Monday, December 7, 2009

Just what I've always wanted!

If I'm looking for a sure fire way to relax, piddling with plants works like a charm. My favorite job ever was working for a local plant nursery. I never dreaded having to get out of my cozy bed to work in the hot summer sun or to freeze my tushie off in the Winter. Never did I tire of waiting on customers with endless questions. "I don't know what it's called, but I saw it in the mall parking lot." "Can you tell me what this is growing on my beloved roses?" "I'm no good at this, could you make a list of things that would work in my yard?" No question ever went without a good answer. It felt good sharing plant knowledge with people. I'd have to say that I learned more at the nursery than I did at any other job, possibly all of them combined. If I'm riding with someone, my eyes are constantly darting from yard to yard naming off the plants in my head. This is an excellent way to keep everything fresh and even to learn new plants!
I would love nothing more than to be able to pack up my things at this job and run back to the nursery! The sad thing is, that unless something miraculous happens in the plant world, I would never be able to survive on the wages that they pay. So, thanks to my daddy (whom I'm pretty well convinced is the best dad in the entire world) I now have that favorite job right outside my backdoor!!
I somehow neglected to take a picture of the outside, so this is from the manufacturers website!

She's slightly used (about 6 months worth) by my cousin's ex-wife (another plant enthusiast!). My dad and I have been trying to get this off of him for somewhere around a year and dad finally scored with an extremely reasonable trade! It's bigger than this picture makes it look with it being 12' deep and 10' wide. I'm not too sure on the height of it, but I'm 5'0" and can barely reach to hang a pot from the rafters! The outside is made of fiberglass that will have to be replaced over the years. The frame itself is constructed of galvanized steel which, to put it in Jami's words, will be there longer than we want it to :)
This is the inside of the green house, taken standing just outside the door. You can see how well the frame was built and the old plant hanging gives you a little perspective of the height of the structure. The built in selves are about a foot deep and go around both sides and the back. They're covered with wood which is OK for now, but when they're reading to go I think I'll cover it with something like chicken wire to allow the water to flow from the pots easier. I can also add a fan in the little square on the top middle of the back wall for more air flow if needed during our hot summers. Jami's dad was nice enough to haul in some clay/dirt and level the ground underneath. Since it doesn't have a floor in it, he also brought some old conveyor belt to put down so I won't be in the mud. He's such a nice pa-in-law; he also plowed the garden for me!

Looking out of the door you can see the bed liners we repurposed as bottom shelves. The footers on this thing have it raised up about 5" from the ground so there's an air flow around the entire bottom of it. By placing the pieces of bed liner from tailgates it totally blocks the air and makes for some mighty fine shelving.... even if it doesn't look the prettiest. For the front and rear open spots, we've temporarily placed boards to block wind. Of course I've already been told about 5 times that they will rot away in no time, but they're from an old deck that a friend tore down so I really don't give a flip if they do or not! I've got plenty more stashed out back! You can also see where it's wired up (the horizontal line running from by the door to the window). It's got the switch for the heat lamp (you can see that in the previous picture) and an electrical socket with a water proof cover.

This is looking to the other side of the door. You can see the gap I was talking about very well. This side also has wood blocking the wind for now because I have my pots sitting in the corner and a shelving unit with cover for my fertilizers and such in front of them. The black hose is a soaker hose that will probably come down since it doesn't allow for optimum watering. I don't suggest watering your potted plants this way (putting down a soaker hose in a flower bed is great, though) because not all of your plants are going to need the same amount of water at the same time. It's best to get a watering wand and water your plants as needed.

We moved in the outdoor plants this past Saturday as our first real cold weather came in that night (yea, the first frost for us was in December this year and it got down to 32*.... very chilly for us!!). I checked the temperature around 10am and it was holding a steady 70* inside the building! I'll definitely be planting some seeds early this year!!

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