Giving the greenhouse a future

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The north side of the Greenhouse needed most work, being shaded from the sun.

This past week, the joiners have been giving the Greenhouse a makeover. We have a timber-framed greenhouse here at the Scottish Country Garden which is quite old, and which, interestingly had a life somewhere else before it came here in the 1970’s/ 1980’s. We know this because there is a fitting for a light bulb at one end, but no switch nor any wiring in the greenhouse itself or over to the house! In truth, it is actually two greenhouses bolted together, hence it has doors at either end!

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Inside of the Greenhouse, before work started. There are two vines on the north side, a Black Hamburg grape (near) and a Kiwi Fruit, both of which had to be heavily pruned to allow access. The sills behind these plants exhibited the most rot, owing to the summer humidity levels here when the plants are in full leaf

In the last couple of years, though, we’ve noticed that some of the wood had become quite rotten, including some quite important load-bearing timbers. Some of the window-sills and frames had also been starting to come apart, and weeds had actually started to grow in the softened wood behind the vine.

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Work underway, showing the temporary support required to enable rotten timbers to be cut out and replaced

We didn’t want to lose the greenhouse as it’s a bit of an old friend, (and the cost of replacing it would be significant). As regular readers will know, it’s heavily used in the spring and summer, so we managed to find a local joiner who has beautifully restored it to its former glory, and just in time before the winter.

While we don’t heat our greenhouse, we do over-winter some tender plants there, including a Canary Island Palm, a Bay Tree and some young Pride of Madeira (Echium), which we have grown in pots and which have been outside during the summer. We’ve also put the surplus potted young herbaceous plants in there for safe-keeping; the early spring sun will coax them into growth nice and early, and will help grow them on to a decent size ready for spring planting-out.

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Back to normal! The far table has young Echium (Pride of Madeira) plants over-wintering, and to the left of that some Lonicera (Shrubby Honeysuckle) cuttings which we struck in September, and which have already made root! The table on the right houses miscellaneous young herbaceous.

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17 Responses to Giving the greenhouse a future

  1. Looks so wonderful! How great you were able to save it…..I want to roll up my sleeves and pot up a plant! 🙂

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  2. Great work! It looks a beautiful greenhouse.

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  3. Pingback: Grenhouse Winterizing Tips | How to Build a House

  4. Kudos on the restoration! Oh envy– a timber frame glasshouse! As snow begins to fall here, I return to the kitchen for more orders to fill. Then the US holiday madness begins, yet not at this household…;-)

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  5. What a wonderful space.

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  6. Helen Johnstone says:

    It looks so lovely and neat and tidy. I covert a timber framed greenhouse with a brick lower half!

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  7. Good job! I love old things and your greenhouse is exceptional. Don’t you wish it could tell you all it’s seen and done over the years?

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  8. bittster says:

    Nice that you were able to get someone in and out and get the job done, projects such as that have a way of dragging on around here…..
    You’re lucky to have that space, I remember hearing some statistic comparing the number of greenhouses in the UK to greenhouses in the US, I don’t remember them exactly, but I think it was something like 1 in 10 vs 1 in 1,000, a big gap. I guess it shows one of the differences in gardening between the two countries!

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    • Thanks bittster! We were very lucky to find the joiners; they did an excellent job. Really interesting to hear that statistic – I didn’t know that! I think you maybe get warmer summers than we do, so perhaps less need!
      You’re right about the space – we’re very lucky.

      All best

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