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Building the Greenhouse


We had the solar panel installation people back this morning. Now as far as I was concerned, the job was finished and a good ‘un but their technical people weren’t 100% happy with the supporting bars position so back they came. Funny, half the time you can’t get a firm back for a problem once you’ve paid but these guys return to fix a fault I couldn’t even see.

The sun was shining, so I wasn’t happy to have my solar power offline but it did have one benefit, it made my mind up to take a couple of days off and get on with things outdoors. You might remember I had a new greenhouse delivered back in November. Well it’s still sitting in the box and it ain’t going to grow much for me like that!

Now I must admit the truth, I didn’t get the engineering gene. Some men know what a carburettor is and what it does, some men instinctively open a self-assembly furniture box, throw away the instructions and put it together in two minutes. Me, well I read then manual, read it again and then check all the parts before wondering what on earth I’m doing.

So much as I want the greenhouse, even when the weather has been passable I’ve found other jobs that are more urgent to do. Opening the box, I hit my first problem; the instructions were soaking wet and unreadable. Happily Vitavia were very helpful and pointed me to the download PDF on their site and emailed me the separate instructions for the base.

Much scratching of head and muttering later, I made a start. The base is designed, I think, to cope with being placed directly on the ground and has downward pieces which would hold it firmly in the ground. Trouble is my greenhouse is going onto a slab base, so a little adaptation required.

A chat with the solar panel installer about how best to fix the base plate to the slabs came in handy. He’s got that engineering gene! Made a start putting the sides together but the sky darkened and it got a bit chilly, so retired indoors to read the assembly manual yet again.


Despite the weatherman’s promise, the day started with drizzle which didn’t encourage me to go outside. It stopped mid-morning so back to greenhouse construction. I finished the sides in fairly short order and then started on the back panel.

Having jumped ahead in the manual to the front side with the doors, I had that sinking feeling. Maybe there’s a reason I never became an architect or a builder. Rang up my neighbour who’s a bit more engineering minded and he popped down. A few hours work with just a couple of false moves later, the front and rear were basically finished.

Now at this point the clouds had come down and we decided it was a good point to break off. He’s away tomorrow but, weather permitting, will be down Sunday when we’ll get the sides connected to each other on the base and the roof on.

I know I’m going more slowly on this than I think most people would if they had the time uninterrupted but I’ve left out quite a few distractions like telephone calls dragging me back in and we’ve had a bit of back and forth to the vets as Amber (our blind cat) has been off colour. Nothing serious, a respiratory infection, but expensive!

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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