Most of you know the structure we refer to as our “shade pavilion” undergoes a winter-time transformation to become a sort of greenhouse. The design we’ve been using goes back to 2010 and had become a little tattered. Still usable, but begging to be improved upon in the mind of its designer, Andrew.
Construction began on October 19th a beautifully sunny and warm day. Cleared of many of the potted plants (about half are already inside for the winter) the patio became a great work area.
Of course the supervisor was napping as soon as work got underway, as they do.
I should save the best part for last, but I'm not going to...the new design is bigger, as in there is MORE ROOM FOR PLANTS...yes, it's true! The sides on the old design fell just about at the outer edge of the orange upright. The new sides mount where you see the "U" shaped cut out in the 2x4. That's roughly 9" of new space on each side, 18" overall, running the full length of the structure.
And the new sides are clear and solid. The old design (picture coming up below) had solid ends but the sides and roof were made up of sheet poly.
Now they're corrugated panels sandwiched between two pieces of wood.
We eventually placed grey pipe insulating tubes along the bottom edge to help keep it air-tight-ish. And yes the labels came off, we were leaving them in place during construction to help keep the front and back sides obvious.
Here you can see the bottom seal as well as the ultra moderne and stylish curved corners...
The finished product! You can barely make out the white curved pieces that fit in the gaps at the top of each wall and under the roof. The design is so sleek I almost wish I had time to break out the orange paint and cover the raw wood, so it better blends. However as it ages it will darken and not be so loud (as evidenced but the older vertical piece you can see in the photo above)
Seems the supervisor woke up just in time to inspect our work.
Look how big and spaceous! (and bright)
Because he is always trying to improve upon things Andrew is already critiquing this design. He wishes the roof had been tilted to allow for rain (snow???) to run off. It is completely under the metal roof (this image makes it look like it extends beyond) though so hopefully that won't be too much of an issue.
This design lets in so much more light than the old one! Okay enough admiring it's time to fill it up...
Don't they look happy?
I fear the utilitarian shelving brings down the overall property value though...
The three dark grey stripes on the right side (below) are non-residue duct tape we used to seal the panels together. It's a nice dark color (not silver) and blends quite well, when we take it apart in the Spring the tape will pull right off with no sticky stuff left behind. The reason there aren't any stripes on the left is because we ran out of tape, I've since finished the job. Oh and that empty space inside on the left is for a couple of plants I needed Andrews help lifting.
Here's the old design, a photo from it's first year of use. Some of you might notice the plant collection has grown a little over the years too...
This is a definite improvement!
Here are the stragglers, waiting to be tucked in there by the door. They've since been moved in and fit perfectly.
Plus I still have a little extra room to get in there and check on things and water a bit.
Because I don't want to let things like my acacia get too dried out...
There are other benefits to an enclosed space too, like the fact I finally noticed the amazing scent of the Colletia hystrix flowers.
Plants like Mr. Big, my Agave americana 'Variegata' are happy at the prospect of a dry winter.
And I'm hoping plants like the Grevillea 'Superb' I brought home from the Ruth Bancroft Garden will stay just warm enough to live through the winter. Of course things are organized with the plants that need the most heat both nearest the eventual heat source, as well as close to the door - should an emergency evacuation (into the warm house) be required.
I wish I knew what winter holds for us all, but at least my plants have the best possible chance at a cozy few months.
And how lucky am I to have a husband who will spend his limited free time building things to protect the ridiculous quantities of special-needs-plants we've acquired? (very)
By the way the temperature inside the "greenhouse" is running a full 4 degrees warmer overnight, with no heat, how fabulous is that? Of course the sun has been helping to heat it up during the day and as the morning progresses and the outside air warms up, it lags behind. I'm going to have to get in the habit of opening it up for air circulation. And look into less obnoxious shelving...
All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.