It may not look like much from the outside. I can only imagine what they neighbors are saying to themselves. “What are those crazy, redneck neighbors of ours up to now?” It’s not THE greenhouse, because everything is getting relocated elsewhere on the property before long. But my incredible husband and my very sweet sons worked hard and it’s finished.

Welcome to my new happy place.


Oh my goodness, this greenhouse makes me a little weak in the knees every time I enter it. It is my winter gardening mecca, the hallowed destination to which I must make at least one daily pilgrammage. Nothing but peace and the sweet smell of dirt in here.

When I proposed the idea of building a greenhouse, Caleb, my ever-encouraging, ridiculously capable husband, asked me what I had in mind. Fast, free, and functional was my response. Immediately, I could see the wheels in his beautiful head turning.

In the past year, he had made a deal with a nearby plant manufacturing railway cars. They needed somewhere to unload all of their shipping “waste”. Before long, all of their crates and pallets were being dropped at his shop. Truck after truck, they delivered the free lumber, crates made of 2x4s and 2x8s, pallets of all sizes, wood with huge, industrial bolts through it. It’s awesome. We plan on building out a lot of the interior of our house with it.

For the greenhouse, Caleb grabbed three of longer pallets and leaned them up again the storage container we’ve been using as a garage/feed shed.


In about 20 minutes, he and the boys had the frame secured together. It took another 30 minutes or so to wrap it in 6 mil plastic (not taking into account the 24 hour delay between the two steps).


Caleb opted to just use a couple of 2x4s nailed to the pallets underneath instead of, say, stapling the plastic down (which was my idea…because I recently got a new Dewalt staple gun…and it’s so much fun). This created fewer holes and thus fewer potential places at which to tear.


At the beginning of the project, we intended to put chicken wire around the base to keep out the (obvious) chickens and the (less obvious) dog. When it was time to finished off the bottom, we stepped back and realized that dirt would be faster, cheaper, easier and possibly more effective. So Caleb got into his skid-steer loader (which takes absolutely no convincing), and piled dirt all along the bottom of the plastic. He suggested that I could smooth it out to make it look more presentable, but I’ve been too preoccupied playing with dirt inside the greenhouse. Plus, I figure the chickens will spread it out before long.

And now, all that’s left is to plant and revel in all things that grow.

I LOVE that they love being in here almost as much as I do.

My ever-willing garden helpers assisted me in starting beets, carrots, onions, argula, lettuce, salad mix, lemon balm, thyme, parsley, basil, dill, radishes, pak choy, turnips, broccoli, cilantro, cumin, and my favorite, cape gooseberries.


Today, we plant rhubarb seeds.

Aren't they interesting?

Oh, do you want to see how I store my seeds? I use an old army surplus ammunition can that my husband gave me.


It’s water tight and so easy to organize. Admittedly, it’s not very full right now, but that’s just because I haven’t received my seed order yet. (Insert maniacal laughter here.)

Ignore my sloppy handwriting.

The only finishing touch that remains to be done in the greenhouse is the installatio of a piece of vinyl guttering for growing strawberries. (My only explanation for that one is Pinterest.)

All in all, I am over the moon. My citrus trees finally have somewhere warm to snuggle up during this cold, and I have a place to put on Jack Johnson and play in the dirt. Life is good.


12 thoughts on “Paradise

  1. Sweet greenhouse. I was thinking about making a similar one using the side of the garden shed. It is great to see how you did it, and we have the pallets!!! Love the blog. Will follow and continue to be inspired. PS skunks killed 30 of our chickens last year 😦

    1. Thanks! If you build one, post a picture of it! I’d love to see it!
      Ugh! Skunks! They’re so yucky! I’m so sorry! We always lose ours to domesticated dogs who are just “playing” with them. :/ Do you keep your chickens in a coop?

      1. Some were cooped some were “free”. The loose ones were killed by coyotes one by one. We are in the process of making a secure coop with a concrete floor for night time. Hope to be back in chickens by spring. I miss them.

  2. Simple yet effective solutions are top-notch in my book! Looks like your husband and boys scored an A+ on this one, and access to all that free material gives me goosebumps!

  3. Pingback: Rhubarb | Life in a Three Ring Circus

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