art forms and artistic interpretations.  Here are few pretty examples from Etsy.

braemore flowering quince pillowquince print postcardbonsaioil paintingquince oil

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Late Winter in the Greenhouse

When I last wrote about our Sunglo lean-to greenhouse in Greenhouse Sneak Peek, I covered the process of preparing the site and assembling this adorable little structure.

But I left off at the interior, which had yet to be completed.

greenhouse growing greenhouse interior

Since then, my husband, Chris, has been busy installing the shelving and lighting.

greenhouse growing shelves being installed

And now, at last, I’ve been let loose in the new greenhouse to start our seedlings and gear up for the growing season.  Things are still in the early stages, but I thought I would give you a little tour.

Greenhouse Tour

This lean-to greenhouse measures 5 X 12.5 feet and is attached to the south side of our garage.  So for a small footprint, we get a large amount of shelf and counter space, all south-oriented.

Climate Control

On the west wall, we have the control panel for the automatic venting, heating and cooling.  I still jump a little every time the fan kicks in!

greenhouse growing interior

Soil Basin

On the east wall, we have the entrance and a soil basin.  To me, an indoor soil basin is such a luxury and makes potting so much easier.

greenhouse growing soil basin

A Water Source

And on the north wall, which is the exterior of our garage, we have a water tap that Chris piped in from our rainwater cistern.

water with hose edited

The hose basket is actually an old bike basket that I found in the basement and spray painted with Rust-Oleum Heirloom White.

Lighting

We have a grow light hanging over the potting counter.  It’s already coming in handy for extending the daily light exposure for our citrus trees.  We may add a second one at some point.

We also have the great rustic overhead lights that my brother made for us as a Christmas gift.

greenhouse at dusk
Greenhouse at dusk

A Cart Made Over

I couldn’t resist using this cute old metal cart I bought at a thrift store several years ago.  I repainted it one of my favorite greens (Rust-Oleum Eden) for its new location.

green cart

I’m not sure how old it is, but judging by the little wooden wheels,  it could be mid century or earlier.

wooden wheel

So What Am I Growing?

I’m new to greenhouse growing, and there are so many things that I want to try.  I know some of my experiments will succeed and others will fail.  But it’s all a learning experience.

Starting Seeds

I started some seeds in propagation trays, including:

  • Tomato Minibel.  I chose this tomato for its compact size.  It’s a small ornamental tomato that needs no support and it’s great for containers and hanging baskets.
  • Hot Chinese peppers.  Mostly because they will look attractive.
  • Ground cherries.  I just love how the fruits of these plants are wrapped in a delicate papery husk.
  • Trailing lobelia.  Great in hanging baskets or containers.  I have never tried growing these from seeds before.  We will see how it goes.
  • Impatiens.  A beautiful shade annual and another plant I have never grown from seed.
Greenhouse growing seed packets
I stapled these seed packets to wooden stir sticks and they will be inserted into the propagation trays as plant identifiers.

These seeds were all planted a few days ago and will take a little while to spout.  Once they do, I can prop open the plastic cover on the propagation  trays and eventually take them off completely.

Greenhouse growing - propagation tray

Once the danger of frost has passed, the seedlings can be hardened off and then planted outside – except for the tomatoes and peppers, which need even warmer conditions before they can safely be released into the wild of my garden.

Dwarf Citrus Trees

The blossoms of citrus trees are very fragrant so I bought a couple of dwarf citrus trees to make the greenhouse smell wonderful, and also in hopes of getting some fruit.

They need heat, sun and humidity, so they will stay in the greenhouse during cooler times of the year, and then be moved to the patio for the summer.

One is an Improved Meyer Lemon, which is blooming now.

lemon blossom

The other is a Bearss Seedless Lime.  It is a small tree but it is already producing a lime.

Lime

The Cactus Experiment

I have never tried growing cactuses from seed.  But a packet simply labeled “Cactus Mixed Varieties” caught my attention.

The instructions say to cover the seeds with glass, so I am using the same cheese dome I used for this floral arrangement last week.  I don’t think it will ever really be used for cheese.

greenhouse growing: cactus pot
Cactus pot

What’s Next?

We found this used greenhouse on Craigslist and then added some new parts we got from Sunglo.  So Chris is still hoping to find time to give some of the older cedar shelves a little spruce-up.

As for the growing season, it really is early days, and the greenhouse still looks pretty empty.  But once the tomatoes and peppers get bigger, they will need larger pots and will take up quite a bit of space.

I also have these generous-sized propagation trays from Sunglo that will be perfect for starting tuberous begonia bulbs in a few weeks.

Sunglo large propagation trays

I will be posting updates from time to time on how things are going in the greenhouse.  Now that my seeds are planted, I need a mega-dose of that special commodity that is not just a virtue, but, for gardeners, a necessity – patience!

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Starting Seeds Indoors on a Shoestring

I’m pretty excited about my new greenhouse.  I can start seedlings indoors and keep them warm and snug while the weather is still cool and then plant them outside after the danger of frost has passed.

But what if you don’t have any space for a greenhouse?  Say you live in an apartment with just a patio or a balcony and you just need a few plants to liven up your outdoor space.  Well the truth is, if you have a sunny window and an empty 16-ounce plastic salad mix container, you can still start seedlings indoors.

This little budget-friendly and earth-friendly project is so simple that I’m almost embarrassed to share it.  But if you’ve never tried starting seedlings indoors, it’s an inexpensive way of finding out if you enjoy it.   It’s also a fun project for kids.

The Materials

  • A clean, empty 16-oz rectangular clear plastic salad mix container.
  • Three clean, empty plastic pony pack containers.
  • A packet of seeds.
  • Seedling starter mix.
  • Water.

It’s a good idea to remove the top label of the salad container so nothing is shading the seedlings.  But  that will be the most difficult part of this project.

starging seeds indoors with empty salad container

The salad container in the photo measures about 12 X 8 inches.  That is the perfect size to fit three 5 X 3.5-inch pony pack containers.

If you’re wondering, pony packs are the small four-pack containers that starter annuals are sold in.  If you don’t have any, ask a friend who is into gardening.  He or she will know immediately what you’re talking about and is sure to have a few empties around.

Make sure the pony packs are clean so that no tiny cooties are onboard to harm your seedlings. Three pony packs gives you a dozen chambers for planting seeds.

ingredients - starting seeds indoors

Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing Seeds

Make sure the seeds you choose are right for your garden space.  How big will the plants get?  What kind of sun exposure do they need?

Also check the packet to make sure the seeds are for starting indoors and not for direct seeding into the garden (although sometimes you can get away with starting those indoors too, but it’s hit and miss).

Be sure to follow the instructions on the seed packet if they conflict with my instructions below.

Let’s Get Started

This won’t take long.  First, fill the pony packs with moistened seedling starter mix and set the seeds on top.

starting seeds indoors - pony packs

For this example, I’m using sweet pepper seeds.  I used two seeds per chamber in case one of them fails.  You should also plant multiple seeds per chamber.  Once the seedlings sprout, you can thin them to one plant per chamber.

Now cover the seeds with a light dusting of the seedling starter soil and then moisten them thoroughly.  I used a spray bottle for this so the seeds wouldn’t be disrupted.

starting seeds indoors

Then put the pony packs inside the salad container and set the plastic cover on top.  Voila! You have a homemade propagation tray.

Put it inside near a window that gets a lot of light.

starting seeds indoors - homemade propagation tray

Okay, I admit that I put my container in my greenhouse.  But if you make sure your container gets enough light, you will probably have success.

Keep the soil moist at all times and keep the lid set on top, but not clamped down.  Once the seedlings have sprouted, prop the lid open so they get some air circulation.  A week or two after they have sprouted, you can do away with the lid entirely.

Once the danger of frost has passed in your area, or whenever the seed packet says you can, you will be able to plant your seedlings outside.  If you are planting tomatoes or peppers, you might want to research when in your area they can be safely put outside.

If you try this project, I would love to know what you planted how it turned out for you, so please come back, post a comment and let me know.

 


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Heidi’s February Plant Pick: Corsican Hellebore

My February plant pick is a little late because I was waiting for my favorite hellebore, the Corsican hellebore (Helleborus argutifolius), to start blooming.

But since this is one of the earliest blooming hellebores species around, we didn’t have to wait long.

Corsican Hellebore

A Big Beauty

This big beauty is at least 15 years old.  It was originally planted on top of the drystack wall but has since spilled over into the flowerbed below.  This is a full, clumping evergreen hellebore with leaves that mostly look healthy and fresh all year.

Corsican hellebores are said to grow up to 20 inches tall and 36 inches wide.  But I say they get even bigger.

Its soft green flowers first appear in late January or early February in our garden, hardiness zone 8a.   It seems to bloom forever.

corsican hellebore

Sometime in late spring or early summer, the flowers dry out.  But even in that state they are kind of attractive and I usually wait until mid-summer to trim them away.

A Dangerous Beauty

In researching this plant, I was surprised to learn that, not only is it poisonous if ingested (as are all hellebores), but handing any part of it could cause an allergic skin reaction.

I have never suffered a skin rash from this plant, but the leaves look brittle and slightly prickly so I have never wanted to handle it without gloves anyway.  Still it’s probably not the best plant choice if you have children in the house.

Bottom line: Wear gloves, and, no matter how hungry you are, don’t eat this plant.

Location

Many of the trees and plants that are located on the elevated flowerbed behind our drystack wall struggle and eventually need to be replaced.  My theory is that water drains pretty quickly from this area, so even though we have a sprinkler system, things tend to dry out.

But this hellebore likes well-drained soil and is moderately drought-tolerant.  It also likes a part sun exposure, so it has thrived in this location.

Care

It’s a good idea to prune away any dead, dried out or diseased leaves once in a while to keep this plant looking its best.

It also enjoys a layer of leaf mold or leaf mulch at least once a year.  It likes acidic to neutral soil.

It is okay for this plant to dry out between watering (once established) but it does need to be watered on a consistent basis.

I have read that some owners of this plant battle large numbers of seedlings that need to be pulled out or relocated so the original plant won’t be smothered.  I have not had that problem, but soil condition might be a factor.

Hardiness

This hellebore is a hardy evergreen perennial in hardiness zones 6a through 9b.

Pests

Black spots sometimes appear on some leaves.  I usually just cut those leaves out.  It also occasionally falls victim to aphids.

One of Many Beauties Out There

Hellebores are native to Europe and parts of Asia, and there are many species.  This post focuses on my favorite hellebore, but I wanted to mention that there are other hellebore options – lots of them.

Some have flowers in deep, dramatic colors.

Hellebore

Some have filled flowers.

filled hellebore

tiny hellebore hellebores fieldSome are subtle woodland wonders, and others serve as sweet little ground covers.

 

 

 

 

 

New hellebore hybrids are being developed all the time.  Check out a good local nursery and hopefully you will be blown away by the selection.

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For everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Hellebores, check out Hellebores, A Comprehensive Guide.



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Heidi’s January Plant Pick: Cyclamen Coum

cyclamen coum

This adorable Coum Hardy Cyclamen (Cyclamen coum), a tuberous perennial that hails from Turkey, is the baby brother of my November plant pick, the Florist Cyclamen.

A Tough Beauty

The Coum Hardy Cyclamen is a tough little guy that is hardy to -20 degrees and blooms in the dead of winter.  The blossoms are just starting to appear in my shade garden.

Cyclamen Coum
Cyclamen coum at the base of a mountain ash tree

Some winters, the blossoms can be seen peeking up through the snow.  The flowers (usually pink or mauve) only get about 4 inches tall on red stems, and the plants grow in dense patches up to about 12 inches wide.  The leaves are also very attractive.

Cyclamen coum flower closeup

They are sweet, subtle little plants, not flashy show-stoppers.  But they are a welcome sight in the middle of winter when nothing else is blooming.

Great for Naturalizing

They look great in a woodland setting and thrive in hardiness zones 6 to 10 in full to partial shade.  Everything I have read about them says they need well-drained soil, but I would say the soil in my shade garden is just a touch on the heavy side, and these little guys still thrive.

They go dormant in summer, so winter is the time they shine.  To create a year-round display of blossoms, groups of Coum Hardy Cyclamen can be planted around the bases of deciduous trees along with groups of shade-tolerant spring, summer, and fall-blooming bulbs and tubers.

In fact, there is another small hardy Cyclamen variety, Cyclamen hederifolium, which blooms in fall.

Care

My shade garden (in hardiness zone 8a) is wonderfully low-maintenance, and I do nothing at all for these little guys.  They like soil that is rich in organic matter, and this occurs naturally in my shade garden as the trees lose their leaves and cones.

Once the plant is established, it’s okay to let this cyclamen dry out a little in summer, when it goes dormant anyway.

They prefer to be undisturbed and don’t take kindly to being dug up and replanted, although I have tried it and had success.

All in all, an easy little perennial.

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My Top 10 Posts for 2014 and a Look Ahead at 2015

This blog, My Sweet Cottage, which I started late last summer, actually made one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2014 come true:  To find more things I enjoy doing.  I really love having this blog, and I have you to thank.  Your comments and encouragement keep me going and keep it fun.

A blog is a great way of documenting the year.  Here, in semi-chronological order, is a look back at my top 10 posts for 2014.

Things That Happened in 2014

1. We lost my dear mother-in-law in May, but we found a beautiful way of honoring her life.  Betty would have loved her celebration of life party.

picture string closeup

2.  I shared the colorful makeover of our little garden shed.

Potting shed with paint and new roof

3.  In a three-part series, I talked about our master bathroom remodel.

master bath looking south

4.  In another three-part series, I covered our kitchen remodel.

kitchen remodel - south wall after

5.  My mother brought me some beautiful hydrangeas for floral arrangements.

Decorating with Hydrangeas

6.  I cleaned out our basement and found all kinds of treasures to revamp or repurpose.  My husband, Chris, reupholstered the mid-century chair he remembers from his childhood.

Midcentury chair revamp

7.  My brother and his wife have been busy too with their 1908 house.  They did a stunning DIY dining room remodel.  If you haven’t already seen this post, don’t miss it!

dining room table and window2 jpg

8.  A major highlight of my year was when one of my long-held dreams came true:  We now have a greenhouse!

sunglo17

9. We reupholstered our old arts and crafts dining chairs with an unconventional fabric.Chair after with side table

10.  In my favorite post of 2014, my mother shared tips for setting a formal table – and some interesting stories from her experiences working in an English manor house in the 1950s.

formal place setting

The Year Ahead

I have several resolutions for 2015.  First, now that I have a greenhouse, I resolve to expand my horizons as a gardener by learning more about greenhouse gardening.

I resolve to make more time for sewing so I can do more fun projects like these gift bags.

I resolve to repurpose old items in fun ways, like these jewelry organizers and this porch bench makeover.

And finally, I resolve to be true to my own likes and dislikes.  I will look to new trends in décor and design for inspiration, but I won’t be swayed by their popularity alone.  I will stick with what speaks to me.  And I will share that with you.

Here’s to a fun and interesting 2015!


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Heidi’s December Plant Pick: Golden Euonymus

Golden Euonymus

With so many great shrubs that provide winter color and structure, it was tough to decide on one for my December plant pick.

But when I came across this striking Golden Euonymus (Euonymus japonicus ‘Aureomarginatus’), I knew I had a winner.

I’m not usually a huge fan of plants with variegated leaves.  But this beautiful combination of the soft buttery yellow with the dark green on shiny leaves can brighten any gloomy winter’s day.

Euonymus
Golden Euonymus

A Versatile Beauty

Golden Euonymus can thrive as a container plant on a porch or deck or it can be planted in the garden to add a splash of color.

For an even more striking display of color, it can be used as a hedge.

Un-sheared, it reaches about six feet in height and width.  But it tolerates shearing very well (although this should not be done in freezing weather).  It can be shaped to add structure to your garden or, if it’s in a container, to lend a more formal look.

Year-Round Color

Golden Euonymus is an evergreen shrub that looks beautiful all year.  The colors hold best if it’s planted in full sun, but it can tolerate part shade.

Care

Golden Euonymus does well in hardiness zones 7-9.  It does need regular water and well-drained soil.  It tolerates salty soil and marine air.

Fertilize with a well-balanced fertilizer in spring.  This plant is fairly disease resistant and also deer resistant.

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Greenhouse Sneak Peek

Sunglo lean-to

We have a new feature in our garden:  A portal to the tropics.  This morning the temperature outside was under 30 degrees, and when I walked through the portal it was 62 degrees, heated by the sun.  By noon it was over 70.

If you read my post Greenhouse on the Brain, you already know that I’m talking about the little Sunglo lean-to greenhouse that we bought used and disassembled on Craigslist.

My husband, Chris, and our talented friend, Bruce, who also worked on our master bathroom remodel and kitchen remodel, worked for over a week in rain and freezing temperatures to prepare the site and assemble the greenhouse.

It’s not quite finished, but I’m already so happy with it that I wanted to give you a sneak peek and show you the process.

Making it Fit

A lean-to greenhouse is basically one-half of a greenhouse that attaches to the side of a building.  Ours would be attached to the south side of our garage, where our vegetable garden was.

Site of future greenhouse
SIte of future greenhouse

The greenhouse we bought on Craigslist would measure about 5′ X 10′ when assembled.  But that wasn’t long enough to cover both of the windows on the south side of the garage, and the greenhouse would have to be placed off-center on the garage wall, which wouldn’t look right.

Going Shopping  at Sunglo

Luckily Sunglo is located in Kent, Washington – a short drive from our house.   So we arranged to pick up a 2.5 foot extension kit.  This would bring the length of the greenhouse to 12.5 feet, which would cover both garage windows.

I have to add here that Sunglo greenhouses are over 90% made in America and many of its components are actually manufactured right there in Kent.  So we felt pretty good about buying this product and supporting the local economy.

Of course while we were there we had to add a few upgrades to our greenhouse, like a nice little cedar shelf to replace a wire shelf.  We needed a few other parts, and most of them were machined while we waited.

Preparing the Site

Chris and I removed all the plants, part of the walkway, and much of the soil next to the garage to level the site.

Site prepared for Greenhouse
Space prepared for construction.

Next, Chris and Bruce measured out the foundation area of the greenhouse and sunk concrete pillars with brackets to hold the foundation.

For the foundation, they used pressure-treated 4X12 lumber.  The 12″ foundation would add the height needed so that the greenhouse would be tall enough to cover the top of the garage windows.

 

Greenhouse foundation
Chris and Bruce working on the foundation

Framing was added to the garage wall so the greenhouse could attach to it.  Attaching framing to an 80-plus year old stucco structure was tricky because nothing was level, so Bruce had to pull a few magic tricks out his hat to make this work.

Next they brought in lots of sand as the subfloor and placed concrete pavers over the side that would get foot traffic and gravel over the side where the potting bench would be located.

Flooring for greenhouse
Chris stops to take a break after installing pavers

They brought in two sources of water: a wall faucet for a small hose, and a stub for a future drip irrigation system.  They also  brought in electricity.

They even installed a small patio outside the greenhouse door.

Assembling the Greenhouse

Finally, they could start assembling the greenhouse and we could see it taking shape.  I just love the curved roof design.  It gives it so much character.

Greenhouse walls installed

Chris and Bruce got lots of advice and information about the assembly process from the helpful folks at Sunglo.  Things were getting very interesting as each panel was installed and the greenhouse came together.

Sunglo greenhouse being assembled
Teamwork!

It still needs some work around the door frame and a few finishing touches.  It will have a built-in cedar potting bench with a soil basin and small cedar shelf above that.  But here is the interior at this point.

Sunglo greenhouse interior

It also has automatic heating and cooling.  If it gets too warm, a fan on the west side automatically comes on and a vent on the east side opens.  Pretty nifty!  There are also a couple of manual vents.

Sunglo greenhouse control panel
Command central

Chris couldn’t resist wrapping his creation in Christmas lights.

Sunglo greenhouse with Christmas lights

I just can’t wait to find the right interior lighting for this adorable little greenhouse, something industrial yet attractive.

In spring we will be carving out a new vegetable garden around the greenhouse to blend it into the landscaping.   We might also do some kind of façade over the wood foundation, or paint it.

Sunglo greenhouse

I have already put a few plants in there and they seem very happy.  But warm as it was in there on this cold day, I’m tempted to kick them out and put in a couple of comfy chairs, a coffee maker and a wine cooler.

Is that so wrong?

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