Oh what a night… or more aptly Oh what a nightmare.

I am soooo tired.  Last night was possibly the most horrible period of darkness we have had in ages.  On the grand scheme of global disasters then our night was completely insignificant – but to us in the midst of it – in the black night – it was a doozy.

It started out with us being quite tired.  I think we are beginning to lose our grasp on our youth. The night before we had been watching the Olympics for what felt like ages, so headed off to bed – only to find it was only 9:30pm.   So more to prove a point to ourselves, we ended up surfing the internet from bed until it was an hour that claiming tiredness could be justified.  However this set us but badly for what was about to come.

Last night, after muddling through the day ever so slightly dazed, we returned to bed justifiable tired as we had had a full and busy day, only to be disturbed by Tim the Helper manifesting classic symptoms of a tummy bug all over the living room floor!  I won’t regal you with the details, except to say it was quite a while before we were settled back in bed with that psychosomatic squeamish-ness makes sleep difficult.

The wind was so strong it tossed our outdoor wooden furniture like it was a toy
The wind was so strong it tossed our outdoor wooden furniture like it was a toy

The next time we were woken at 2 am with the worst wind I think we have ever experienced while living here.  It was loud.  You could feel its tendrils wrapping around the house with its tight grasp and giving it a firm shake.  I believe if the house was made of different material we would have lost the roof.  It was pretty scary.

I gave a brief thought to my greenhouse, but it had survived other storms so I thought it would be ok and so when the noise died down I fell back into a heavy well deserved sleep.  But alas – all was not well.  Two panels had popped out of their tracks and one has completely disappeared.

And the dawn breaks on the carnage
And the dawn breaks on the carnage

I surprised myself, in that I didn’t cry.  I cried the first and only time it fell apart in a storm.  I had saved hard for this greenhouse and it wasn’t cheap.  A nice green aluminium frame with polycarbonate panels. A new generation style greenhouse.  I constructed myself with a lot of blood, sweat and tears.  It was supposed to be my forever greenhouse.  So when it broke after standing for less than a month – I cried.

Although I could be worse - it could be beyond repair
Although it could be worse – it could be beyond repair

Under a misguided understanding of aerodynamics we decided to leave it open in the face of a storm – expecting the storm to just blow through it, leaving it intact.  DON’T DO THIS!  It didn’t work.  I think I lost 6 panels that day.  It was repaired but was no longer pretty.  Now we lock it down tight in a storm, especially since we discovered the greenhouse materials make it too flimsy to be insured.  I don’t think I cried, because I have long since fallen out of love with it.    The final straw is the panels which are supposed to be strong enough to last for at least 25 years have begun to perish in our strong sun after only two seasons.

A dodgy bodgy repair - I hope it get us through the season!
A dodgy bodgy repair – I hope it get us through the season!

I didn’t cry because I have spare panels, recovered from the last spot of destruction, the plants inside don’t show any evidence of their traumatic ordeal.  And there is always duct tape. Lots of duct tape.  So I shall bodge the house back into working order and limp it through the coming season and make plans for a proper greenhouse, made of wood and glass – and maybe make it a bit bigger!!!

There is always a bright side - this wee blue flower wasn't in the pot outside the greenhouse yesterday
There is always a bright side – this wee blue flower wasn’t in the pot outside the greenhouse yesterday

Come again soon – the sun is shining and broken can be fixed.

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

23 thoughts on “Oh what a night… or more aptly Oh what a nightmare.

  1. So sorry about your greenhouse. 🙁 It’s hard when we pay so much for things that just don’t last or live up to their word of quality! It’s good that you end up putting a positive spin on it.

    1. Hi there. I’ve never had much luck with greenhouses. Our sun is too strong for the cheap plastic models. I thought I’d be ok with the polycarbonate, but no. What I really need is a quality built one that is up to the job… but the best stuff always costs so much!
      If you look hard enough – you can always find something good in every bad situation! Cheers Sarah : o )

  2. Man, what a major BUMMER! We have wind sometimes, but not like that, and we are surrounded by very tall evergreens, which if they came down would probably take part of the house with them. I’m glad you are safe!

    1. Hi there. I don’t think we were ever in actual danger! It just felt like it at the time. Why are the worst storms always at night. I think darkness makes things scarier! Cheers Sarah : o )

  3. Sorry about your greenhouse…nature seems to sometimes enjoy messing with our plans. Like you said, maybe a sign the greenhouse needs to be BIGGER!

    1. Hi there. I am starting to get excited about the thought of a new and improved greenhouse…. I just have to figure out a way to make it happen… Cheers Sarah : o )

  4. Have you thought of a polytunnel? We get VERY high winds here on Skye and after eight years ours is still standing. I guess that because it’s a solid sheet of polythene, there’s nothing for the wind to get between and cause damage. Probably cheaper too.

    1. Hi Christine. Thank you so much for your suggestion.
      My garden is in our backyard so I need to also take into consideration aesthetics as well as function. I have thought about a polytunnel, but I think I have always secretly wanted a traditional wooden and glass one – because they look so cool. I think I can get through this season with the repairs, so any decision doesn’t need to be made just yet! Cheers Sarah : o )

  5. Sorry about your traumatic night. We have a similar greenhouse to yours (as far as I can tell from the photos), with a metal frame and clear plastic panels. And I, too, have learned the hard way never to leave the door or little window open when it’s really windy. In one storm, three of the panels disappeared. My neighbour handed me back two over the garden fence and I found the other one about half a mile away on the edge of the road. Oh, and my greenhouse is also held together with lots of duct tape – and has been for the last two years! It’s much stronger than the little plastic fastening strips that came with the greenhouse…

    1. Hi Simon. Thanks for your support. I think these greenhouses are a bit of a have… They are being sold as the best and latest thing in backyard green housing, but they are flimsy, difficult to construct (well I found it hard and inadvertently damaged a few panels) and I also found out – despite their great expense – uninsurable!
      But I have what I have and so short of running rolls of duct tape around the whole thing several times, I shall make do until next year and then see what I can do about replacing it with a “proper” one! Cheers Sarah : o )

  6. Your first bluebell of the year! Don’t we all need to see spring. I love Waikato living until late July, when I think I can’t stand another bleak, wet, windy moment – then I drive past a tree covered in blossom. Haaaaa!! (exhale!). Summer barbecues can’t be too far away. And you will be eating the gorgeous homegrown veges that survived the storm!

    1. Hi there. We have yet to see blossoms, but there are plenty of daffodils about the place. Spring is so close I can almost feel it! This winter has been too wet and too windy. I feel positively soggy! Cheers Sarah : o )

    1. Thanks for your kind words. Today the sun is shining, there is a light breeze and the duct tape seems to be holding the greenhouse together nicely. Cheers Sarah : o )

  7. We have had the freezing cold here but not much rain and very few storms. I comisterate with you about your greenhouse. Whether the relationship had staled or not, it was home to those precious little babies limping their way through winter and I am glad that its maiming didn’t bring you to tears. We bodged up our glasshouse with plastic and tape and so far it has held out against the roaring 40’s winds that spend the year racing from town to town all over Tasmania. Spring is most definately sprung and that little Muscari botryoides will soon be joined by a teaming throng of others to make your memories of that mangled greenhouse fade into the oncoming warmer months

    1. Hi there. I guess a hard working greenhouse envitably ends up being a greenhouse with bodged repairs – like some kind of badge of honour! I saw a headline the other day that suggests that spring may be warmer than normal – oh to feel the warmth of the sun every day – I cant wait. Spring is soo close… Cheers Sarah : o )

      1. It’s pretty cold here too Sarah (Tasmania) BUT I don’t want the heat to come! I like these cold winter sunny days. They make me feel alive. Hot hot sun makes me sleepy, grumpy, dopey and angry…I am sure that I probably represent the other dwarves as well as by then I am also retaining water 😉

        1. Hi there. I know what you mean about the cold sunny days – they are so invigorating. It’s just we haven’t had all that many of them. So at the moment I seem to be clinging to the misguided notion that a boiling hot summer will be soo much better! Just wait for the moaning about the heat when we get there! Cheers Sarah : o )

          1. Lol 🙂 I know what you mean Sarah…I saw last night that your dollar is in a sad place. That means that we poor penniless hippy students might think about heading on over to your esteemed country for a visit. I could break out the motheaten sock and see what I can do for your economy. Our own Tasmanian economy is in an even sadder state. We can be bought by the highest bidder at the moment…sigh… oh well… at least we gardeners can take heart with the first signs of spring and the buds on our trees 🙂

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