The Land Rover Owners Wife

Our Engine Hoist the Greenhouse


Back garden from windowSometimes I look out onto our back garden and the realisation of all that Mud has achieved, in the 10 years since we bought the cottage, hits me and I’m truly awestruck. Often, as if doubting my own memory of how uninviting the garden actually was, I find myself looking back through the photo’s he took in the weeks and months after we moved in, just to confirm that it was as bad as I remember.

Oddly enough we have often been thankful for the 6 inch layer of hardcore, that covered the garden front to back, as it put the couple who looked at the cottage before us, off completely – rotten framed, holey windows were one thing, apparently, but having to dig up and remove 6 inches of hardcore, from a substantial sized garden was a deal breaker.

That said, when Mud finally got around to starting the landscaping of the garden, gratitude was not his foremost emotion as he hacked his way through foot after painful foot of the hardcore, in an effort to clear enough soil upon which to lay turf for a lawn and topsoil for the beds. A pickaxe, sledgehammer and industrial sized chisel, were all used at one point or another, with the vibration and force of impact after impact causing his joints to ache almost as much as his muscles. The transformation was worth it though (as can be seen on my The Vegetable Plot page) , and today we have a wonderful garden in which the Mudlets can play, I can grow my vegetables and Mud can rebuild various Land Rover components or spray body panels.

Growing area 2007

Growing area 2007

Whilst looking back at some of the old photo’s today, I came across the pictures of our original ‘greenhouse’ and decided to share these with you. People often say that they have nowhere to grow things and that I am lucky to have two greenhouses and yes I am but I tend to smile at that remark though, especially when I consider what we started out with.Black shelves to act as staging

When it comes to gardens, most homeowners will install a tasteful water feature, a gazebo, or perhaps a seating area to enhance their outlook. The previous owner of our home was much more ….. industrial …… in his choices and left us an unbelievably heavy, very rusty and totally defunct engine hoist as the focal point. So heavy and cumbersome was this eyesore, that we have only ever been able to move it a few feet at a time before requiring several days to recuperate from our exertions.

Old engine hoistHowever, in the spring/summer of 2007, Mud came up with a totally unique use for this monstrosity. Armed with a roll of heavy duty clear plastic he created a tent over the Hoist, tying the plastic sheeting to the framework. A piece of greenhouse shading was added later. We then bought a couple of sets of black plastic shelves to act as staging, setting a couple up within the tent and the rest (covered in yet more shading material to act as protection) just outside our makeshift greenhouse.Old engine hoist

We only grew a few salads, tomatoes and beans that year but by the following year Mud had much bigger plans and decided that although the Hoist had proven quite successful. it wasn’t quite big enough and so, taking full advantage of the pre-season sale that B&Q were holding and one of their 10% off everything weekends, we bought the first of the greenhouses.

Growing area 2008

Growing area 2008

We still used some of the black shelves outside, as the new greenhouse still wasn’t quite big enough and the raised beds were only just under construction.

Of course now we have the second smaller greenhouse and more raised beds and Mud has plans to install an even bigger heated greenhouse at the other side of the vegetable patch, so that I can potentially grow more items all year round.

Gee! thanks for that hun!


Top photograph reproduced with the kind permission of

2 thoughts on “Our Engine Hoist the Greenhouse

  1. Ingenious use of an engine hoist! Your garden is amazing, what a transformation. You must be so proud of what you’ve acheived and all of the wonderful veggies you produce! 🙂

  2. Thank you for that 🙂 I am immensely proud of what we’ve managed to achieve with the garden and growing the veggies is very soothing and therapeutic – when I’m not worrying about the weather and pests that is 😉

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