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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Monday, September 29, 2014

And So It Begins

On Friday as I was just about ready to head out the door for work when
out on the street there arose such a clatter I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters (which we don't have but bear with me.) and threw up the sash.  The sun through the clouds Pacific Northwest didn't make anything look quite its best.  When what to my wondering eyes came in view but big trucks from solid waste and a small city crew.

O.k. enough of that.   The delivery of this fifteen yard metal box (Thanks to Rob Bair, a stellar member of the great team at Tacoma's solid waste utility!) was the first step in making a long-time dream a reality.  My birthday gift this year and probably for the rest of my life is the transformation of our garage (shed really as it's had cars in it once in the seventeen years we've lived in our house) into a greenhouse.  Not a true greenhouse as only the roof and one wall will be covered with polycarbonate; the other three walls will remain solid.

Actually the first steps were taken in July when I began the herculean task of clearing the garage of 17 years of things being thrown in willy nilly.  but I digress. 

I didn't want to mention this too soon for fear that something would go wrong and it wouldn't happen but on Saturday, just as planned, David VanDer Weele and his crew where here bight and early to begin.  Managing a project like this is much like preparing and performing a large work of choral music with an instrumental ensemble.  Finding materials, enlisting players, rehearsing the choir; finally at performance when the baton drops and beautiful music begins, it seems a bit unreal.

Tools are unloaded, the first ladder goes up and they're off!



Here's a view of the garage from the neighbor's yard in July just after she allowed me to cut the Hedera helix (dreaded and destructive English Ivy) that had taken over the roof.  (It's 16 feet from peak to eave so that's a lot of ivy!)

Here it is after the tear down. 


Here's  my side.  There is a path between the plants and the garage though it doesn't look like it here.



My side after half of the roof was off. 

We worked at picking up all of the debris and hauling it to the box which wouldn't fit in the alley so had to be placed about 50 feet away. We had fun filling that dumpster!
 
That's the progress so far.  Next weekend the polycarbonate will go on, fans, shutters, and thermostat will be installed and it will be complete except for the wiring of the various elements which should happen on October 10.  I'll keep you posted!


62 comments:

  1. Fantastic! You're going to have some serious growing space. I keep a starfruit, a jabuticaba, a guava and some other productive tropical trees in my greenhouse... I don't think I could live without it any more.

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    1. It'll be interesting to see how it works. It'll sure be nice not to have to carry all of my tender plants to various places in our house and I'm so looking forward to starting tuberous begonias someplace besides the kitchen counter!

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  2. Just imagine all the plants you won't have to pass by because you don't have room. Great project and just in time to start filling it up for winter. What a nice gift too.

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    1. I like the way you think! I'm looking forward to it being finished so that I can start moving plants in!

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  3. This is wonderful! All weekend I wondered about your progress. Oh, joy.

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    1. It's amazing how fast work goes when someone else is doing it, especially when they're very fit twenty somethings. I'm very excited but also a little apprehensive about getting circulation, heating, ventilation, etc. right.

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  4. Wow, exciting times ahead Peter and what a fabulous treat for yourself!! Looking forward to the progress and you'll have lots of fun in that greenhouse garage once all the work is finished :)

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    1. You're right, it'll be great fun. It was so nice of Tom to give me this long-time dream!

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  5. I've been wondering all weekend how it went! Progress at last, so wonderful to see. I've had loads of work done here, so I know the excitement you felt when all that noise started up outside. Hooray!

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    1. And the guys who are doing the work couldn't be nicer and more patient with all of my stupid questions! Their work is also pretty swell!

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  6. Wow. What a project. Looks like fantastic in the making.

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  7. It's really happening! I am so happy for you! And wow...your garage looks huge, it doesn't seem that large from inside your garden. Is there enough room in there for 2 cars? So which wall is going to be polycarbonate?

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    1. I know and can hardly believe it! Thanks, pal. There is enough space for two cars if they're parked very carefully! The east facing wall will be polycarbonate. The sun rises there and travels over the entire roof as it moves west so there'll be sun in there all day long.

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  8. Oh, joy. How exciting! I too want to know which wall will be polycarbonate. And what did you do with all that was in the garage? Getting through 17 years of "stuff" is monumental. Will the garage now pull double duty? I can already imagine the 2014 winter migration. WOW. pictures please.

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    1. It is exciting! The east wall will be polycarbonate. We'll still need part of the space to store the lawn mower, garden tools, and some junk to good to part with. Much of the stuff in the garage was put in the alley behind and posted as free stuff on Craigslist. Some things were relocated tot he attic or basement, and the things that will definitely be going back in are strewn all over the garden paths and the back porch. It really looks tacky but it can all go back in soon. Don't worry, there will be lots of photos as the migration progresses!

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  9. Wow, how exciting! And what a great use for an underused garage. Can't wait to see the finished product.

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  10. Oh my goodness, I am GIDDY for you!

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  11. Yay! How wonderfully exciting. I will follow your progress and I am so happy for you!!

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    1. Thanks! I'll be even more excited when it's completed and I can start filling it with plants!

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  12. That's super exciting - I can't wait to see it completed! If I had a garage - I'd be so jealous!

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    1. You have space that you could put up one of the of the cool kits from Charley's, Harbor Freight, Costco, etc. and not have to worry about all the craziness of putting together this hybrid thing.

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  13. Replies
    1. Much more space than I'll need for plants alone so we'll have space for a small table and some chairs so that we can enjoy being amongst all of the plants during the winter.

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  14. Thanks, Peter. We get in on the excitement without the muss or the noise. Of course, in the end, you will also be the one with the greenhouse. You deserve it. I vow to keep my envy in check.

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    1. Don't know if I deserve it but I feel very grateful that we're able to make this dream come true! You're welcome to come visit any time you'd like!

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  15. Replies
    1. Me too. It's exciting to think that it will mostly be done by next weekend. I will still have to install a gutter, paint some parts, and install the stained glass in the door and the electrician will have to wire everything but plants can start coming in before that's all done.

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  16. A wonderful project. I expect you will happily play in there all winter long. What fun it will be. The trouble will be, not deciding what to grow, but deciding what not to grow.

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    1. I fear you're correct and the plant collection may become larger.

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  17. How exciting! Now you can buy more plants in need of winter pampering!

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    1. I see a road trip to some California nurseries in my future.

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  18. Replies
    1. It is. I'll get to be an even bigger plant geek!

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  19. I am SO excited for you!! That's a huge shed... you're going to have so much space in there. Weee!

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  20. Ohhh how exciting!!!! it´s going to be a huge place for plants!!!!! so much fun!!

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    1. I know, right? I'm giddy with anticipation.

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    1. I'm very impressed that your Tom built his own greenhouse! I can't wait to take cuttings of geraniums and coleus to winter over for next year!

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  22. You decided to do a big work Peter. I know that always difficult to decide on large repair. Good luck to you!

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    1. Thank you Nadezda! It will be nice to enjoy it once the project is finished.

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  23. How exciting! What a great birthday present! I look forward to seeing the finished project.

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  24. I'm so excited for you. I know this will be a well-used space where lots of wonderful plants will be very happy.

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    1. Thanks Gerhard! I'm looking forward to using the space!

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  25. That is so wonderful, Peter. Your winters are going to be a lot more plant-y now. I'm so happy for you!

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    1. Thanks Hoov! I'm thinking that it will be a fun place to be on cold winter days!

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  26. Congratulations on the new addition! Have you picked out a name yet?

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    1. Thanks Les! I haven't thought of a name yet but was thinking about that very thing the other day. Maybe it will tell us it's name as it develops. Suggestions?

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  27. So glad it's really begun, Peter. Winters will never be the same!

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  28. That's big news, and exciting! What a great birthday present. I look forward to seeing how it turns out.

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    1. I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out too!

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.