Building a Greenhouse

Building a Greenhouse

After a lot of research and looking for the ‘glasshouse of my desire’ has been completed. My ideal is a near-free upcycled style utilising old wooden windows, and building walls to support it. My planning was really a decision process, what do I want to build, what do I want to grow in it, and where’s the best place for this in our yard. The outcome really needs to be an improvement on the make-shift shed that we had.

Here’s the simple build list – building to my budget of next-to-nothing, ideally under $100 NZD:

  1. Find and buy cheap old windows
  2. Collect the windows ready for installation
  3. Find and buy old wood for foundation and framing (< $60 total)
  4. Collect the wood and materials needed
  5. Start planning the size and considering the design
  6. Demolish the old shed & save the screws for reuse
  7. Create the foundation
  8. Create the first wall
  9. Finish all the walls
  10. Put the roof on.


  • It was easy enough to source old windows and after a few bids for $1 (one dollar), I was on my way with a small collection of various sized wooden windows.


  • Collecting all the windows was quite an ordeal travelling to many locations to pick up large and heavy old windows some in poor condition others in near-new condition.


This worked out quite well, we were able to pull the old shed down collect quite a few screws and gain access to quite a bit of still highly usable upcycled resources.


Clearing the space was quite hard, as the old shed had some plastic wrap that had disintegrated and started to flake off into the soil. This is something that I’ll need to work on overtime as it comes up to the surface. An old blue tarp that was used as an internal layer also has started to dissolve broken down by UV.
planning out the collected windows and making a scale model of the walls to see what might be possible placements.
Planning the space with a mock layup to get an idea of the size and what resources I had.


  • Work in progress ….
  • ROOF

  • Work in progress ….
  • Ashburton Discgolf Course

    Ashburton Discgolf Course

    Living in Leeston has many perks being away from the city, one of these perks is being close to Ashburton, and its fantastic disc golf course. We were lucky to have a peaceful day causally discovering the course, the first round was quite confusing, the map wasn’t as clear as we thought it could be, but we quickly discovered the course, and the second round was a breeze.

    Improvements we’re hoping to see in time:

    1. clearer map
    2. indications on the cages what the tee number is
    3. less dog walkers
    4. more people discovering this amazing course
    T13, T15, & T17 bases are on the paths/sidepaths, while all the other tee-off pads are concrete blocks and easily identified.
    Beautiful dappled light in treelined fairways.
    How much gardening time?

    How much gardening time?

    A few months ago I downloaded a mobile app called ‘Life Cycle’ and allowed it to track and monitor my whereabouts and the amount of time spent at each location.

    The tiny sliver of walking with only 21hours made up the result of 121,980 steps. Imagine what you could achieve in your garden for the same amount of energy. It could be transformed.

    In December 2020, as you can see above I did a lot more activities including many interviews, meetings and meetup sessions. We also traveled to Mapua for Christmas so there are more locations to track.

    In January 2021, an interesting factor is that dedicated walking is only 4hours compared to November 2020 with 21hours. I would personally prefer to be doing dedicated walking in nature than walking between tasks, however I’m loving being back at work having had 12 months off.

    Did the garden get more focused time during this period? Yes it did. Sadly for the app the garden isn’t far enough away from ‘home’ that garden time isn’t registered as a separate event. I will review this and try to get a timed ‘gardening’ event. I’m expecting that I spend less than 2hours a day in the garden.

    Yesterday, I did spend time weeding or as I like to think of it, refilling the compost heap. The above raised bed had several keepers and a diverse range of support plants. The support plants add great value to the compost.

    I noticed that this season that the compost has really dried out so I added extra greens and dried grass and watered it down. The water is laced with live bacterial culture and makes a world of difference as long as the area remains moist. More on that another day.

    In the microgeens garden

    In the microgeens garden

    I started an indoor garden as a hobby during the New Zealand lockdown, and continued to develop into the winter months. We attended farmers markets and then went on to sell locally and to private buyers. The project continues to deliver microgeens to order. We have a dedicated growing space in a controlled environment suitable for 20 trays of greens. Our preferred microgeens are radishes and basil.

    Jan 2021: Happening in the garden

    Jan 2021: Happening in the garden

    It’s 11th of January and I have a Product Manager interview at 10:30am, as a way to relax and prepare I decided I would get some gardening tasks completed and generally have a walk around in the cool of the day.

    Kumera is growing well in the clotch.

    Strawberries are continuing to produce. This year we forgot to cover the plants, but what we’ve discovered is a complete lack of blackbirds that would usually swoop in and gobble up bright red berries.

    Cabbages are growing awesome, we’ll have to start harvesting these shortly.

    Potato strip down the back path has worked well. Good crop and added diversity to the area beneath the fruit trees.

    Apples are coming along nicely and are a bit unexpected considering the losses we’ve had after the late frosts, many of our fruit trees are bare this year.

    The biggest delicious delight is found under a mass of peach leaves.