Monday, 20 May 2013

I've been framed

From the hand built work of art below that is my new cold frame, can you guess the cult film..?

 You may recall that recently the kind and brave folk at Waltons garden centre asked me to review one of their cold frames. Kind because they offered it free, brave because I'm as hapless with my DIY skills as I am my planting.

But I was thrilled and agreed. However, it's taken a little longer than hoped as the courier managed to make a mess of the first cold frame. I wondered what I'd got myself into, whether indeed this was a set up?! 

I must say, credit where it's due - to Yasmin and her team at Waltons for the customer service, and so a exciting replacement package arrived for me the other day. 

Now, this is not Top Gear. You won't find me road testing this to destruction, hauling it across the North Sea to see if it still manages to work in the extremes of Norway. That's what Clarkson and company do isn't it? Crazy Stunts.

Instead, over the coming weeks I'll be seeing if I've found the antidote to the typical June weather, a haven for my plants.

But first let's deal with the construction.

I've found gardening addictive beyond simply weeding, potting and admiring. I've discovered an inner urge to shape, create and build. But as I mentioned, this is far from my forte. I barely own a decent saw let alone a drill.

For those of us raised on an Ikea, flat pack diet this cold frame is one step above. Now, if you're the type to shirk at such a challenge then it's time to 'man up' and get a drill. 

So I roped in the lovely Susie and her drill.

We started to construct it indoors on a wet Sunday afternoon. The wood itself is good quality and looks smart (although I've not checked whether it's sustainably sourced). The instructions are straightforward and in no time we had the first storey up.

However, unforeseen circumstances put the project on hold for a week. Kevin McCloud would have been concerned.

This weekend though, we finished the job. Tip to those new to construction, electric screwdriver. God's gift.

There have been bumps and one lump (blister) along the way. We were a few screws short, (rather than loose) and we had to watch for splinters. But it was fun to construct and nothing beats triumphantly placing the finished work out there in the sun. 

Naturally the triumph was delayed by disagreements about where to put it, but now it's all about the growing!

You may recall I planted chillis recently. Well, they failed to germinate, so I've planted some new ones up, hoping the heat will give them a kick start. I'm also trying a Bay tree experiment which I'll be writing about shortly, so let's see what this baby is made of.

If you're tempted already, then you can find more cold frames, wooden greenhouses and other goodies here:


Waltons Cold Frames

Meanwhile, I'll be on Chilli and Bay watch...


Lorraine Pullen said...

I may be wrong but that looks like your boiling a bunny so maybe fatal attraction?

That looks like an extremely sturdy cold frame. be interested to see how it works out

Hapless gardener said...

Cracking guess Lorraine and far better than the intended answer..! I'll wait a bit longer before revealing, but I may have to do some more of these, it's fun!

Day 2 and it's still in one piece!

Anonymous said...

Put the bunny back in the box.....

MH said...

Who framed Roger Rabbit? Great review! Will now have a look for space in my own garden for a cold frame...

The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

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I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.