Greenhouse Blues

I hate to spring this on you so suddenly, but there’s really no point in tip-toeing around the matter: I have a greenhouse.

 Grnhs interior 2

Why has this not been mentioned here before? I could say that the moment never seemed quite right, or that something else always seemed to get in the way, or that I hoped to perfect it before unveiling it. All these things would be true if inadequate explanations for my silence.

In the spirit of complete disclosure that now possesses me, I’ll point out that it’s not particularly green at the moment, this greenhouse, because I couldn’t finish establishing the beds

Zuccini, swaddled
      swaddled zucchini

before toe surgery last November, and so far this year my shoulder physical therapists have banned all heavy exercise such as turning compost or digging, which pretty much covers everything I might do in a garden in winter.

Zuccini revealed
      zucchini revealed

It’s not clear precisely what awful doom might visit me should I be fooling enough to disobey this edict, but fear winning out over curiosity, I’d as soon not know. (One of these two PTs is much bigger and stronger than I am, and the other much younger and faster, so I don’t think my chances of escape would be too good.)

       zucchini depths

Nevertheless, it has already proven itself. The one squash plant that survived the Great Hail Storm of ’08 just happened to lie within the purvue of the greenhouse, and while it suffered significant damage from cold before the greenhouse got erected around it, it nevertheless continued to produce. All of these photographs were taken on Oct. 26, well after any zucchini has any business being alive in Bozeman.


Through much of October I was laying out beds, digging out bindweed, and digging in amendments and fertilizer. It about broke my heart to walk away from this unfinished job, and it’s been more than I could face, to go back in and see the piles of pine duff, and the beautiful, half-finished beds.

Ah, well. The combined efforts of my PTs appear to be having some effect, and by the time the days start to lengthen, I should be out there again.

9 Responses to Greenhouse Blues

  1. Thanks for being honest about the greenhouse. They are great. Yours looks like mine, half finished and full of potential. Unfortunately, potential usually requires the input of a lot of energy to be realized. In physics I think they call it potential energy. Hope you mend soon and that your greenhouse survives the winter.

  2. Oh, that is so cool!
    And surely the moment you step back in there to work on those beds will be all the sweeter for anticipation. :-)

  3. So Kate, you’ve been holding out on us. What other things have you been not telling us about? Did you grow a five pound tomato last year? Did you win the lottery? Was you injury really caused by being abducted by aliens? But in all seriousness, I hope you shoulder is better by the time the snow melts and the ground thaws because a greenhouse is such a terrible thing to waste.

  4. We have a similar greenhouse here, although this spring it will need to be recovered in new plastic and have a few of its ribs replaced (it’s been years). I grow tomatoes in it because they get a bit more heat and are protected from the fogs of summer–but they still don’t ripen much earlier. Of course, it would help if I’d planted them out earlier than I do, but the greenhouse is also a glorified workbench and storage area, holding spot for container plantings until the risk of frost is passed, and general catchall. So it gets a wee bit crowded in there….

  5. I have a feeling that like a garden, a greenhouse is never going to be perfect. Or so I reassure myself, anyway.
    Glad all the physical therapy is having the desired effect.

  6. I thought you said this relationship was going to be based on HONESTY and speaking the truth? And yet only NOW do you come clean I feel CHEATED

  7. Welcome, Alan. “Half-finished and full of potential” sounds like my life, not just my greenhouse. Hope yours (the greenhouse at least!) gets to fulfill its potential.
    That, Susan, is what I’m counting on. I’m assuming it won’t be like those most unsatisfactory love affairs that just don’t measure up to what they seem to promise–a sort of “the thrill is gone” situation.
    Well, Daphne, wouldn’t you like to know? (How ever did you guess about the aliens?)
    Jodi, did yours have rebar in it? This one is actually designed to take down, come summer. But as I remember last year’s hail–maybe I should leave it up. Hmm.
    That sort of reassurance is so familiar,Amanda! I love it that the Catholic Church (earlier versions, anyway) used to condemn aspiring to perfection as a sin. That seems to me hugely wise, and also somehow quite funny.
    Gee, Emma, I didn’t think you’d take it so PERSONALLY. I mean, just CALM DOWN. Sheesh.

  8. Well, a greenhouse is a lot of work to keep up and in your condition of not being able to do any physical exercise it may be a good idea to put your greenhouse project on hold, at least for a little while. Your greenhouse does look like it is coming along nicely, did it survive the winter?

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