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Saturday, October 3, 2009

All Dressed For Cold Weather! (winterizing the greenhouse-and some info on how it was made)

Over the last few months, a few of you have asked to see a closer look at the "mechanics" of my greenhouse. I am showing you the main things I thought were important. If I missed anything...please let me know and I would be glad to send you a shot or two more!
This is a view of the rafters. The whole building is built the same way you would frame a single car garage...except the floor is treated deck wood. That way the water will run through and into the soil below.
I hung white cotton sheets on half of the roof rafters to shelter the young (and old) plants from the hot burning sunshine...and yet still let enough light in to encourage proper growth.I have a gas heater that sits on the floor in the middle of the room on the east side against the wall. A chimney vents the heater through the roof.
The chimney.
This fan hangs about three feet above the heater and moves the very warm air around to heat the whole room. I did not want an overhead forced heat furnace as the warm air coming directly out of it would dry and burn the plants. This way I control where and how fast the air moves around.
See the space between the roof rafter and the wall frame? These are the vents that allow the hot air to escape in the summer months when it is scorching hot outside. I also use a fan to blow some of the very hot air out the front door.
My power bars...which are powered by an extension cord run from a breaker in the garage. The cord itself is strung from overhead so we do not mow or trip on it. There is cable t.v. in here as well. That cord was buried with the gas line...but the power would have been a pain in the bum to put in professionally, so we chose to go this route...and it works well for me.
Again...those vents...(this is
An outside view of the way it was put together....
and another. The dark flooring you see on top of the wooden deck boards is my winter flooring. All it is is 2x2' foam tiles that you use in garages etc. They help the floor from bringing so much cold air inside in the frigid winter months.
I cut and hung these blinds myself! It was so super hot when the sunlight hit the front of the building in the I hung also helps in the winter to hold the heat in at night when it is the coldest.
What the heck is this? It's pink Insulation...(the pink part of my post)
What am I doing with it in my greenhouse???
It goes in those vents that I mentioned earlier. It holds the heat in when I have to keep the furnace running all the time.
You would not believe the difference it makes at this time of year!
I buy a big bag of it every fall. I pull it out and use an electric carving knife to cut it to the right size for each vent. Then I fold it in half and stuff it into place!
Voila! plugged vents! (see my crowns hanging there?) lol
another view.
And this is what it looks like from is not pretty...but it is pink...and effective!
A view from the top...and to show the roof construction..
And my little piece of heaven on earth is ready for the long cold Alberta winter!
Those flowers? yea...they are long dead now...These photos were taken on Tuesday of this week. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night we had killing frosts....and all that is left is the mushy black frost burned corpse of what was once so pretty!
Ah...fall in Alberta...comes on way too fast!
(Tonight we expect snow/rain my weekend is going to include ripping out all the beds if it is warm enough!)


Stacey said...

Jealous jealous jealous!

We won't be getting a frost here for three weeks still but I sure could use that giant greenhouse. You are so lucky to have it.

Erin said...

Superman is laying out our starter greenhouse this weekend. I'm so excited. (I forwarded him your post so he can see our future if it all works out!) Thanks for sharing all of those details...

Stayathomemommy said...

Well first off how neat I can't say that I have a green house! Second Happy First Pink Saturday. I did a post about Cancer awareness please stop by when you have a free moment. I look forward to not only visiting you during the week but every Saturday as well!

Debra Howard said...

What a nice greenhouse. I hope to get one some day. Now I have to make due with an extra garage for the plants I let go dormant. and my dining room for the things I don't want to go dormant.

Mary | Deep South Dish said...

That is just fabulous! Wow, it really is a short season up there isn't it? It seems you just put it all out and bam, you're already talking frost & snow!

You work so hard for these blooms no wonder you have such a beautiful yard - you are one amazing gal. Thanks for showing this - I would love a greenhouse some day.

Barbara Jean said...

Hi Tootsie,
Just came by to say hi.

Some work you been gettin' done there. =0))

Looks like it will be cozy.


barbara jean

Terry said...

Howdy Sweet Lady
My goodness what an amazing post.
I love the photos that help show all the many tiny details that went into this vast "small" project :)
You really make me want a greenhouse all my very own ,with electric for cable T.V. :)
I am not jealous of you only wish we could all have a fabulous place like yours to ecape too.
I am sorry to hear the frost got to your gorgeous flowers.
Oh well life happens .
Now you have a good reason to order more seeds and bulbs to plant.
Blessings to you and yours.
Happy Gardening Adventures .
Big Hugs from Texas

trailrider731 said...

wowwwwwwwww, amazing wowwwwwwwwwwwwww,

YOU DON"T PLAY around do you? way to go!

the best is yet to come

Beverly said...

Happy Pink Saturday, Tootsie.

Your greenhouse is spectacular. And, the insulation idea is perfect - and pink.

artis1111 said...

I don't think I could stand the short blooming seasons up there. Too much work for too little enjoyment of the blooms.I do like snow but in smaller amounts. hehe Have a great weekend.

artis1111 said...

I don't think I could stand the short blooming seasons up there. Too much work for too little enjoyment of the blooms.I do like snow but in smaller amounts. hehe Have a great weekend.

onlymehere said...

You have absolutely thought of everything to make this cozy and a safe haven for those plants! I'm so impressed. I was impressed before I knew about all the fans and insulation but now I think you're a genius!

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Wonderful, wonderful greenhouse construction! How smart with the heater & the vents & the insulation etc. I dream someday of having a smaller version of yours; but not today -- no time/no money!!

We are having beautiful weather today -- 12 deg & sunny; a great day to see the Scarecrow Festival in Mahone Bay. Check me out tomorrow for pictures!

bg_garden said...

I had no idea that you had a greenhouse. We are in the process of getting mine up. I bought it last Spring on ebay. GREAT DEAL! We were busy all summer constructing a small barn for the greenhouse to be attached to. I figured this would help with heating issues in the winter to walk through a heated structure rather then directly into the house from the outdoors.

I am going to attach your link to my Friday!

Justine said...

Wow, it's actually pretty amazing to see all the different components of how the greenhouse works. Who built it? And where did you find the design? Just amazing, Glenda and a true labor of love.

Justine :o )

Anonymous said...

Wow you are a serious gardener. I know what it is to so enjoy something you don't mind the work. You need to be in a garden expo around your community. Every summer we have tours of gardens and they like all types. Small ones, large ones, serious like yours. Good job.

Lynn said...

Wowzer! This is my first time visiting -- I came here from a comment you left on someone else's blog. Your header is absolutely gorgeous!! I had no idea a real person's garden could be that stunning. My husband's the gardener around here and we've been getting more and more into fruit trees and vegetables this year. But all I can say, with my mouth hanging open is . . . Wow! Your gargen is amazing. Thanks for sharing :)

Colleen Wms said...

Wow! So much great information! I will need this!

Betty819 said...

I am very impressed with your greenhouse but envy your short growing season. Seems like a lot of hard work for such a short time, but if you love flowers and it is obvious that you do, it's worth it.
How did you know how to build this greenhouse..I'm sure you must have done a lot of reseach on it before hand. Sounds like you have got a system that is efficient and works well. While you're pulling up the flowers that have been hit by the frost, will their seed pods be any good? If you have any seed pods you have an abundance up, I'd love to be a recipient. No Black Eye daughter dugs hers up today to put in a driveway gate and bought them over to me to plant. I only wanted the seeds but guess the plants are even better. She needed to thin all of them anyway. Will have to see if I can talk her out of her garden phlox that's a pretty light lilac color and some thread-leaf coreopsis.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

That is a dream greenhouse! Heat and cable TV? I'd never go into my house in the winter. You must love working in there, no wonder you have so many pretty flowers.

Sandra said...

Tootsie, I love your greenhouse. After I saw yours, I told hubby that I'd like a greenhouse too. :)

Barbara said...

What a nice greenhouse. We can use one here, but I have given up on outside plants that have to be protected in the winter.

We are getting rain and everything is growing and blooming.


Jennifer said...

Wow, thanks for the details and the gorgeous pictures. I don't have a greenhouse...I have more than enough work with my white house but I am planning on a grassless garden next year. I am going through your posts to find flowers I didn't yet know I wanted. =)
Oh and Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

susan said...

This is serious business! I know it takes a lot of work and planning, but your yard certainly shows it and makes it all worth it! We probably won't have frost for a little while, but lots of my plants have just given up and died natural deaths :)

xinex said...

Wow, Toots! It looks pretty sophisticated and a lot of work. Very interesting though. John is still wanting to have a green house. Don't know where else to put it and we don't know how to build one, lol....Christine

Stacy Uncorked said...

I LOVE your greenhouse! I am so bookmarking this post so when we move to our next house I have some great ideas on how to build a bigger, better greenhouse than the one I have now. :)

Alberta said...

Wonderful post! SO glad I was directed here...I'm going to be a new follower!

Lona said...

That was very interesting. I wondered about heating it in the cold winters. The foam floor tile is a wonderful idea. And I am glad someone found a good use for an electric carving knife ;-)

Unknown said...

Oh wow, what a treasure you have for your plants and flowers. How magnificent! We are no where near frost or snow. It was rainy and cool today but 75 and sunshine yesterday. So enjoyed seeing your project. Congratulations
Happy Twirls

Anonymous said...

Hi Tootsie! Oh, I forgot that the colder weather comes so fast in your neck of the woods. Poor beautiful plants! But you're the greenest thumb in Blogland. YOur greenhouse is so nice with just everything. My daughter got a little one and she's just thrilled!
Thanks for popping in, sweet friend,
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

onlymehere said...

All I do? Tootsie you must be crazy! I do nothing compared to all you do and the talents you have. That greenhouse alone has to keep you hopping! I'm sorry you've been sick too. I really never get sick but lately it seems to be what I do all the time! I think 99.99% of it is stress. Hopefully I'll get cured soon so I can enjoy my last little bit of time with Travis before he flies off for two years.

Urban Green said...

That's fabulous. You've done such a great job with your green house...amazing! i'm so inspired to get one in order. Your post was informative and detailed. Thanks a lot.
And all the best for winters!

Mom said...

Yep! I am a granny! This is my second grandchild! Grandparenting ROCKS!! =)

How have you been?

momstheword said...

Oh this is so cool! I remember seeing the inside of it when you straightened it up one day, but never really got to see how it works.

Girl, you are one busy lady. Just don't work to hard, o.k? You got alot going on now that it's Fall so don't forget to relax a bit!

Don't forget to eat either!!!!!!

bj said...

Altho I am not a gardener, I would love to have a greenhouse...I think. I know nothing about them or raising anything but I just think it would be fun to have one. A small one, that is. :O)
I loved seeing all this, Tootsie...

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Hi Tootsie!

Whoa boy....that's sure a lot of work, isn't it? I can't even imagine how many hours you spend creating your fabulous posy gardens....but soooooo worth it.

Ever green with envy,

Designs on 47th Street said...

This was such an interesting post. Thanks for all the inside info on a greenhouse. I never knew. You are a wreath of information ~~ always! I have been scare to blogland lately. Busy with my fall silk shows, etc. I have my black eyed susan vine pictured this morning. I wanted to add it to your link but just knew one of us would have a frost by Friday and it looks like you! don't you just hate saying goodbye to all our pretty flowers?

Designs on 47th Street said...

Such an interesting post! You always provide us with such great information. Sorry your plants have bit the dust. I was wanting to link up with you this Friday but had a feeling one of us would have a frost by then. I have my blacked eyed Susan vine pictured today on my blog. Just love it, and know we will have a frost any day now. Sorry I have been around lately, super busy with fall silk florals. It's that time of year!

Tamara Jansen said...

Hey Tootsie, I'm finally back....and I hear calgary has allready had SNOW! Good thing you're all prepared out there.

Lori said...

What a wonderful green house! Sorry about the snow coming your way!!!

I don't think I would make it up there... I would freeze to death. I love warm weather.

Carol............. said...

Well, I am totally impressed...what a great job!

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hi Tootsie...

Well my friend, it looks like you're ready for the winter! Ohhh...I just bet you hate to see it would be pretty hard to see! It looks like your set up, you have a very intricate system going there for your greenhouse! At least you're able to keep a few plants going with the heater system and all! So my friend, what do you do with all your time through the long winter months? Darlin', it's already getting cold at my place fact, we are supposed to get down in the 30's this week...brrr! I'm not sure if I'm ready for the snow yet...but like you, we've gotten everything "winterized"!

I'm so glad that you came by for a visit the other day and took a peek at my dining room mosaics...sure appreciated your sweet note...thank you, Darlin'!

Warmest wishes,

My Galveston Cottage said...

Wow. This great addition is more complex than I thought. You've thought of everything! I want one...guess, though, I will need to wait until another season. (It's getting chilly here in Colorado, too!) In the meantime, I'll just pine away for yours. thanks for sharing -s

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Dacia said...

LOVE your greenhouse!! Wish I could build something like it :) I'm your newest follower :)