Saturday, 6 March 2010

Cleaning the Greenhouse



This was the greenhouse this morning. Just to remind you, it was hit by a tornado several years ago and a lot of the glass was broken. We decided then to replace the broken glass with sheets of plastic that we had and for the past five years that has been ok. However, plastic deteriorates with time and sunlight and it has now got to the point where you can't see through it at all. Coupled with the fact that at the back of the greenhouse we "boarded" it up with planks of wood, well, it was time to sort it out.

Oh yes, and the grime...



You can see above how the grime collected between the panes of glass (above right where you can also see the black boards at the back) and also, worse, between the glass and the frame (above left - really disgusting!). You don't need to read the books to imagine what is hiding in all that grime - I'm quite sure some of it was moving...look at the cluster of eggs we found hiding between the plastic and the glass:


So we have established that it needed a really good clean! In order to do this properly all the glass had to be removed. Some of you may have heard that there's been a bit of a wind in France recently and playing around with glass is something to be done in calm weather. Today was the day. Not a breathe of wind, lovely sunshine, perfect.

In order to clean the glass I armed myself with a bucket full of the hottest water I could bear, a thick spongey cloth (this is glass remember and the edges are sharp - I have found four cuts on my hand from this job but nothing serious), two towels (for drying the glass - it's slippery and difficult to replace when it's wet), a toothbrush and an old scrubbing brush (the type used for dishes). All were required.

Max had other items - a flat headed screwdriver for removing/replacing the "W" clips and a nice collection of swear words for when the same clips flew out and hit him in the face - several times. (Also, a slightly peeved expression because he'd read my previous post about the greenhouse...)

The grime between the panes of glass was so thick that it took a fair bit of scrubbing - this was the job of the toothbrush. The hot water eventually soaks through the dirt so often I'd come back to one that "I'd prepared earlier". The scrubbing brush and the toothbrush were also used for cleaning the bits of frame normally under the glass - again, dirt had built up where the water runs down in gulleys. Yuck, Yuck, Yuck.

We took it slowly. First the roof glass was removed, cleaned, the frame cleaned, the glass replaced. Then the same process with the side glass.

This is the moment to introduce the hero of the day in action...(drum roll please)...



This really is not a one man job. Apart from anything else those pesky clips kept falling on the ground just when the glass was being held in place. However, we learnt something today - this is a job that is easier than we thought. Yes, it takes time and patience and has to be done calmly but it really was worthwhile.

This is the greenhouse as we left it this evening...



It's not finished yet - you might notice that the front on the right has no glass at all. All in all we need 14 new panes of glass (none of which were broken today) which we will get cut this week. I rather fear that will be the moment we discover it would be cheaper to buy a new greenhouse; I'll let you know!

5 comments:

Woody Wilbury said...

That's looking good, and it's good to see you back.

Damo said...

wow sparkling, good job!

sue15cat said...

That greenhouse is looking very good.

I see you have Berkshires. we have one Berkshire pig (pregnant with her first litter at the moment) they are fantastic pigs aren't they.

Love your Blog and your honey harvest was brilliant, well done.

Sue xx

Polly Pierce said...

Great to see you back in action again! The green house is looking sparkly & clean, just right for this years harvest...

Woody Wilbury said...

Hello?