I wanted to write a blog about my greenhouse since my friends on Reddit seemed to be interested (thanks guys!). I always wanted a greenhouse but when I lived in the UK for 10 years I never had enough money or space for one. Saying that I saw SO many amazing greenhouses, that is one thing that the UK does better than anyone. The greenhouses at all the country houses and at Kew Garden (you MUST go to visit Kew Garden if you are ever in the UK) are some of the most impressive in the world, in my opinion.
One thing I love about the UK greenhouses is the cold frames that they often have incorporated into them. When I decided to build a greenhouse in the Pacific Northwest I really wanted to have a cold frame down one side to have extra growing space. The first thing I needed to do was some research on the various greenhouse building companies. I had to compromise as I wanted the largest greenhouse I could afford but at the same time, as the greenhouse is close to my home, I had to get a greenhouse that was attractive. What I mean is I needed a greenhouse with glass vs. all polycarbonate. Clearly polycarbonate is the better option as it is cheaper and more insulating but it is not as attractive. I decided to go with polycarbonate on the roof and glass on the walls. I found an amazing greenhouse company call BC Greenhouse Builders, which is a family run business right across the border in Canada. They were such a pleasure to work with and given that I did not end up buying a standard style (as I wanted the cold frame) they worked with me to design my dream greenhouse. In addition to the cold frame the greenhouse has a thermostatic fan system and heater as well as electricity and water. It really has everything!
The greenhouse has concrete footings which was built in the exact same way you would build footings for a house. I was able to find a local tradesman who had installed greenhouses before and he installed the entire greenhouse for me.
I have not regretted the money I spent or any of the decisions I made in relation to this greenhouse and it is 5 years later. This greenhouse brings me so much joy and allows me to keep busy with plants, year-round. Here are some pictures of the process: