How not to put up a greenhouse

Do I see a look of disappointment on Sammy chicken's face at the fact that I've managed to get the front and back sills of the greenhouse on the wrong way? So when I came to fit the door there was no bottom runner to fit it into... it was on the back! Searched out the instructions to confirm my suspicions that it wasn't made clear and therefore not really my fault. Suppose the phrases 'front sill' and 'rear sill' might have been a clue!
Plan A was to swap them round by squeezing out the sills, but after trying to get the one out from the back, with all the glass and fixings in place, I moved swiflty on to plan B. This is now in place... I've fitted a section of metal carpet edging to act as the door runner. Works OK, although I might get a bit fed up after a while having to kick the door shut since it's a bit of a push. Maybe it'll run more freely over time, or a good dollop of my magic grease (which has solved all sorts of household problems over the last twenty years, whatever my wife says) might do the trick.
So I'm now on to fixing up the staging inside the greenhouse, & then finally putting up the guttering and water barrels. Then on to digging over the rest of the 'new' plot.
Barry was up earlier in the week tending to the vines, making ready for the second season... though we won't get any wine out of them until next year. Sammy pottered around, there's a photo of the playroom he made for the chickens at the foot of this posting.
Been very cold for almost a fortnight now, apparently the longest spell of freezing weather for ten years. The chickens have been having trouble with frozen water and been pretty thirsty when I've turned up. Peering through the gloom of this early morning it looks like we've got snow now, although not too thick.
Broke open the first bottle of apple wine made from the 2008 harvest, ably assisted by sister in law Trudy, who was staying (as well as daughter Sarah) for a few days after New Year with us. Very nice (the wine that is, though Trudy is OK as well)... sweet, smooth and strong. No chemicals used, just apples, raisins, sugar, water and yeast allied to careful cleanliness and patience.
Lost the 2008 squash competition to David, though I managed to take it to a play off. I've got great hopes for the 2009 competition. I seem to be over back problems since doing regular exercise to strengthen my back muscles, and I'm playing better than ever. But there'll be a delay in the start for this year... he's suffering from a torn muscle in his side.
2008 was a year of hope for me... after the big worries over the bladder tumour diagnosis in January the year ended with an all clear at my last checkup. Long may it continue!
And what about 2009? Of course I've given myself a resolution to always read instructions carefully... but I'm very positive about this year. Allotment-wise I'm much further ahead than I've ever been in preparation for the new season, the greenhouse should extend the growing season significantly, and once I've dug over the new plot I'll have no shortage of room. I reduced my working days to two in August, so I'm looking forward to lots of country walks with Linda in spring and summer. We're planning to go on holiday to Torquay, the first time back there for years. And of course my daughter Becky gets married to Barry in August... really looking forward to that.
More photos below, including the annual year on year progress comparison of my allotment. Just click to enlarge. John

January 2006, before any work at all... yes, it really is as bad as it looks!
January 2007, with shed number one still standing
January 2008, with the new shed and chicken hut built, getting ready to build the chicken run, and have acquired the rear plot
January 2009, even managing to grow things over winter!
Sammy's playroom for the chickens
Chickens glad for some water


  1. Anonymous9:31 pm

    Hi, it looks like you have done a fantastic job of the plot. I have just started on my back garden (inspired by the plum trees and rhubarb already in when we bought the house) and on nearly completing my chicken run I can appreciate the effort you have gone to!!! I found it quite sad that after all the effort (both on the plot and site)you had no comments so figured if I applauded you in future you may be able to offer some chicken related advice!!
    Cheers & keep up the good work

  2. Thankyou anonymous... you've spurred me on to make the next blog topic a summary guide to keeping chickens.

    Good luck with the back garden!

  3. Anonymous1:41 pm

    Looks like you have put a lot of hard work and effort into this, well done. We have had our allotment for 18 months and only just getting on top of the overgrown waste land it was

  4. Babs n Tom12:30 pm

    Love what you have achieved! I can really appreciate the hard work that has gone into your creation. We've have managed to built one raised bed so far after moving in a year ago. greenhouse is going up next. Can not wait!

    1. Hi Babs n Tom... Slow but sure is the right speed on an allotment! Regards, John


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