Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Pattern Language #175 Greenhouse - an essential garden design element

 Excalabor Glass & Aluminium has finally arrived after taking a number of weeks to make aluminium railings and to cut safety glass for the Propagation Room and Roof Top.

Installing the Roof Top railing posts
"...to keep a garden alive, it is almost essential that there be a "workshop" - a kind of halfway house between the garden and the house itself, where seedlings grow, and where, in temperate climates, plants can grow in spite of the cold." Pattern Language, p. 813

Levels and string lines
"Imagine a simple greenhouse, attached to a living room, turned to the winter sun, and filled with shelves of flowers and vegetables. It has an entrance from the house - so you can go into it and use it in the winter without going outdoors. And it has an entrance from the garden - so you can use it as a workshop while you are out in the garden and not have to walk through the house." Pattern Language, p. 813.

 The aluminium frame for the south-facing wall for the Propagation Room. Josh is working on the waterproof lining for the propagation table.
I have followed the guidelines for this pattern in that I can walk from my office (see the glass behind Josh) into the Propagation Room and I can walk from there out to the garden (see the entrance on the left). This is also how I get from my office to the Green Shed - my studio. There will be no door there so it is not going to be the usual hot humid greenhouse. In this seasonal rainforest climate when it rains so often 8 to 9 months of the year mildew and moulds are a problem if there is not enough ventilation hence the open entrance and the east wall of holey metal.

Top and bottom railing in place on the Roof Top.
The room faces south and will catch the low winter sun. The glass will stop the rain and so prevent frost from reaching the plants.


The guys have gone to get the big sheets of glass off the truck.
I will be using the room to grow cuttings until they are ready to transplant out to the garden beds. I  won't have the types of plants in pots that need overwintering in the greenhouse. That involves too much heavy work in the fall.

Glass installed on the west side of the Propagation Room.
"For someone who has not experienced a greenhouse as an extension of the house, it may be hard to recognise how fundamental it becomes. It is a world unto itself, as definite and wonderful as fire or water, and it provides an experience which can hardly be matched by any other pattern." Pattern Langauge, p. 813.

Glass installed on the south side of the Propagation Room.
This is the theory and the plan. We are looking forward to seeing how it works in practice this winter.

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