Category Archives: Greenhouse

The Greenhouse Heads Toward Completion

In search of a salvaged door for the new greenhouse we went back to Recycletown at the Sonoma County Dump in Petaluma. Nothing caught our eye in the door section so we headed over to the windows again. After measuring and brainstorming we found a skinny window that matched the ones we had already installed. My husband decided to make a door out of that window and voila! We had our greenhouse door. The window in the lower right corner of the picture above is the one we took home that day.

Framed with more Redwood water tank wood and fitted with a Victorian era knob and latch found in an old farm’s garbage pit the door came out perfect!

Fitted with re-purposed plexiglass from our friend Sylvia’s printmaking studio and stained glass left over from a prior project the greenhouse is getting closer to completion. Leaded glass windows left over from my parents’ house remodel join the ‘new’ door. The only thing actually new about the greenhouse is the polycarbonate roofing, Univent, nails, screws and the roof cap.

One rainy and windy day last month I spent some time sowing seeds in the new greenhouse. It was warm and dry inside. The beautiful colors of the wood and glass brought ‘a tear to me eye!’. I felt like I was right where I was supposed to be at that moment. That is one good feeling!

Those seeds have now been transplanted and the extras have been doled out to friends.

Some went to their new home across town in a bicycle basket and some were carried to neighbors on foot. The greenhouse is doing its job and doing it well!

The Greenhouse Comes to Life

We love building with recycled, reclaimed and salvaged materials. The redwood for the greenhouse framing came from a disassembled water tank. The wood had been stored in a barn for 50 odd years awaiting reuse. Luckily, someone who knew its value was present when the water tank was taken down. It is beautiful wood.

At Sonoma Compost there are stacks and stacks of reclaimed redwood boards. People tear down Redwood decks and fences and take the wood to the dump. Luckily, they set it aside for reuse. We’ve found gorgeous water tank wood there, as well as beams from old barns. It’s wonderful to see all that useful and beautiful wood being diverted from the wood chipper and eventually the compost heap. Thank you Sonoma Compost! Check them out at They are located at the Sonoma County Landfill. 500 Meacham Road in Petaluma.

The greenhouse rafters are tank wood and the ridge beam is made from old siding off of our house. It was in the lumber pile and it fit the bill. Blessedly, it was unpainted redwood as well. In the background our backyard Redwood tree looks down on the new 6′ X 9′ greenhouse.

All of the windows for the greenhouse walls came from Recycletown ( at the Sonoma County Landfill, Petaluma. We could not have found more perfect windows for our needs. Nine of them six-feet tall with bottom sliding windows and screens for ventilation. They made the project much easier to build because of their height and uniformity.

Now that we have our final dimensions we will look for a door and some front windows at Recycletown or Urban Ore ( Right now, we’re in the middle of a storm so construction has halted. We’ll post any progress once we get back to work.

Birds Watching

Ours is a permaculture garden. It is constantly evolving. As we observe more we learn more about what grows well in which parts of the garden. Who likes to grow with who and what kind of soil do they like best. We are still building our long-term goal of a permaculture food forest. It takes time to build and a willingness to adapt (just like the plants).

We have been starting seeds in cold frames for many years now. It works well but now we are ready for something more. So, our dream of a small backyard greenhouse is coming to life.

We are not the only ones adapting to our site. We are not the only ones who live here. We live with many birds both wild and domestic. Every one of them is watching everything we do in the garden.

Now, with a new structure being built it is just too fascinating to resist. A new foundation? Rocks! Ooh! Cutting wood! It’s all too exciting!

Next up, the greenhouse comes to life!