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on April 1, 2010
The wife wants a real greenhouse. OK, I said. After reading up on all the glowing reviews herein for this one, I ordered this book with real anticipation. Boy, what a let-down after it arrived.

This overwhelmingly simplistic book has information and details that are of a level that I would expect to find in weekend newspaper articles and others of that sort. Nothing of any real help in actually 'building' anything but the most rudimentary sheds is covered here. What are these other reviewers thinking or expecting here?

I guess that there is 'general info' within it, but nothing more. Greenhouse Building 101 it's not. More like Remedial Greenhouse 040.

The one real bit of value in this book is the reference page at the end. It lists a number of greenhouse suppliers of both kits and components in the U.S. However, Google did the same thing for me in .016 seconds, and for free.

All that being said, the Author himself does indeed seem to be an experienced gardener, with much of it in his homemade greenhouses. Perhaps this is what other reviewers found so appealing. I wish him well -he seems a likable sort; but the title of this book, in my opinion, should have instead been: "Gardening with Homemade Greenhouses".
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on July 13, 2011
This book is an excellent resource for the DIY greenhouse builder who wants a professional quality greenhouse.
If you just want to piece together some old windows and basically create a cold frame you can walk into (like we did), then this book is TOO MUCH for you.
Still, I'm glad I bought it. It's nice to have in my garden library and if we ever want to retrofit our greenhouse with a heating or irrigation system, it'll be a great resource. And the plans are very approachable for the layman so if we ever want to build a proper greenhouse with a permanent foundation, this book is a one-stop shop.
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on February 25, 2009
Excellent book. The book is well written. It explains many options that can be taken...from a very cheap, basic structure to a more costly, complex building.
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on February 23, 2015
My goal is a greenhouse that is attached to my house. This book gave me clear concepts (pictures and drawings) that I could show everyone (architect, contractor, space planner) that saved me much more than the purchase price. I read the book cover to cover. Then I copied a few pages and everyone knew what I wanted without all the hand drawn napkins.

If you really want some solid ideas with easy to read and understand text about greenhouses, .... This is not a book on every detail about building a greenhouse. This book will cover the details that are unique to greenhouses and give you lots of examples.

Excellent book. Full of thoughtful ideas that really helped me understand greenhouses and what to expect from my "ideas" and gave me lots of new ideas.
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on April 10, 2014
This book thoroughly goes over all kinds of design considerations about building a greenhouse. I like having lots of information and details, which you'll definitely get from the book, from the obvious to the not-so-obvious.

I am a fairly handy person, but I like books that don't assume any background or knowledge, because that way you can be sure that you're not going to miss anything. Every project seems to have some weird "gotcha" that comes out of the blue, so it's great to consider everything. For example, I had not thought about the obvious problems with humidity in a greenhouse and how that might affect my choice of materials, in regard to rust or kind of wood. The book goes through all the pros and cons of different kinds of material for letting through light, and the pros and cons of different structures and designs based on your climate and latitude, the kinds of plants you'll grow, and so forth.

BTW, I bought some of the cheap Kindle books about building hoop houses for <$300, and found that this book contained similar information, and better designs. So, I'd consider the book even if you're thinking of doing a cheap greenhouse, even though much of the material won't be relevant, so at least you have a sense of the options.

My only complaint, and this is quite unrealistic, is that the book doesn't discuss much about aquaponics, which is the idea of growing fish and plants together. This is the main reason I want to build a greenhouse, and an aquaponics greenhouse has unique design considerations, in that you're probably not going to transplant anything but instead will likely grow the plants entirely in the greenhouse, and of course, there's a lot of plumbing going on. To be fair, the author does touch on the subject a bit. I didn't expect him to write about aquaponics at all, and I still found the book tremendously helpful.

I definitely recommend it.
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This is the go-to book for backyard, or even small hobby farm, greenhouse design and construction. There are lots of different schemes here, from season extending frames to full-on solaria and orchid houses. All budgets are discussed and plans cover the full price range.
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on June 9, 2008
I finally "sprang" for this book because I read a good review on a garden club website. It is a wonderful book on all aspects of greenhouse design. I am sure glad I spent this money before we started spending the serious money, and hard work, on the real thing.
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on October 12, 2008
Very good information. The greenhouse is almost done. My husband referred to this little book often. I'm a happy camper.
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on May 11, 2007
Any who would build a greenhouse will find HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN GREENHOUSE: DESIGNS AND PLANS TO MEET YOUR GROWING NEEDS offers up the hope of year-round gardening as it explores a range of greenhouse designs and options, from simple cold frames to elaborate freestanding tropical constructions. Chapters cover basic freestanding and extension designs for greenhouses, include lean-tos and garden shed blends, and discuss not only construction of independent structures, but how to incorporate them into an existing home. From floor to ceiling options, HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN GREENHOUSE covers it all, includes design tips and basic plans, and is a pick for any library strong in homeowner's or gardener's construction references.
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on March 27, 2009
I am so grateful to Roger Marshall for writing this book. Even a cursory glance of it gave me the impression that it was the book I would need to bring my plans of a greenhouse for the Arkoe Garden ( to reality.

After having read it, I am in the stages of finalizing the type of greenhouse I want and making plans for building it this summer. If you would like to see the progress, you can visit the blog. The Lord willing, I will begin sometime in August in preparation for fall.

I appreciate the checklist especially, because I am a list maker and lists make projects a lot less stressful as far as I'm concerned. I was also inspired by the watering system using the 5-gallon buckets and the fish tank pump for reclaiming and reusing the water. I plan to repurpose bricks from a building demolition in a neighboring city for my greenhouse base and incorporate the bricks and the ideas for cold frames for a couple of other raised beds that will be added around the property, and one for the strawberry box newly added.

The greenhouse will allow me to have fresh-cut flowers year round. Because both rock and space aren't much of a problem, I am considering a rock heating system, or a propane generator and heater that can be hooked into the large propane tank already onsite. Roger's book really has inspired me to be imaginative, though imagination tempered with some practicality -- or not.

I plan to add Roger's book to my Black and Decker home repair library (purchased used on Amazon) and work the greenhouse into my landscaping plans already in works on my Better Homes and Gardens software (also purchased used on Amazon.) But in order to include the book on my reference shelf I'll have to put it down first. Oh, and a final special note of thanks to Roger for the extra white space in the book and the wide margins. I will, no doubt be making a lot of notes as my project progresses.

If you're going to build a greenhouse, buy this book.

The designs are simple, the instructions are detailed, and quite straightforward, and the illustrations are immensely helpful.
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