So we’ve made some significant progress on the TSL Homestead greenhouse. We’re not finished by a long shot but the space is now completely enclosed and mostly draft proof. As you can see in the photo above we’ve got the outside trimmed in weathered shiplap siding that was gifted to us by some friends a few years ago when we were building the Pub Shack (thanks Mike & Wanda)! The siding didn’t match the cedar siding we were using on the Shack so I kept it back to use in a future project and, TADAAAA, we used it!
We installed planting tables along the front wall at two different heights. The longer run, about 10 feet, is lower and a good height for working at if seated and it’s also an advantage if you are just sitting in the space and looking out into the yard. The Mad Farmer and Miss Mercy have spent more than a few evenings since we got the roof on sitting in the greenhouse, discussing modifications, changes to our yard and just enjoying the space. The higher table on the West end is 36 inches high, a good height for standing and working, and about 6 feet long.
The planking for the interior walls and the table tops are recycled cedar pickets from old garden fence that we used to have up when we had more of the garden blocked off.
The greenhouse is close to one of our outside spigots so we put a splitter on the outlet and ran a short hose behind the greenhouse and through the back wall, giving us water inside the greenhouse without having to drag a hose around. A 25 foot hose with a wand attachment was the perfect length to allow us to water anything inside and not have to deal with a lot of excess hose.
You can see our existing cold frames in the background but we’re going to be moving those to allow for easier access along the path to the greenhouse door.
We haven’t had too much sun yet this year but we have already been super happy that most of the windows open.
The Mad Farmer really wasn’t happy with the way I originally framed the East door leading into the greenhouse from the deck. The original plan for the East wall looked a lot different and when we ended up making it symmetrical and using slightly larger windows it narrowed the door frame. We were using an older screen door so that we could raise and lower the window but the opening became too narrow for the stock door so ended up initially framing the door on the outside of the greenhouse, opening onto the deck. After walking through it a few days I just didn’t like it.
So, because screws are a Farmer’s best friend, I was able to deconstruct the door and re-purpose most of the frame. I cut notches into the edges of the door frames using a table saw. You lower the blade down to the height you want to cut to and then run your wood through multiple times, widening the table guide a little each time to make the notch wider. You can do the same thing better with a router but I need to replace my router so sometimes you do the best you can with what you have.
After notching the rails I cut them in half, placed the glass from the door into the custom notches and screwed the top halves back on. I’m sure there are better ways to do it, and it’s possible down the road I might replace it, but it works fine, fits with the look of the greenhouse and I will eventually build a screen door in a similar manner that will open onto the deck so we can have the door open and still keep the bugs out.
We made the steps leading down into the greenhouse off the deck wider and shallower than a normal step, to make it easier to step down if you are carrying something. The distance between the deck and the ground is only about 15-16 inches, so they didn’t have to be steep and it’s easier on both the dog and the people – important as you get older. Sasha is nine now and while she thinks like a puppy she doesn’t move that well anymore.
We are going to be insulating the wall spaces and covering the interior walls that are open but the good news is that we have some time before winter so we can start looking for some additional salvaged lumber to fit the look. We the price of new lumber at the moment if we decide to go that route we’ll have to decide which child to sell. Father Day’s coming up kids, so would be a good time to make some points with the old man before that decision takes place…