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Greenhouse RIP

October 2009

Already for a while we were not completely satisfied with our poison dart frog greenhouse. We could not get the lights optimal, unless we would make a enormous investment, also the ventilation was not optimal during wintertime. We noticed our other tropical greenhouse was operating much better, despite the big differences in temperature. The last year the rear wall was getting more and more mold spots and aside the door to the greenhouse you saw at the other side, that at the bottom parts started to crumble away and it was getting a little rusty.

When we renovated our closed veranda 6 years ago and we wanted a poison dart frog

 greenhouse under the closed veranda (our house is built on a dam wall), we took into account special materials who could stand humidity (except for plastic window frames), special coating at the wall and floor, floor heating, special waterproof plywood and foil between the ceiling and the floor of our closed veranda. But now we got the first signs that our house got troubles with the humidity of our greenhouse. The humidity in our greenhouse is around 90%. 

This summer we discovered that our pond was draining, so there was a leak. We dreaded having to repair it, the last time we had a leak, it was a complete 'scouting' expedition to find the leak. All the streamlets and edges are quite covered with greenery. It took weeks before we found the leak. 
A couple of weeks ago we started with the exterior paintwork and we discovered that the edges of the window frames of our greenhouse started to rot after 6 years, the timber was completely soaked, the water dripped down, despite of the 4 layers special water-repellent paint.So we made the choice to stop with our greenhouse, before our house really would suffer from the humidity, now all was still repairable. But we took this decision with pain in our heart. 

It took 2 weeks time to catch all the frogs. We had some nice discoveries, since
 quite some time we had not seen black jeans offspring, our old female had died, but now we found 3 young ones, so we had between the adult frogs a female, which we did not know. We had thought that our black jeans offspring were all male, as they all were whistling, and only our known old female laid eggs. Twice we traded a male for a female, but both times those 'females' turned out to be males, loudly calling, despite of their 'feminine curves'. We saw a azureiventris with larvae at his back. Some of the frogs have to do it now with much less space, a tank and some went to our other tropical greenhouse and some others went to friends.

Luckily we still have another tropical greenhouse, which leans to our house, it's smaller than our dart frog greenhouse, but here we put our most special and beautiful plants. The strelitzia and a heleconia were just blossoming beautifully.
Therefore we had to prune many plants in the other greenhouse. We already have to prune regularly the plants in this 

greenhouse, as you almost can see the plants growing. We kept also several large bromeliads, so we had to take away a tree in our tropical greenhouse to make a bromeliad corner were we put them at several tree trunks. Our parents and some friends got some larges plants for in their living room, the rest we  throw at our compost heap. Some of m³ roof mate, welded mesh, tree trunks landed at our terrace and over 200 buckets with (wet) sand were dumped in the corner of our garden. Within 2 days our greenhouse was completely demolished and emptied. Fortunately 10 days later the window frames were dry again and could be repaired before painting them.
The area now looks pretty bleak, it still has to be properly cleaned and refurbished. A little weird so empty, you had here for 6 years a poison dart frog greenhouse, we had lots of fun of it. We did not demolish it because we stopped with the hobby. When all is refurbished we'll see what we will do with this room.

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