The Great Greenhouse Adventure


I sit in the quiet, riddled with guilt at not putting this time in to work.  Riddled with guilt, but I’ve been stretching myself so think the last week or so that I just can’t deal with it right now.  I need to step back and take this time to stretch my brain.  And I have been severely neglecting my writing (let alone cleaning and doing the needful with my family).  So here I am… coffee and candle… just being me.

It’s been an interesting week (good grief, has it only been a week?).  Bear decided that he wanted to give me a greenhouse.  He went out and did the research and figuring things out and chose the Palram Harmony 6′ x 8′ greenhouse  It’s the perfect size to sit next to the back deck right next to the house.  We talked about greenhouses, he shopped and found a good price, and we talked some more.

Last Saturday he ordered it and it was delivered on Thursday.

You would think that would be pretty much the story. Yeah… not so much.

Monday I called the city building department for the city where I live to find out how to get a building permit.  I didn’t want to deal with fines and stress later and taking the chance of having to tear it down. THIS is where the story starts…

Turns out any one given property owner can have exactly one… ONE accessory building.  If you think you deserve more than one, you have to apply for a variance.  That building (and any subsequent buildings) has to be at least 20 feet from the house and at least 8 feet from any property line.  The fee for a 6×8 building (if there is no power, heat, or water) is 33 dollars.  The fee for the variance is 50 dollars. To get a variance you have to put in your application for variance at least one week before the every other week council meeting, post a flier in the window, and give them as many details as possible.

So we applied for the permit and waited.  Bear drove into Cleveland (not something he enjoys if I’m there to help navigate let alone alone) to pick up the filled out and signed application to turn in then drove to the building commission to get the paperwork turned in.

He drove back and turned it in, put details on the ground’s blueprint on where the greenhouse wants to be and talked to the lady at the commission.  Turns out that the people we bought the house from either didn’t know about the rules or the rules didn’t exist when they put in the shed or something.  Turns out the city didn’t know about our shed.  They do now.  I THINK the shed MIGHT be the right distance from the property line… maybe.

Now the waiting begins.

And in the mean time we walk the neighborhood to see who has sheds, where the sheds are on the property (90% of them are NOT at least 8 feet from the property line) many have two sheds, several have sheds abutting the house (no no it’s really an addition that you might or might not know about).  I wonder how many the city know about.

I think that if we had just gotten a contractor to put in the greenhouse no one would have given a shit.

Now the process begins.

We got turned down for the permit.  We applied for the variance, paid our 50 dollars for that and got 18 copies of the picture of the greenhouse so all of the members can see what it will look at.  In 10 days I ‘get’ to go to the council meeting to tell them why I think I deserve a variance and why the greenhouse should be next to the house and not in the middle of the yard.  Then I wait 2 weeks and go back to find out if the council is going to let us build it or not.

The greenhouse is in the garage in boxes.

In the next three weeks, council members, replete with badges, may or may not come and tromp through our yard (which due to it being spring is 50% ankle deep puddles because… well… it’s spring in Ohio and there is rain and stuff).

OH…. and… yeah…

Because there is nowhere easily found that says everyone is entitled to ONE outbuilding (definite website redo could help), we dug the footer for the greenhouse.  Strike that… Bear (with emphysema) dug it so it was in when the greenhouse showed up.  So we have a ditch a foot deep and a foot wide all the way around where the greenhouse should go.  And it’s been raining so it’s full of water.  We have the 4x6s for the footer.  We have the stone for in the footer and the floor of the greenhouse.  We have cement in the garage that go in the footer.

And we wait.

In 10 days I go to the first meeting.  Then in 2 more weeks the next meeting.  Then we wait another 2 weeks to get the permit.

The seeds I started in the Jiffy pellets have sprouted.

The greenhouse might be up roughly May 1.  Or I may be selling it on Craig’s list since by that time I will no longer be able to return the kit to where it was bought.

BUT… I have started my own seedlings this year.  And I’m starting more this weekend.  I will have my own to put out this year… ones I started.  And I have such plans for the garden this year.  Besides having flowers, I’ve started some awesome tomato plants, pepper plants and herbs.

I’m so happy I get to play with this. I’ve really missed gardening and I’m excited to be container gardening with tomatoes and cucumbers…. I’m going to have trellis’s everwhere…


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