The New Greenhouse

In the south-eastern corner of the Priory grounds, something’s been going on.


Slowly, during the past few weeks, we’ve been growing a new cedarwood greenhouse.

Buying a greenhouse during the December sales secured us a 20% discount.  But buying a greenhouse during the December sales meant having to build the thing during the balmy months of January and February.

It has been a struggle for Rob the Brickie.  He started off by digging the footings, followed by …

DSC_4150 … a breeze-block base.

DSC_4151It was on this that he built the six course, brick wall.  Measurements and levels had to be repeatedly checked and very, very precise.  I told Rob how, as it wasn’t square and it was the wrong height, we had had to demolish the first wall built for the original greenhouse three years ago.  In retrospect, I shouldn’t have told him that – he did worry so.  Big time.  (He needn’t have – the greenhouse installers told me this was the finest base wall they had ever seen).

DSC_4154When the weather allowed, the wall grew.

DSC_4188On days when it was warm enough; on days when it was dry enough.

DSC_4706A cold snap delayed our plans by a fortnight and heavy snow prevented the delivery of the greenhouse panels; for several days the Priory drive was impassable to anything other than a four-wheel drive – or Shank’s Pony.DSM_8430But finally, a few days of fine weather allowed Rob to finish the wall, the cement to harden and the greenhouse itself to be delivered and installed.


Here it sits in all its fragrant glory behind the original; rather like stationary railway carriages shunted into a siding.  Forever.  (We didn’t have the space to site them side by side).

DSM_8434Come inside and have a sniff – the smell of the cedarwood is intoxicating.  There is interior and exterior paving still to be laid, water and power to be connected and water butts to be positioned.

I thought for this coming season, I would continue to use one greenhouse open bed …


May 2011

… for tomatoes and cucumbers.


Pot grown sweet peppers – July 2011

And the other for aubergines and peppers; both sweet and chilli.  (I’ve already sown the seeds). You see, I have a yearning, a fancy for some ratatouille.  Yep, some rich, thick, garlicky ratatouille.  With crusty bread.  And perhaps a glass of wine.  Or two.

Come summer, pull up a chair and join me.  Just bring your own wine, would you?

36 thoughts on “The New Greenhouse

  1. Wow! You really went all out on this greenhouse! I bought one of the greenhouse kits from here last year. It’s nothing as grand as this, but I do enjoy gardening in it, and my tomatoes turn out perfect! I’ve never had ratatouille, but if it’s got peppers, I’m sure it can’t be all bad. 🙂


  2. Dave, I’ve got the bottle of wine, so as soon as I find the snow-shoes and the huskies, I’ll jump on the plane, the one you’ll see touching down in one of the fields behind the greenhouse any moment.
    I will lift this burnt-out corpse of mine from its torpor and make you a ratatouille myself, and then I will roll in the snow for the rest of the night, only too glad to have arrived somewhere deliciously freezing.


    • Oh dear Faisal. I guess I don’t need to ask whether things have cooled down, down-under? Goodness sake get over here – today was veritably springlike and warm enough to sit outside. I’d forgotten England could be warm. I’ll put the wine on ice – let me know when you’re arriving. And try not to hit any of Margaret’s cows on landing. Dave


      • Dave, we’ve not only had the driest summer in 30 years ( in some parts of the state, much longer than that ), but we’ve been having a record number of days over 30 degrees. At night, it’s still no lower than 20 degrees. I can’t sleep. I keep waking up in the night, running out to the aircraft and cranking up its propeller. Look out cows is all I can say.


    • Or five, Stacy? Well done Mr Rob indeed! Though obviously it was all done under my close control – like a meticulously planned operation or well oiled machine. Or something. Convinced you? Thought not. Dave


  3. One greenhouse is quite enough for anyone sane. You obviously have too much time on your hands. But cedar – you can’t beat it. Doesn’t rot, smells wonderful.


  4. Couldn’t open the photos last night when I read your post on the phone. That’s a very smart greenhouse and I love the idea of it smelling great. It’s huge and I am rather envious. 😉 Loving the sound of the ratatouille. I’ve got my fingers crossed for a gorgeous summer so you can dine al fresco. WW


    • I know, WW. The idea of a fine summer is almost beyond my imagination after last year. I’m determined though it is going to be a super summer – so there! It’ll happen (possibly) . Dave


  5. Wow, a new greenhouse, a BIG new greenhouse, lucky you with lots more room to play in!! You will be able to grow anything you want in there, will look forward to your posts!


    • Hi Pauline, yes it will be good. As big as the original greenhouse was, 8 tomato plants and four cucumbers filled up the bed. Having said that, I realise that most people’s ‘houses are much smaller than these. Dave


  6. How very handsome they look in all their cedary splendour. And less fighting for border space for those ratatouille ingredients, unlike our poor shoehorned greenhouse. Ahh summer, make it a good one this year!


  7. Such fun, I’ll book my flight for the ratatouille! and I haven’t given up wine, so count me in. Or on the otherhand if you summer is cold you can come here and taste mine! I have one yellow pepper that’s been growing in the greenhouse all winter. Christina


  8. Thats it I’m not talking to you – one cedar wood large greenhouse is bad enough but two, well that is just outrageous.


  9. Do you mean inside the greenhouse? It reminds me of the first greenhouse I ever saw. It was a little one in my uncle’s garden, they used to sit in it on deckchairs at the weekend, there was just room for a few tomato plants and they loved it. It was in Scotland, of course.


    • Hi Amelia, sorry – I’m not sure what you meant re ‘inside the greenhouse.’ I spend all my tea-breaks and lunchtimes in the greenhouse (unless it is too hot of course). And miss it when I’m working at my other garden which has nowhere to go and warm up. Dave


      • I have never had a greenhouse and I have a very channneled mind. What I mean is I’ve always thought you only used them for keeping plants in. It is quite a revalation for me to think about actually spending time and tea-breaks in a greenhouse. We used to love the enormous winter gardens at Duthie Park in Aberdeen and Kew, of course, but I never made the connection that having a greenhouse in the garden was the same thing in miniature. All the adverts in the gardening magazines for greenhouses make more sense now. I thought it was an awfully expensive way to raise tomato plants.


        • Ah, OK – I see. Well, yes I use the greenhouse for all those things and an office too. It has a chair and the benching is at desk height, you see. I can sit and make lists and planting plans, whilst gazing out onto the surrounding fields and supping my tea (the greenhouse has a kettle and heater as well). And I do my potting and seed sowing in there. It is the only place to be! Dave


  10. Count me in for the ratouille, though having stupidly decided to declare 2013 a booze-free year, I will bring something fruity instead. Magnificent greenhouse, I love the way they are lined up, I bet you could do something exciting down the side borders to hint at a railway platform… So many exciting new opportunities with two. And ready in perfect time for the Spring frenzy!


    • Hi Janet, I am going to plant something along the side of the ‘houses but it’ll need to be something not too labour intensive. I was thinking green and red dogwoods but haven’t decided yet. Booze-free year? A concept I do not understand. D


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