Hi everyone! I'm building an orchid house with much help from my Dad (I live with my parents). I thought it might be fun for you to see it take shape. So here goes...here's the initial load of materials from Home Depot!
Melanie Builds an Orchid House
This is going to be fun. I am really looking forward to this thread. I just converted my screened lanai into what I call the orchid conservatory (OC). here is a link to the thread I did: http://allthingsplants.com/thread/view/1003/My-Lanai-Conversion/
I read my dad is a wood turner but I thought I read great orchid mounts. I get confused easily. :>)
I'm looking forward to it too! I would love to have a full greenhouse, but have no room. I have built a lean-to type structure with removable roof and walls to accomodate my climate, and so has Laurel. Always fun to see what others will do for the 'chids. They are all on going projects to some degree.
Jim, my Dad does indeed have a lot of wood that could be used as orchid mounts. Are there certain types of wood that are more favorable? I love bromeliads too, and I know driftwood is often used but I haven't looked at enough orchids to see what they're mounted on. I'm trying to think what that Encyclia tampensis I saw in the wild was growing on...locust, maybe?
Dad overdid it yesterday and is now resting in his recliner after taking painkillers. I think step two will be putting in the posts. We bought a post hole digger since we'll have to replace our fence soon, too. (We live at the front of the street that has a cul-de-sac on the other end so our fence is like the entrance to our little neighborhood.) The orchid house will be 8x8 and about 6.5 feet tall. I'm still trying to decide what kind of shelves I want and how I want them set up. One of my orchid society members posted pics of her orchid house on our club's website so I showed Dad. I thought he'd get a better idea of what I see in my head. He was also with me when we went to St. Pete Orchid Farm so he saw how they were set up, as well.
I found some nice four tier shelves at Sam's Club. I also built shelves using step runners from HD. You should come over and look at the OC for some ideas.
A couple of my friends used old picture frames, and stapled in hardware cloth (square steel mesh) for the shelf part, then just set them up on cinder blocks. I'm sure your Dad will build you something much nicer than picture frames and cinder block for legs, but remember the flat part of the shelf that your pots sit on should be something ventilated.
Orchid growers have big tables that are frames with steel mesh nailed in, both for drainage and air circulation. My local grower is selling off all his tables on Craig's List if you're interested. Search "orchids" on the Sarasota-Bradenton list.
All those tarps are covering his wood piles, by the way. He has enough wood to turn for the rest of his life. Or for me to mount orchids on! More measuring was done with one of the post holes being a little off. So Dad redug it and we got ourselves squared up. Then, he nailed in the bottom of the frame.
Finally, we put the top of the frame on. I helped with this part. Mostly by holding one end while Dad nailed the other. Then, I would run out of the way in case one of the ends fell (this happened the first few times). Something about the nails not being long enough and then Dad "toe-nailed" them which apparently means diagonally into the wood instead of straight. My grandfather was a carpenter and I imagine he's shaking his head at me in heaven right now.
Finally, day one was complete. We finished the basic frame of the house. Next up is adding rafters, bracing on each side, and attaching the lattice. Then, we have enough screen to cover everything. I also bought that weed block stuff for the floor although there isn't much grass or weeds right in that area. I'm still thinking about shelving and how I want to set up the inside although I have a pretty good idea.
Your greenhouse is really progressing rapidly. Way to go Dad! Are you going to put a floor in it?
Oh yeah, I bought that weed block stuff to put down. Luckily, not too much is growing there currently so it's not like I'll have to fight the weeds coming through.
Apparently, Dad put down the weed block while I was taking a nap. I'll have to get a picture tomorrow!
Good for you. I think you will like it better with a floor.
You are moving right along, Melanie. It's looking good.
I agree! Is that lattice going to prevent the squirrels from messing with your orchids? The shade house will surely make watering alot easier.
Don't forget you have to come up with a name for your new greenhouse. Laurel has her green hut, Carol has the orchid shack and I have the OC. What shall it be?
If the squirrels are really determined they could still get in, but I figure they'll take the easier road. We only have thousands of acorns from all the oak trees in the yard; you think they could stick to those.
Well...the first thing that comes to mind is the Shade Shack. My brother thinks it looks like the outdoor showers at camp; although, I would hope they'd have solid panels and not lattice!
I'm enjoying this. My shade screen and 2 x 2s needs refreshing soon and something like this Shade Shack may do the trick
Melanie and her dad came over this morning to check out the OC and hopefully get some ideas. I even threw in a tour of the garden. It was very nice to meet them.
Jim, it was nice to meet you too and see all your amazing plants. Thanks again for the agave!