Greenroof Overhang for the Front Door

>> Monday, February 22, 2010

I've been fascinated (as have many people lately) with the green roofs that are quickly become very popular. Originally when I wanted to build my shed I wanted to cover the all of the non-transparent roof surfaces with plants. I realized that to build a greenroof over the whole structure would be both time and labor intensive. I would have also needed some restructuring inside to compensate for the wight load of wet soil. In short it just wasn't practical for my greenhouse shed.

But I'm never one to give up on an idea quickly! A couple months into its construction I had an idea ...why not try a decorative front door overhang? Then I thought "why not make it a greenroof?" Today I completed the basic structure of the greenroof overhang. It protrudes 2 feet out from the greenhouse and is about 6 feet long. It's only about 4 inches deep which should be more than enough room for succulents and rock garden plants.

Here's how I put the green roof overhang together:
  • I attached 2 - 2"x4" pieces that were cut 2' long (one side of each board was cut with a 13 degree angle) to a 6' long 2"x6".
  • Then I put the 2"x6" on the greenhouse and centered it.
  • Underneath the two sides I attached support pieces to help hold the structure.
  • Next I put the edge trim pieces on both ends which measured 24" and covered the front with another trim piece.
  • Inside the frame I put 2"x2"s along the bottom edges of the long sides of the frame. 
  • Last for today was putting the floor of the overhang together by screwing it into the 2"x2" pieces. The flooring was made from pressure treated dogeared fence panels that I cut at 23.5".  It was a cheap and economical way to put the floor together and looks pretty good from underneath.

To finished the green roof section I need to put down a waterproof membrane, drainage spout, a capillary layer and of course the soil! I would also like to add some more decorate aspects to the supports and the area in general. My next step is to figure out the best soil mix for green roofs, one that retains moisture yet stays relatively light. Time to do some research!


How I'll Use My Greenhouse

>> Friday, February 5, 2010

I've been thinking about how I'm going to use my greenhouse lately. There's just enough complete on the greenhouse construction to tantalize my imagination and since people use greenhouse in so many ways that the options are virtually limitless.

I don't grow orchids or many tropical plants which means the greenhouse won't be used for them. It's not ready to use yet so seed starting this year isn't an option. Some people like to grow vegetables in their greenhouses to keep fresh veggies growing year round. I like that idea and it might be something to experiment with in the fall assuming I can put together some sort of heating system. Spinach, lettuce and chard might do fine without heat but any summer loving vegetables just won't work. For right now though I'm planning to use it for two things: 1) A Storage Shed and 2) To Propagate plants.

As a Storage Shed
Inside the greenhouse shed I've designated a corner as the shed section. Since the overall size of the structure is 12'x16' the shed corner will be about 6'x 8'. If I need more or less space I can use the overhead rafters to hang tools and equipment. The important thing is to house my riding and push mowers. The weed eater and other various tools will find homes there as well.

I've collected all kinds of used pots and containers over the last couple years from friends and family and they will get homes inside the greenhouse. Hopefully many of them will be used for plants that I propagate.

For Propagating Plants

I really enjoy the thrill of getting new plants for next to nothing through plant propagation. I've detailed many of the plants I've propagated already but I'm hoping that I can increase the number and types of cuttings. Maybe eventually I can put together a small business selling plants (which incidentally is my dream job.) I have two areas inside the greenhouse that I can use for propagation.

The long wall (top left picture) is the larger of the two areas and is where I'm planning on building shelves to add more potting and planting space. This area is about 16'x6'.

There is a small area on the opposite side that receives morning sunlight and afternoon shade. It will be where I put more shade tolerant/loving plants like hostas and heucheras.

The location of my greenhouse is pretty good for spring-summer cuttings. It has filtered light coming in through the trees which should be ideal for propagating plants.

I still have a ways to go before I can do much inside the greenhouse shed. If only the weather would brighten up and dry out!


Winter Around The Greenhouse Shed

>> Monday, February 1, 2010

The recent snowstorm here in Tennessee has given us some very nice images.  I showed some of the images from some ornamental grasses and other plants a couple days ago but here are a few from around my still incomplete greenhouse shed project.

The trees behind the greenhouse are covered in ice making them appear made of crystal.

Greenhouse and Icicle Forest 1-2010-2
Icicles on the side of the greenhouse.

Icicles on Greenhouse Shed 1-2010-1

The greenhouse and the trees behind it covered with ice.
Greenhouse and Icicle Forest 1-2010-1

Ice on glass windows.
Iced Windows on Greenhouse 1-2010-1


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