Category Archives: Garden

Cold frames


Dean has remade bits of the greenhouse into a cold frame, so we can extend our growing season for a couple of months a year.  The greenhouse was really just a big cold frame anyway, as it didn’t have any heating.

This works very well, but we had a battle with the mice who ate all the peas that were just sprouting.  So Dean made a seedling box with a mesh bottom and a lid from another pane of the greenhouse that fits in the cold frame.  So far so good.

I think we’ll make another couple of these for the herb garden.

Over before it’s begun

The day before yesterday I announced how much I loved our greenhouse.  Then yesterday in the space of five minutes it went from this:



To this:

Destroyed greenhouse


We had quite a storm, the usual rain along with not so usual blasting wind.  Just after Dean left to take Elaine to the airport I noticed that a panel had come loose in the top of the greenhouse.  I went in the cabin to work out what to do about it and it was all over.

I was a bit upset yesterday.  It’s not the end of the world, but all my little seedlings that were coming up have gone.  I managed to salvage some rocket, peas and four broccoli and two spinach out of hundreds of seedlings.  It’s still early in the year, so that’s not too much of a setback.

The greenhouse is history though; we won’t be getting another one.  We’ll salvage what we can to make cold frames this year and when we build the house and have a digger here, we’ll put in a walipini.  A walipini or pit greenhouse is like a big hole n the ground with a roof on it, which maintains its heat due to the thermal mass of the earth. Here’s the building manual.

Clearly, the construction of the greenhouse wasn’t good enough for our environment.  It was a nightmare to put up with even a slight breeze and even though it was supposedly guaranteed for five years – that didn’t cover ‘unusual weather’.  Think twice before you buy a Palram greenhouse!  We bought it instead of a poly-tunnel, because we thought it would last longer. Hah!

But what a metaphor for life.  It really can all be over before you’ve even lived it. That’s why I’m not upset anymore.  I’m still here and living to the full – I haven’t got time for misery!


Around the finca

A stormy sunset with a rainbow in June 2013:

IMG_0618 IMG_0627 IMG_0629 IMG_0635 IMG_0634 IMG_0631

Lots of rain in January and February 2014.  This is the area at the bottom of what will be our garden that we call the Tick Pit, because when we first went to see what was down there before we even bought the place Dean came back with about 25 ticks on him!  We had to stop at the side of the road and strip him down, before we got back to the house we were living in at the time.

The second two photos are of the access road to the house after rain.  And this is after we put about 10 truck loads of hardcore on it!

Brook Izzy&riley in tick pit road after rain road by barn