Bruce began to taunt me, in early December, with hints of my 40th birthday present. Leading up to the big occasion, I was allowed to ask one question per day. So Mineral, Animal… Red, Green etc. The taunting went on and on. I was pretty sure he had gotten me a greenhouse but then he started to get me off track purposefully and then I began to panic. What the hell did he get me? You start imagining the alternatives and then you know you have to come up with a ohhhh boy that’s just great when all you really wanted was a greenhouse. The big delivery was delayed and was going to be delivered later than expected which put Bruce into his own panic. I wouldn’t have anything to open on my birthday. I’m not a stickler so he did eventually tell me a few days before my birthday. So the days leading up I was content posting away on pinterest all my greenhouse ideas thoughts and plans. Calculating the perfect time to begin lettuce, spinach and the ability to start my tomatoes outside earlier.
I was given this picture to dream…
Last year the back studio table had been reserved for all my seeds. Clients came in and were like who is this designer living on a farm with half her studio taken up my plants. So Bruce was very thoughtful and thought I could clear some of that out.
Location Location Location
We wanted it in the full sun and close to the garden. The issue is if you’re new to this blog… we call our home the home of the polar vortex. The wind on the farm is something you couldn’t imagine. I grew up three houses down from this location. There was always a nice breeze growing up but nothing like it is here. Yesterday, going to the mailbox I thought to myself the only other wind I’ve ever felt close to describe this is a storm coming off the Atlantic. You would thing the puddles in my driveway would have white caps. Imagine the stories from Little House on the Prairie where they fastened a rope from the barn to the house so if a snow storm hit you could find your way back in the house. I need one of those some days!
Soooo, from the start I was petrified of the WIND! PETRIFIED OF THE WIND taking my little house up in the air just like The Wizard of Oz.
“The wind began to switch – the house to pitch and suddenly the hinges started to unhitch.”
We thought we had a solution build a sturdy base. Adding a strong base to weight the greenhouse down would help with the wind and also give me a little more headspace in the greenhouse. So the greenhouse project began mid December.
Bruce and his dad picked up the greenhouse from our local Lowes with all the fixings. Lumber to build the base and garden soil and clay pots to get me started. The weather was perfect. We had a mild winter some days being in the 50s.
Assembly began in the barn. It took two days to put it together. Let’s just say the directions weren’t the best. I was coffee delivery girl for most of the day. As the skies darkened the weather began to change. No longer was it in the 50s. Of course not. Mother nature has it out for me. Once she was on to us that I was planning a greenhouse the cold snap that is a part of life in Western New York switched on and basically has stayed on. A heater was brought in and somehow I was lured out for a few hours trying to decipher the hieroglypics instructions. Yes, it is true that I speak a little French, a little Japanese and can read Mayan Hieroglyphics but these instructions gave me a run for my money.
While waiting for each step to be completed I would snap a photo and post it on Facebook asking my friends guess what it is! No not a chicken coop.
Bruce, his dad and I picked the greenhouse up and placed it on top of the base they had created. This is the last known photos of my greenhouse put together. That’s right the story’s about to take a twist. Yes a twist shortly is coming. You are missing the photo of the completed base and the stairs Bruce put together for me and the shelves we put together inside the greenhouse.
You see my little greenhouse made it through snow storm after snow storm. Wind gust after wind gust until Friday Night when the wind of all winds hit our little farm.
It had been windy all day but I no longer worried about my little house. It already had survived all the January storms like a trooper. I had even begun one test batch of lettuce.
The night before while Bruce worked late doing taxes for clients, I inventoried all my seeds that I had leftover from last year and then placed a couple of new orders. The plan was to awake Saturday morning and begin my greenhouse project for real. Planting spinach and lettuces for some Greenhouse fun. Share with you the project on the Tint Life showing actual plants being grown.
Yeah, that didn’t happen. Instead my early morning started off like this….
Waking up at 2:00 AM and hearing the wind not howl but more like a siren affect. It’s common to hear it screech outside that it actually sounds like police sirens. I hear it all the time in the studio. In my bedroom not so much since everything is tuned out with an air purifier. When I awoke from a dead sleep. I sat up. In the pit of my stomach, I knew. My greenhouse was speaking to me. Bruce turned over with a what?
“I’m worried about my greenhouse…”
Bruce in his calm way says, “It’s fine… go back to bed”
Ok, I’m just a worry wart. Just over reacting.
At 3:00 am Meggy thought it would be a brillant idea to jump upon me and wrestle me for my pillow all the while Bruce was snoring away. I grabbed my blanket because with the wind, the dog and snoring I was up. I headed to the couch and stopped in the bathroom downstairs and thought hmmm I’ll just peek out and make sure my greenhouse is ok. There was a little moonlight dancing out there but it is far away from our house. I can see it in daylight and I have two candles in the greenhouse that stay on at night. Where were those candles? Did the batteries run out? Were they on for only eight hours. Well, certainly if I go into the backroom I’ll see it. I can relax and lay on the couch watch some tv and maybe fall asleep. The backroom I saw nothing.
Panic starts to creep in at this time my friends. Pure panic.
I rush to the back door and open the door. Maybe my windows are just not clear if I open the door I will see all. STILL NOTHING!
I throw on my winter jacket over my pjs and find my boots with no socks I scramble outside. Remember, when I told you it was like being on the Atlantic… Think now more like the Bermuda Triangle where a boat has sunk or an airplane has crashed. As I began to get closer I started to find remnants. The tears began to build up and that dry feeling you get in your mouth when something horrible happens was present. Yes, I came upon a dismantled greenhouse.
Did I mention it was 3:00 AM? Well, it was!
I began picking up the pieces and bringing them back to the studio. Making piles of the clear sides. No need to wake Bruce up. He worked so hard putting it together. I don’t want to wake him up. It’s tax season. I see him 3 to 4 hours a day. He works Saturday during the season so he had to be up soon. I should be able to do this except did I mention that our snow blower broke after the last snow storm. So Bruce wasn’t able to snow blow down to the garden. So I was in a foot of snow and then the wind. The FREAKING WIND. Every time I grabbed one of those clear sides a gust of wind came by and took me like Winnie the Pooh with his kite. I also was still in my pajamas. I STILL COULD DO THIS! I’m strong and smart! I can handle this.
So I march back up to the house with the tears frozen to my face no longer streaming because I was determined. I found a crock of flashlights BINGO! Right… Who invented flashlights. The most worthless piece of crap invention in the world. WHY? Maybe it’s just my house but whenever you need a flashlight the batteries don’t work. Not one of the three flashlights worked.
Defeated! Determination out the window.
I climb the stairs grab my jeans and wake Bruce with it’s destroyed I need your help before all the pieces blow away.
NOT A GOOD MORNING! NOPE NOT A GOOD MORNING.
It took us an hour to pick up the pieces which included me falling in a hole and being completely soaked.
There is a positive note after we brought all the pieces into the studio everything is still there and intact. A frame is bent but can be fixed. Today, we go to Lowes and get some pressure treated wood to attach to the base and add more support.
BUT SERIOUSLY ON THE DAY THAT I START SEEDS. UNBELIEVABLE!
So I pouted pretty heavily yesterday. I think I got myself out of my funk. I shall try again today. I just find it so fascinating that in a small patch of city earth I could grow absolutely anything. 1848 Garden is giving me a run for my money. Did I use up all my good gardening karma on my last garden?! Don’t worry readers, I shall not be defeated at least not today! My greenhouse shall rise from the ashes!