One Big Greenhouse

When we decided to upsize at an age where most are downsizing, because I wanted more yard work at an age where most want less, the wish list was clear. It was all about the garden.

I wanted a south or west facing backyard and that yard had to be huge. A greenhouse, potting shed, established perennials, beautiful well paced trees, brick or stone walkways and raised beds were all on the want list.

The house we chose had none of those things. Life is funny like that.

In the end, after three years of searching, we chose not just a house, or a yard, but a place that felt like home. There were a few trees, but no garden area, no garden infrastructure and no greenhouse.

Darcy has built a greenhouse at pretty much every place we have ever lived. It’s been a journey of buy a place, unpack the boxes, build a greenhouse, repeat. He is willing to build one here as well, the question is where to site it. Our lot is small and there are only so many options, none of which seem workable.

And then I saw this…

A couple in Stockholm, Sweden built a greenhouse that covers their entire home and yard. In the middle of winter they go out on their deck to sunbathe instead of to shovel snow. They grow grapes, figs, tomatoes, cucumbers and all kinds of things in their outside greenhouse/garden/patio/yard.

Can you imagine? Of course you can!

I love how there is always a solution to what we think is an unsolvable problem. No suitable spot for a greenhouse? Put a greenhouse over EVERYTHING. Problem solved.

About the only flaw I can personally see in the plan (besides cost, city bylaws and talking Darcy into constructing the Mother of all greenhouses) would be access for birds, bees, butterflies and other bugs. I am not sure I would want to garden without them and it is possible the glass could even be deadly for birds, though maybe something could be figured out in that regard. If you have the ingenuity to build a greenhouse that drops over your entire house and yard, chances are you can figure out the nature element as well.

But oh, what a treat it would be to go outside on a sunny winter day and just hang out in your yard. Imagine strolling about your deck in shorts (or coatless anyway), sipping a cold drink, checking out your garden, pausing to wave at your neighbours bundled up in their winter gear, snow blowing their driveways.

Well, that might not go over too well.

It would only be a matter of time before one of them accidentally on purpose aimed a piece of gravel towards your glass house, and you could hardly blame them. Maybe you could host enough gatherings to create goodwill.

Oh! I just thought of another tick for the Yes side. We are getting ready to have our shingles and eaves trough replaced. This would negate the need entirely. What a tremendous cost savings. How thrifty am I?

Win, win, I say.

Though I’m pretty sure What? What? is what Darcy will say.

All joking aside it’s still an interesting concept, even if it won’t work for us (as much as I think I’d like it to).

If you’re curious about the couple who have actually made this dream a reality you can find all the details, including a video featuring this unique home, by clicking here.

A Not So Full Movie Experience

I am a bit of an introvert. And by a bit, I mean totally. My favourite activities are writing, reading, art, gardening and taking long walks. All things I do alone, except for the latter. Sometimes (pre ankle injury) I take my long walks with Darcy.

After a day of nonstop interacting with people at work, Darcy and I tend to spend all our shared downtime alone. We enjoy the ease that comes after sharing almost four decades of each other’s companionship.

A few days ago marked 36 years of marriage, so we decided to celebrate by watching a movie. Usually this means firing up Netflix and settling in on the couch but, because it was our anniversary, we decided to go all out and head down to the theatre.

There is nothing like watching a movie with a crowd. Sure, sometimes people talk or check their phones or do other annoying things, but it is all part of the experience. I enjoy sharing the gasps, the laughs and the tears with a group, even a group of strangers.

So off we went for an anniversary afternoon of popcorn, people mingling and the full on movie experience.

And? We went into the theatre and we were the only ones there. We were the only ones as the light dimmed, we were the only ones through fifteen minutes of ads and trailers and we were the only two in the entire theatre as our movie began.

At one point I almost forgot we were in a theatre altogether and was going to tell Darcy to pause the movie while I went to the washroom. Which was pretty much the only difference in the whole experience. No remote control.

The movie was pretty good though. And the last 36 years of marriage? Well, those have been pretty good too.

The Change is Coming

Just an add on to the last post about using white clover seed as a lawn grass alternative.

I was at one of our local nurseries today and I see they have small bags of white clover seed for sale in their lawn grass section.

The bags aren’t big and they were priced at 19.99 but a little goes a long way. As you can see by reading the packaging, the 700 g bags are equivalent to 1 1/2 pounds which should be enough to more than cover 3,000 square feet.

It is possible that an agricultural seed place would have it in big bags for a lot cheaper so if you are doing a country lawn it might be worth phoning around.

Mostly I was just cheered up to see it readily available in the lawn seed section. If they are selling, someone has to be buying, which means we really are coming full circle and starting to make smart choices for the planet.

A Truly Green Lawn


What if you could have a lawn that rarely needed watering, was naturally weed free, aerated the soil on its own, was soft to walk on, attracted beneficial insects, seldom needed mowing, stayed a luscious green even after Rover peed on it and was self fertilizing?

Well, back in the 1950s those were the precise qualities of a prestigious lawn plant marketed to savvy consumers. What happened to it? It was too easy. It worked so well there was no money to be made.

The solution? To usher in the era of finicky grass seed, lawn fertilizer, weed killers, sprinklers and lawn mowers that we know and use today.

What was the name of the once prestigious lawn plant that proved too easy for its own good?

Clover.


With its deep root system clover tolerates compacted soil better than grass and is able to tap into moisture at lower levels which is why it requires far less watering. These qualities make clover highly competitive and able to choke out weed competition, negating the need for herbicides.

And forget the fertilizer too. Clover has the clever ability to snatch nitrogen right out of the air and pull it down into nodes along its roots, making it self-fertilizing.


Clover’s small sweet honey scented flowers attract bees and other beneficial insects, as well as making them a delight for your own senses. Dutch White is the most commonly used clover for lawns, growing only four to eight inches high and hardy to Zone 4.


We have been taught to view the white clover blossoms as an eyesore, but if you take the time to look closely they are really quite pretty.

Left to its own intelligent devices, nature will always choose the most suitable blend of grasses and herbs for your lawn, which in the Peace Country most likely includes Alsike, the clover that naturally invades our lawns. Alsike grows taller and so requires more frequent mowing than Dutch White, but it is also much hardier, so better suited to our climate.

Alsike Clover

I’ll leave you with the following excerpt harvested from the book “New Way to Kill Weeds” by R. Milton Carleton.

“The thought of White Dutch Clover as a lawn weed will come as a distinct shock to old-time gardeners. I can remember the day when lawn mixtures were judged for quality by the percentage of clover seed they contained. The higher this figure, the better the mixture…I can remember the loving care which old-time gardeners gave their clover lawns. The smug look on the face of the proud homeowner whose stand was the best in the neighbourhood was something to behold.”

R. Milton Carleton from “New Way to Kill Weeds”

I feel like we are coming full circle and enough people are either concerned about the environment or sick of caring for their lawns that we are approaching an era where we will be “clover smug” once again!