Raised beds ready for plantingWe’ve all fallen prey to those “easy assembly kits” that promise you can construct something “in under an hour”. We’ve personally ordered several of them — from storage sheds to a tent cabin. Even with my secret weapon which is an extremely handy husband who can take apart a car engine and put it back together, rewire a house and tile a bathroom, it always seems a life and sanity-threatening proposition to assemble one of these kits. But there’s no fool like an old fool. So these things keep getting advertised and we keep ordering them.

Sunday was the day we decided to open our latest kit and build us a greenhouse for the soon to be inaugurated Flying Terrier Farms. And we expected it to done “in just under an hour”. So not a problem starting this at 11AM on a day when Sonoma temperatures were expected to soar into the 90s. To make a long story short, we got this thing mostly constructed before our lightheadedness and inability to think signaled the early stages of sunstroke.

Therefore, the following pictorial essay contains no truly useful information. It’s not even a how to or a step-by-step guide. But perhaps it will illustrate the progress of overexposure to Sonoma sun. Kids, don’t try this at home.


First of all, any of these projects require two people. Or two people and a terrier. Assuming your terrier can read out the instructions while you wonder where Slot A is that needs to fit in Tab B.


You will spend twice as much time unpacking and laying pieces out as you will building. That is if you are smart. Take the time to lay it out for fast assembly. Trust me on this.


When you lay out the foundation, your structure will always look too small. You will panic. It won’t be too small. But no matter how many times you’ve done this, you will still panic.


See, you need to trust me. It starts looking bigger as the walls go up.


Did I mention cordless screwdrivers? You must have one of these.


Not sure if the blurriness is greenhouse glass (or acrylic in this case) or if this was when the near sunstroke was setting in.


By the time most of the roof is in, you’re nearly home free. Unless it’s 100 degrees and your brain is getting fuzzy.


And this is as far as we got before we had to rush back to the barn, drink a gallon each of water and collapse.

I should post the make and model of this kit as it actually looks to be quite good. And the assembly didn’t bring us anywhere near divorce. It’s a Sunshine GardenHouse and you can find their products here.