TOOLS & equipment

2 wooden wine gift boxes (4-bottle) strong outdoor adhesive metal clamps

electric drill, drill bits & screws small handsaw wooden batten pencil, pen & ruler wooden rounded architrave additional piece of wood, for lid 4 metal hinges

exterior wood paint & paintbrushes clear marine varnish (optional) sheet of acrylic glass & silicone glue cupboard door knob square wooden batten 4 mirror fixing plates 2 door hooks

newspaper & aerosol can with good recess at the base, for seed pots


easy seedlings to try are: lettuce, beans, and annual flowers—start seeds in recycled clear plastic food trays (add drainage holes), then grow seedlings in newspaper pots

Alchemilla mollis, Digitalis purpurea, Dryopterisfilix-mas, and Primula vialii are planted underneath


Take an empty wine box and apply outdoor adhesive down one of the long sides. Place the second box on top and use clamps to hold in place until dry.


Screw the boxes together with two screws at either end of the central shelf, screwing diagonally so that they penetrate through to the sides for a stronger fix.

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Cut a piece of batten to fit the gap. Place it flush along the front edge, thin side facing out, and screw in place from the sides. This will be the top of the greenhouse; a lid will be fitted in its place that can be propped open.


Cut another piece the same size for the back of the gap, this time with the thick side facing out, and screw it in place.


To make additional shelves, first measure and mark guidelines for where you would like the top edge to rest, bearing in mind the size of seedling pots and the height of seedlings.


Cut short pieces of batten for the shelves to rest on and screw them in position so that the top edges are level with the pencil guidelines.


Make the door frame from the architrave. To achieve a 45° miter joint in each corner, first position one piece on the corner of the box flush with the sides and draw a diagonal guideline.

Cut out and use as a guide for cutting the second piece of the joint, but draw the line on the reverse of the architrave.

Repeat for each corner.


Glue and screw together the mitered sections. Use thinner screws and insert at an angle to pass through both pieces. Cut a piece of wood for the lid that will be slightly wider and deeper than the greenhouse when the door is in place. Attach to the back with two hinges, one near each end. Paint the box and door frame and leave to dry. You could also apply a coat of marine varnish for extra protection.


Recess screws for a neater

finish. After такт] the pilot hole with the correct size of drill bit for the screw, change to a thicker, short drill bit to create a swell recess. Once the screw is in, fill with wood filler and sand when dry.

For the window, measure a piece of acrylic glass to cover the entire door frame. Cut out carefully with a handsaw and fix it to the back of the frame using silicone glue. Fix two hinges at either end of one of the long sides on the back of the door frame.

Hang the greenhouse body.

Fix lengths of batten to the back horizontally near the top and bottom. Screw 2 mirror fixing plates on either side of the battens and securely attach the greenhouse to your fence or wall. Additional support from a screw anchor may be required, depending on the surface. Finally, attach the door frame to the front and add a couple of small door hooks to keep it shut.

To make seed pots, cut strips of newspaper 30cm (12in) by 13cm (5in). Lay the aerosol can at the edge of a strip, 5cm (2in) in from the bottom. Roll and wrap the paper around the can to form a tube. Tuck the loose paper into the base.

Remove the pot, then fold in the top edge for strength and a neater finish. Pots will biodegrade, so place them straight into the ground when the plants are ready and all risk of frost has passed.

‘Where to site Choose somewhere which has sunlight for most of the day.

You can add some shade for part of the day in summer if the sun is too strong.

Ventilation Air circulation is crucial for pest and disease control. Keep the door open for part of the day in spring, summer, and autumn, depending on the weather, closing it at night if temperatures are cooler. Prop the flap at the top of the greenhouse open with wooden blocks for extra ventilation in warm weather or minimal ventilation in cooler weather. In harsh winter conditions you may need some extra protection for the greenhouse such as bubble wrap around the outside.

Funky Abstract

Updated: October 9, 2015 — 8:34 am