Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Greenhouse Installation, Disappointment and a Silver Lining

Today is oh so chilly and overcast, and Nate has been out in the cold starting the ressurection of my greehouse. Normally I would have suited up with my long johns and wellies and been out in the middle of it, but I've had several work appointments today and have been coming and going, so this phase has been totally up to him. First he started by leveling out the ground, then made the base to which the greenhouse will be connected, and then continued building up the ground until the base was level. The next phase will be to start assembling the frame. Seeing this activity makes me want to pull out my seeds and start planning for 2011. I received my favorite seed catalog a few days ago, so the wheels are already turning.

Yeah, progress! Now the disappointment. This location is not were we wanted to permanently leave the greenhouse. The problem with our lot is we are completely surrounded by trees. Our neighbors on all sides have trees galore! Not ornamental trees, but tall 30-60 year old oaks and pines. Our neighbor to the east has probably 6-8 trees in his front yard and even more in his backyard. I have always wanted to take down trees in both his front and back yards but have been too chicken to ask. It dawned on me a few weeks ago that the back half of his back yard, which is not as densely populated with trees as the front half of his back yard, would be a great location for gardening if a few trees, rather than many, were taken down. And it would give me a perfect place for the greenhouse. We approached him about selling, negotiated a price, and I went down to the courthouse and pulled our neighborhood covenants from the 1940s. Here's the disappointment. The covenants do not allow subdivision of lots, so he can't divide his lot and sell us a portion of it. Through this process we discovered he has been wanting to take down trees but hasn't had the money to do so. He has agreed to let us take down whatever trees we want, at our expense, of course, but the benefit to us is that it will open our yard to more sunlight and a larger gardening arena, which is what I have been craving for years. Of course, the negative is we would be paying money to improve someone else's property even thought it would benefit us to some degree. I still think he would let us use his back portion for gardening free of charge, or at the least, rent it to us. Either way, I would probably start with container gardening instead of spending the time and expense of clearing the undergrowth and tree roots that abound. To really maximize the space, there are some trees that could come down but, once again, spending money on someone else's property is not ideal. Whatever we decide to do, whether it's take down some trees or container garden where the sun hits the best, it's nice to know we now have options that we didn't have a month ago, and that's my silver lining.

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