It was a busy weekend. Since the last construction update, I completed the exterior and began finishing the sheetrock. On the exterior, I installed the roof, gutter, rain barrel, painted, and put up a trellis for an orange honeysuckle (Lonicera ciliosa) or blue clematis (Clematis columbiana)- see photo below of the north side. Inside, and put up the sheetrock, and applied tape and the first coat of joint compound.
I still have to hang the door (and finish painting it), put on two more coats of joint compound, and prime and paint the walls. Although at that point it won't be finished, it will be to a point where we can start using it. We have a lot of peppers, tomatoes, basil and eggplants we have been saving to put in the greenhouse (we did plant a lot of them in our outside raised beds).
Below you can see the track for the sliding door. I decided on a sliding door to save space, but it will not seal as well as a conventional hinged door, though I am going to try to use a garage door seal and various weather stripping components to get a tight seal. I am also going to install a screen/ storm door on the inside of the greenhouse, mainly to use in the winter. I haven't found the perfect one yet (I am looking for a nice 12-15 pane storm door to match the door of the greenhouse), but I keep checking back at Home Resource. It is the kind of thing I saw so frequently there when I was not in the market for one.
One thing I did not anticipate was how much the greenhouse would change the part of our yard to the north of the greenhouse. Installing the greenhouse lead to cascading trophic-level effects on our landscape. OK, not really, but I like saying that phrase. It did lead to garden design cascades though, see my solution and before and after pictures below.
Prior to the greenhouse being in place, I was trying to make this room (our dining room) more shady and intimate, by planting a screen of red osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia) and woodland plants to grow in the shade. The greenhouse quickly solved the shade and privacy challenge and we have some fantastic, instant shade.
However, the interesting part came with the use of space. Suddenly we did not have to devote as much space to the shrubs and trees for the same effect of privacy, and the space that was left felt much bigger. But as a result there was a lot of "unused" or "wasted" space. I toiled with this design problem for a few days and tried a couple of remedies, and yesterday rearranged the garden room (you can see the after picture below and the before picture at the bottom). By moving a couple of hills, creating a path, moving some plants around, rearranging the furniture and a lot of tree pruning, I created a more comfortable, interesting and intimate dining room. The path (on the left in the photo above) does go around to the front of the greenhouse, but it is more a of design element that suggests more depth, space and creates some intrigue. Like all paths it directs your eye and helps you move through the landscape and leads to an active interaction with the landscape.
Conversely, in the picture below, taken before I installed the greenhouse, without a path leading your eye to the left, it is a flat scene, with no depth. Your eye just stops at the table and chairs. Same space, same furniture, but a much less interesting and dynamic composition (I think).
I am really happy with this change, but the most important lesson I think is that change is possible- don't be intimidated, you can move plants and rearrange elements in your garden a lot easier than moving walls in your house. I really enjoy rearranging things in the garden and trying something new. It is free and can be really gratifying and spatially satisfying. Anything can be undone and redone in the garden, it just takes some work, and time, but that work is really the fun part or gardening (to me).