Helen's Garden Renovation Project

Monday 2 March 2009

Greenhouse base laid

Filed under: Greenhouse,Progress — Helen @ 1:23 pm

The snow has stopped, the sun has occasionally come out, and progress has been happening. The base for the greenhouse was laid on Thursday 19th February. Here it is:

The greenhouse is a lot smaller than the base. I have measured it to have a border of 60 cm width all round it. The back right hand corner has not been cut off like the other ones because this is where I need access to the compost bins and therefore I will need to walk on that area. You can just about see the black armoured cable sticking out of it. This should come up just inside the greenhouse and then it can be wired up to a junction box and the other cabling can come out of there.

As you can see, the base looks very pretty and even more importantly, flat. However, I am not really sure about whether I did the right thing here. The problem is that the garden is not perfectly rectangular. The landscapers asked me whether I wanted it square to the back fence or the side fence, and we all agreed that it would be best to have it square to the side fence, since the back fence will eventually be hidden by the conifers. However, what I should have asked for was to have it square to the house. The leading edge is not quite parallel to the house, which means that it may be difficult to join up the base with the patio near the house without making it look wonky, and also that it may look crooked when I look out of the kitchen window at it while doing the washing up.

When the garden was designed, I decided that I wanted straight edges rather than curves. The advantages of straight edges are that they take better advantage of the space available and they are often easier to implement because there is less cutting of stone to do. However, the disadvantages are that everything has to be measured more precisely for it to work. And using sandstone rather than crazy paving accentuates the parallel (or supposedly parallel) lines even more.

Looking back on this project, there are a lot of things I would have done differently had I known what I do now. For a start, I would have laid the electric cable myself. There was no reason on earth why I shouldn’t have done that, and I would have been spared worrying about whether the fence would fall down. (Indeed, I think I might have dug a trench parallel to the fence but six or more feet away and very deep instead of alongside the fence). Also, I would have removed the existing crazy paving path where it met the edges of the patio base. Then I wouldn’t have the foundations of the existing path running into the foundations of the new base, and it would have been easier to remove them without interfering with the new foundations. And finally I may have even had the path to the greenhouse installed at the same time as doing the base so that I could be sure that everything would line up nicely.

However, it is done now, and I now have to move onto the next phase of the project. I have been drawing up a plan of all the things I have to do and I will post it here when I have finished thinking of things to put in it. For the time being, I am busy filling in the trench with topsoil. I have some subsoil left over because the landscapers put sand in the trench with the cable (good idea) and therefore there is not enough space to put all the subsoil back. So I am moving the subsoil out of the way, and eventually I will use it to fill in the existing pond. I am also not happy about the depth of the cable for the last bit of its journey to the fusebox – the landscapers did that bit – and so I shall dig that at least six inches deeper.

Meanwhile I am waiting for the greenhouse installer to phone me to confirm a date, and then I will get my electrician to wire up the cable for me. And then I can go and play in my greenhouse.

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