The Great Greenhouse Catastrophe of 2013

Posted: April 18, 2013 by tallbloke in Incompetence, Kindness, weather, wind

Lying in bed late last night as the wind shrieked itself into a howling gale, I heard the tinkling of breaking glass. Upon inspection through the bedroom window this morning, I was dismayed to see my greenhouse has been ripped off its moorings and thrown bodily against the dry-stone wall at the boundary of my garden.


It’s trashed. The frames are bent, and there’s broken glass everywhere 😦


It’s partly my own fault, I should have put in more and stronger fixings than were supplied. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and informs us about what it was we should have done.

I’ve rescued the seedlings as best I can and now I have to find the cash to build a new greenhouse double quick as the growing season is upon us. I’m a part  time wage earner since the crash I was in a few years ago and this is a bit of a blow. If anyone feels like helping towards the £430 a replacement will cost, the donate button is top left. Thanks for your consideration.

  1. phantomsby says:

    But, surely, the Koch brothers…

  2. tallbloke says:

    Have you got their phone number?

  3. colliemum says:

    Gosh – that is a huge blow (sorry about the pun) at this time in the growing season. As a cheaper and faster option, perhaps get a couple of polythene tunnels made for raising seedlings. Then you can get a more secure greenhouse for later.

  4. tallbloke says:

    Thanks CM. Recovering the polytunnel was already on this years things to do list. If I wasn’t such a busy blogger I might have made a better job of fixing the greenhouse down in the first place. Hey-ho. Humm.

  5. Kon Dealer says:

    I’m shocked.
    Where’s “Big Oil” when you need them?
    As part of the “highly organised and well-funded fossil fuel denial industry”, I thought your paymasters would cover you for this.

    Oh wait a minute, I’ve been reading too much Realclimate and Mann’s tweets.

  6. I reinforced my aluminum frame with treated 2X4’s and 4X4 corner posts to prevent that sort of thing from happening. With the extra internal wooden frame being part of the shelving set on blocks, to transfer the plant weight onto the base of the frame, it cost about the same as the original frame and glazing. Original frame and glazing kit 10’X 12’cost$599.00, construction total $2,568.00. (I am spending my kids inheritance, on the toys I have always wanted.)

    (never let a machinist build stuff) I used over 400 1″#6 sheet metal screws to hold the alum frame to the wood inner frame I had to cut each piece to fit after assembling the alum structure.

    leaped on into summer here in Mesa, Az.

  7. tallbloke says:

    Thanks to some outstsanding kindness and generosity, I am just over halfway to covering this calamity. I’ll be following Richard Holle’s lead and building a wooden frame inside the replacement structure to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

  8. tchannon says:


  9. I used 6 lbs of 3 1/2″ deck screws to put the wooden frame and shelves together, and used 15 tubes of silicone caulking to glue and seal the panels onto the frame. Has with stood 38MPH wind gusts so far, have about 400# of water in the trays on the shelves plus the weight of the shelves and plants as a stability feature, (not a bug) to keep the humidity above 55%. The uprights I added are sitting on blocks that transfer the weight to the channel Iron frame.

    I read the online evaluation of the harbor freight green house kit, and saw a lot of peeps had wind problems in open conditions, as the kit came originally. Took an extra month at a couple hours a day construction time, cutting, fitting, and dadoing in the alum cross braces to the wood pieces as I added them. Cost me most of my online time in December and January getting it done, put the glazing on last.

    [I have a nephew that works in IT for the company offices at one of the Koch brothers companies, but I only have his personal cell#] No money flows between us, but I left a lot of hand tools, and farm equipment with his brother, (who lives 2 miles South of the old farm) when I moved off of the farm. He still has a couple tons of my old rock collection waiting for me to pick up some every time I visit.

  10. Brian H says:

    Minor pensioner-style donation sent. Happy rebuilding!

  11. George O'Har says:

    Sorry to hear this. Awful news, terrible timing. Hope you are well on your way to repair.

  12. tallbloke says:

    Thanks Brian!

  13. tallbloke says:

    George, the big tidy up starts in the morning. Then some measuring and planning. Thanks for your assistance.

  14. oldbrew says:

    Walk-in greenhouse on sale next Thursday for £30…

    [Reply] Heh, I wouldn’t give a tenner for one of those.

  15. michael hart says:

    Has the image of the greenhouse been rotated or inverted?

  16. tgmccoy says:

    Hmm wonder if it wasn’t the same howler that went trough NE Oregon about 10 days ago. I tacked down my little Bi-Mart special greenhouse just the day before…Nothing like finding the tomato starts laying in a
    plie of glass, plastic and soil-with about 2cm of mixed hail and ice pellets on the remains.
    Happened to me a couple of springs ago… I sympathize