There are tons of books and guides for the beginner greenhouse hobbyist so it took awhile to weed through several before choosing my first book about my newfound hobby.

After perusing books on Amazon I decided on Greenhouse Gardener’s Companion Revised & Expanded by Shane Smith who is the director and founder of the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens, and undoubtedly a greenhouse expert.

My greenhouse knowledge is limited so after weeding through 20 or so books on greenhouse gardening I believe I chose the best one out there.

This comprehensive book is revised with over 500 pages all written in simple terms combined with a sense of humor. After reading it over the last few days, I now have a rudimentary understanding about getting started with greenhouse gardening

Smith covers everything from growing vegetables, flowers and herbs. Most importantly, for me, I need to know about things like ventilation, heating and thermometers so I don’t damage my plants when temperatures fluctuate from season to season. Secondly, I want to sow seeds at various times during the year and need to know what to do along with keeping the greenhouse productive all winter long.

The in-depth final chapter covers everything that can go wrong, such as pests and diseases, a potential problem with greenhouse growing. Before I bought the book, I was clueless on this topic but now I have a basic knowledge on how to control unwanted insect pests. The two worst pests in a greenhouse are aphids and whitefly.

Two simple tips for beginners is to always inspect your plants to keep them healthy and place a screen across open vents and windows to keep insects at bay.

In a nutshell, this book explains EVERYTHING I need to know as a newbie backyard greenhouse hobbyist and I highly recommend it for those of you who are beginners like me.



Güte: Tiny House on Wheels

Photo © Güte

This rustic Shepherd’s Hut by Ontario-based Güte is the perfect tiny guesthouse, backyard office or hideout for kids.

It’s on cast iron wheels so it’s movable, and due to its small size, it doesn’t require a permit.

Photo © Güte

The design is based on shepherd’s huts that were once common in shepherding regions in northern England during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

For anyone looking for quirky, extra living space in your backyard, this tiny house provides an escape without leaving home.

Photo © Güte

The interior has a simple layout.

Step up and enter through a Dutch door; the kitchen unit has a hand-operated water pump and a brass sink.

Photo © Güte

Between the kitchen and living space is a fold-down table for dining or working.

Photo © Güte

To the right of the sink, a small wood-burning stove provides heat.

Photo © Güte

Hand-crafted modular furniture provides storage space.

The interior is bright and airy with 3 windows.

Photo © Güte

The sitting area, similar to a futon, doubles as a bed with storage space below.

Photo © Güte

Cozy! Click here and scroll down to watch a video with Dylan, the owner’s son, discussing Güte‘s designs, square footage and the bathroom!



Side-by-Side Comparison Building Material Charts on

If any of you are thinking about getting a new roof, start with comparing roofing material options and costs. All roofing materials have pros and cons associated with them so start by reading a handy easy-to-read chart.

Renovatethat is a great source of information with side-by-side comparison charts. For roofing, the comparison chart lists durability, what the roofing material is made with, style of roofs/roofing material used, material prices, ease of installation, care and maintenance, warranty, weight, environment-friendly and green factor along with other points to consider.


Whether you’re replacing a roof, renovating your home or building a new house you will have to take into consideration the roof style. If you have a pitched roof, suitable materials are asphalt shingles, wood shakes, metal, slate and tile. Depending on what part of the country you live in will also affect your decision. It’s all about location, climate, warranties, price and maintenance.

Flat roofs can be covered with tar, EPDM rubber roofing, metal, asphalt roll roofing, gravel and PVC membrane.

Renovatethat also has comparison charts for flooring (wood, stone, tile, luxury vinyl tile), stone siding (faux stone panels, cultured stone veneer, natural stone veneer), and exterior (decking material and garage door options).

Side-by-Side Chart:

The website also provides user-friendly guides such as the best options for dog-friendly hardwood floors, refinishing hardwood floors cost guide and vinyl siding that looks like wood, among others.

Replacing a roof is one of the most expensive remodeling projects you’ll encounter. Be sure to get multiple bids along with references.





It’s Finished!

The Palram 6×8 Greenhouse is finished!

I really, really like it.

It looks like someone else likes it too…

Now that the greenhouse is constructed, John would suggest setting aside 3 days if you’re assembling it alone and 2 days if you have a second person.

I’m so glad I chose this size. For me I wouldn’t want it any bigger and I wouldn’t want it any smaller.

I’m really happy with the overall greenhouse design.

The bay with the vented skylight is hinged at the base of the aluminum roof ridge.

I plan to have a kitchen garden to the left.

Palram Instructions: Before I ordered the Palram greenhouse from Lowes I read several online consumer reviews. Several people said the instructions were hard to follow. However, John had no problem following the instructions; they were easy to follow.

I think the key is having time set aside along with a little patience and everything will go smoothly. I will admit that on one occasion John got a smidge frustrated but he got over it quickly. It’s like anything, it just takes a little effort and then it’s a done deal.

I know I’ll get years of enjoyment out of this greenhouse!

The instruction booklet has no text. It’s all diagrams with effective step-by-step assembly instructions. Every greenhouse aluminum piece has a numbered sticker.

By the way, not one piece was missing and not one sticker was missing. The aluminum frame has a solid powder-coated finish. I believe it will last a long time.

I recommend this product. It’s shipped in two boxes.