Every decently-made object, from a house to a lamp post to a bridge, spoon or egg cup, is not just a piece of ‘stuff’ but a physical embodiment of human energy, testimony to the magical ability of our species to take raw materials and turn them into things of use, value and beauty.Kevin McCloud
Over time, I scoured recycling centres, tip shops and kerbside collections for things to fill it with.
Now, the greenhouse is FULL. But it’s not great functionally. All my patchy, bitsy-bits mean that there are a few workarounds in the space. It’s also hard to make the space look charming and tidy! Although until recently, it was a bit of a disaster area, as you can see!
For years, I have been collecting ideas for the ultimate potting shed on my Pinterest page. Yet, I often forget that I have a budget and live in Western Australia, where we have shade houses, rather than hothouses and conservatories!
I’m currently designing a new greenhouse fitout. But first, I need to figure out what I need and what I don’t need.
All the magic happens at the potting bench! My current potting bench is a recycled teak TV cabinet I found on the kerb. I love it because it is high, and I don’t have to stoop to pot my plants. Its position is also protected from the sun. In the morning, I have the sun at my back and in the afternoon, the sun is obscured by my house.
My potting bench is pushed up against the back wall of my house, and as you can see, a piece of
So while the position of the bench is great, I would prefer to create a bench space that takes up the entire corner space. With a shelf or two underneath, it will be a great space to store my potting mix.
Seed Raising & Cultivation Area
My current seedling stand was recycled from my Nan’s orchid greenhouse.
Little pots need to be stacked in a tray otherwise, they fall through the big gaps in the grid.
That bench gets the morning sun, yet is protected from the afternoon sun and the wind.
The wire bench isn’t as long as I would like. I would like to extend a bench down the length of the greenhouse down that side, with an extra shelf along the fence for a bit of height.
Currently, pots are all stacked in the corner here on a shelf that reminds me I should probably get a tetanus booster shot. Same goes for that portable greenhouse that is currently being held together with gaffa tape.
I like that I can see all my pots at a glance, without the need to rummage around to find what I need. I am going to need some proper shelving to replace my rickety bits!
My potting soil is stored in recycled buckets next to my potting bench. These are great because they have a lid. They are not so great because they are heavy and awkward to maneuver. They are round and take up a bit of room.
As they are opaque, on the odd occasion that the lid has not fit on properly, a scoop of the potting mix also yields a frog, cockroach, skink or a spider.
But my new-year’s pantry overhaul gave me an idea. We switched to all square and rectangular containers so everything fits and stacks neatly. I will store my assorted potting mixes in clear, rectangular boxes that have a snug fitting lid and wheels on the bottom so they can slide in and out of the shelf as I need them.
My Dad made me my cleaning station for that space and it will stay there. It is a regular kitchen sink welded into a steel frame with a shelf underneath. It is perfect for washing pots, and the wastewater simply drains into a bucket underneath that I use to water the garden bed in the retaining wall. It stays! Maybe with a fresh coat of paint!
Currently I have a hose reel that is routed via my only backyard tap. I’m hoping that when we get the bore established, I might be able to get a tap to my greenhouse. If not, I’m hoping it won’t be a big expense to get another tap installed, as there is a bathroom (with plumbing!) on the other side of the brick wall.
Most of the greenhouse is already paved and the rest is a sandy garden bed. I am always sweeping sand and straining to pull weeds from awkward spots so once everything is out, I will cover the sandy beds with a few layers of weed mat and top with either gravel or crushed brick.
The greenhouse roof is shade cloth, so when it rains, my plants get a drink. It lets the air circulate. I don’t want
I already have one grapevine growing at the entrance of the greenhouse, and plan to plant another near the cleaning station. The foliage will cover the roof of the greenhouse in the summer when I need extra shade.
As a bonus, I’m hoping the grapes growing in my greenhouse will escape the attention of the Rosellas and crows that currently feast on my grapes that grow near my deck!
A greenhouse with
I was watching old Jamie Oliver re-runs when I saw a great idea for my greenhouse. Remember he had those wooden bench tops with a hole in it to scrape into the waste into? GENIUS! I would love something similar in my potting bench.
I would love to automate the watering in the greenhouse with a timed misting system. While it wouldn’t be needed in the winter, an early morning water in the summer would be wonderful.
When we renovated our kitchen, we installed roll-out drawers instead of shelving in the cupboard space. I would love it if the lower shelves were laid on tracks as drawers, so I could easily access the bottom shelf items. Thanks to Pinterest for that idea!
Finally, I was hoping to make the entire fit out using pallet wood. But after scouting some palettes (for free and paying for them) I’m not sure if they will be a great option. The wood quality of the ones I’ve seen so far might not be what I need. But, I’ll keep looking!
So do you have a spot just waiting to be transformed into the Greenhouse of your dreams? I would love to hear from you, please leave me a message or a comment below.