Monday, May 19

We've been framed.

Back in February I posted about the messy area behind our greenhouse that was destined to become Coldframe Courtyard. Here's a photo to remind you what it looked like back then.
We had acquired a Woodblocx kit in which we wanted to grow salad crops so we had fresh salad material near at hand.

We decided that we would treat ourselves to a super duper cold frame to complement what we hope will eventually become a super duper raised bed.

The large aluminium cold frame in the background has served us well for many years but has a couple of flaws - one being that, rather than opening on a hinge, the top slides open leaving the contents exposed to a sudden downpour. 

After browsing the web we came across a company - Woodpecker Joinery - that made cold frames that looked to be just what we were looking for. We eventually decided on two coldframes one 6 feet by 3 feet and one 4 feet by 3 feet. We placed our order and were told that we would receive a phone call when the frames were ready for delivery.

Last week, just over a month after we ordered the call came to say that the frames were ready and delivery was arranged. Now this gave us a bit of a problem as the area still hadn't been fully prepared for the frames. Remaining potentially useful items (rubbish) were sorted and removed. There wasn't really time to pave the area as planned so instead what was going to be a temporary solution was set up.
The aluminium coldframe in the background is destined for the allotment but as it was full at the time this would need to be removed later and the area rearranged.
The delivery arrived on cue and various pieces of coldframe were unloaded.
Even in pieces we could tell that this was a good quality product. That was a relief as this was an expensive bit of kit.

The pieces were carried up the garden and both frames put together for us in about half an hour.
The frames were placed in a temporary position until we get the chance to move the old aluminium one and complete the reorganisation of the area. One of the frames has two opening roof 'windows' and the larger one three.
We chose a red cedar finish as we thought this would match up with our newly stained greenhouse.
Each of the roof windows had two opening positions which can be fixed independent of its neighbours.
In no time at all plants were moving in!

We have now decided to use bark chippings instead of paving as we rather like the effect and maybe this covering will prove less attractive to the slug and snail population which seem to home in on the area. No doubt the blackbirds will approve and will adopt it as a foraging location.

As I mentioned the coldframes are fairly expensive and wouldn't be an option for the allotment but the quality is superb and just right for a super duper coldframe courtyard. Can a courtyard have a bark chippings floor or will I have to come up with a new name - any ideas?


28 comments:

  1. A really nice cold frame. I think it could be keep my seedling from grasshopper or mouse attack.

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    1. That's an interesting use of a cold frame, Endah

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  2. Wish I had one like that!

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    1. We are pleased with them Vesna.

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  3. They look fabulous, I'm envious, I don't have a coldframe of any kind. They look really good quality, they'll last for years.

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    1. The quality is great, Jo. Pity to leave them outside.

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  4. Those are really gorgeous. It makes me really want a cold frame. Too bad I don't have a place for one in the yard.

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    1. We just need to finish the reorganisation now, Daphne.

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  5. What a difference! and the cold frame is wonderful. I've had my eye on cold frames lately but haven't bought yet. The one you have looks great. The wood is a lovely colour.

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    1. There were three choices of colour, Kelli and this colour appealed.

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  6. They're beautiful, I hope you enjoy using them - I'm sure you will. I mentioned on Martyn's blog that my neighbour has bark chippings around his six raised beds and he's sure that they keep the slugs and snails down. Your courtyard garden is shaping up nicely.

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    1. I read that, CJ and hope it's true.

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  7. Very impressive. Sometimes it really is worth spending a bit more to get a quality product. Those are worlds apart from the naff one I got with some of my prize money from Achica, which is lightweight and flimsy and will probably only last 2 or 3 years.

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    1. These are certainly heavyweights Mark. We'll see just how heavy when we need to move them into their real places.

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  8. What an improvement now you have your 'messy' area sorted. The coldframes look really solid and well made - should last you for a few years I reckon.

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    1. There's still a way to go with the messy area, Elaine.

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  9. Sue the look fabulous as does the area you cleared. It's worthwhile paying for quality like that, they should last a lifetime.

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    1. It's always a little bit of a lottery buying online, Jo so we were relieved that we got the quality we'd paid for. When asked did I want to pay in full when I ordered or just a deposit, I did opt for the deposit to leave some leverage.

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  10. They look superb Sue, I am desperately seeking new openers for my cheap two that will keep the lids open in a strong wind. I can thoroughly recommend a sand base for cold frames, slugs don't like it and it helps keep plants well watered by storing moisture. Perhaps site then over gaps in the surrounding paving and fill gaps with sand?

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    1. We have weed control down inside the coldframes Janet so we could add sand on top. For now we will keep the bark rather than pave - if that doesn't work we will think again.

      These frames should stand up to a severe wind as they are really heavy.

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  11. Oh how very POSH you have become....aren't they the business!!! I wish I had a few, they do smarten things up don't they?
    I think you can whatever you like in your courtyard.xxx

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    1. Maybe this will encourage us not to let it become a dump again, Snowbird.

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  12. Excellent choice! It look neat too!

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  13. Very nice and looks excellent quality. I'll stick with my re-cycled shed panels for a while longer.

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    1. We wouldn't buy anything like this for the plot,Rooko

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  14. Lovely coldframes and brilliant for a home garden. Hope you'll enjoy using them.

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    1. We're pleased with them Mrs V - just need time now to sort out this area properly

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