1 Towards the end of October, we started to get some heavy frosts at the farm, as you can see from the glittered icing on the paddock fencing.
2 We covered the large potted tropical plants with plastic to protect them from the frost until the new heated greenhouse was complete and where they would be moved for the winter. This, of course, was before our freak snow storm hit.
3 My citrus and other large tropicals were under the shade pergola where they were also draped with plastic sheeting.
4 You may recall seeing my stone and wood yard in previous blogs. This is where we decided the new greenhouse would be constructed.
5 Consequently, all that stone and wood needed to be moved to different areas.
6 Some crated stone blocks and my antique Chinese granite posts were moved to this spot.
7 All the other stones, blocks, and slate shingles were moved across the way and arranged in an orderly fashion atop a bed of compost.
8 Because the site of the new greenhouse was sloped, an excavator was called in to grade and level the area.
9 After leveling, a thick layer of gravel was put down to ensure good drainage.
10 The Hi-Lo was used to remove large overhanging branches.
11 Better to remove them now, rather than risk them falling onto the greenhouse.
12 This is the aluminum framework for the greenhouse.
13 The framework being pieced together - this shape of greenhouse is known as gothic style.
14 Tools of the trade
15 While the framework was being pieced together, the base posts were being pounded into the ground
16 The removable metal cap at the top protects the hollow post while being pounded.
17 The end bows of the framework were fitted into the base posts and fastened with nuts and bolts.
18 There are exactly 4-feet between each base post.
19 Meanwhile, the gravel floor was tamped down with a gravel compactor.
20 The plumbers were also on the job running a water line for a new spigot next to the greenhouse.
21 And then it snowed on October 29th! We were supposed to have all the tropical plants safely tucked away before any snow fell! By the way, the steep roof slope of this structure prevents snow accumulation during the winter months
22 The work continued as the snow melted.
23 As work on the framing and trusses went on, the baseboards, painted Bedford gray, of course, were installed.
24 Fortunately, I am the proud owner of plenty of scaffolding, because it made the next step a whole lot easier. The scaffolding was erected the length of the framework.
25 The covering for the greenhouse is a double layer of polyethylene, which is delivered on two continuous and very heavy rolls.
26 Did I mention that my crew is strong?
27 The polyethylene was hoisted up and over the peak of the frame.
28 Leaving a couple of feet draping down, the plastic was unrolled along the peak. This had to be done with great precision.
29 The fellows walked it along on the scaffolding, unrolling as they went.
30 I honestly don't know how this is done without scaffolding!
31 At last, they reached the end.
32 It was time for the next roll.
33 Up and over!
34 This second roll had to match up to the first.
35 Good thing it was a calm day.
36 At the end, the second roll was cut off.
37 The first layer of polyethylene was unfurled and then the second.
38 One side complete
39 And then the other
40 The plastic is held in place at the ends of the framework with a double spline extrusion.
41 Similarly, the poly is held in place with splines along the length of the sides of the framework.
42 To finish off the floor of the greenhouse...
43 A layer of pea gravel was spread.
44 Chhiring worked on the manual roll-up curtain, which raises and lowers the bottom section of the poly for ventilation purposes.
45 I met with Ryan, my gardener, and made a diagram of where the plants should go in the new greenhouse.
46 Ryan enlisted the help of Wilmer and Fernando and began repotting plants that needed it and transported them into the new structure.
47 Space heaters were brought in until the main heater was delivered and installed.
48 The greenhouse was filling up fast!
49 The beauty of this model is that you can drive a tractor right in through the opening, which will soon have plexi-glass panels and sliding doors.
50 Moving plants is a lot easier now.
51 There's even plenty of room to suspend hanging plants.
52 The propane tank to fuel the heater was delivered.
53 The raised heater being installed
54 This greenhouse has three circulation fans.
55 Pete was trimming and fitting a plexi-glass panel for the endwall.
56 It was a race to the finish, as temperatures began to really plummet. The endwall still needs to be complete with panels and doors.