As I mentioned in my last post, we finally had a calm enough day in terms of wind last Thursday, allowing us to finally get the cover on our greenhouse.
While we found the building of the greenhouse frame really quite straightforward, the cover installation was another matter. The ends were pretty easy – a lot like putting a shower curtain in place, but with a bit more tugging and negotiating.
Our youngest son came along at this point and helped out by steadying the ladder and handing tools up to his dad.
These two are so alike, and have even broken their collarbones on the same side (about four years apart). My husband broke his in a flukish fall from a ladder, so having his son steady the ladder was very welcome. My son, on the other hand, broke his falling just 12 inches out of bed, so the ladder poses no fear!
Then it was time to prepare for the main cover over the curved top of the greenhouse. This is where things got tricky.
The instructions provided in the flat-packed box in which our greenhouse kit came were laughably simple. There is a lovely diagram showing three stick-figure men standing jauntily with ropes in their hands, gently guiding the cover over the curved top and down the other side of the greenhouse frame. If only it were so delightfully easy!
We found ourselves in a similar position, ropes at hand, but also found ourselves having to tug rather than just gently guide, and my husband spent an awful lot of time securing his rope to the frame so that he could go and coax the fabric cover up and over the various parts of the frame on which it kept catching. It turns out that the very minimalist instructions for our Jewett Cameron greenhouse (20 x 12 foot model), really were just way too simplistic and failed to note vital information such as the absence of sufficient ropes in the kit for securing the base of each of the two main sides of the cover. Fortunately, we are rich in rope, and we used up almost all of our reserve rope properly lacing the base of the cover and securing it adequately. This will mean that come canoeing season we’ll find ourselves up a creek without any rope (for securing it to the top of our car), unless we replace the rope that was pressed into service for the greenhouse.
Honestly, I’m quite seriously considering drafting proper installation instructions for the greenhouse and its cover now that we’ve lived through it and submitting it to the company that made our greenhouse. I can’t imagine that they would be impressed however; cheaping out on the important details seems to be the way of these things!
I finally got a shot of the completed greenhouse earlier this evening and will document the raised beds inside another time.