Shelter from the rain

Last week I talked about the leaves in my front yard, and how I needed to get them out of the cactus bed at least -- even if I wasn't going to rake them all up right now. Gerhard agreed that the leaves had to come out of that bed to protect the cactus from winter rot. (They're all cold-hardy but only if they stay relatively dry.)

I mentioned in reply that I had some special plans for this bed for the winter. Want to see what I came up with?


First, the leaves had to come out -- that was a given:

My plan was bigger than that though, and started with one of my salvaged glass shower doors...

...a bit of hand-me-down lumber that was going to just sit on the driveway all winter...

...and a little bit of work with the table saw:

Next thing you know, I had a framed sheet of sturdy (read: heavy) glass that seemed like it would make a perfect precipitation shelter for these plants:


Maybe I should have dusted off the underside of the glass? Here's what you'd see if you were one of the cactus looking up:

I've got at least one more of these to make, since only half of the bed is covered by this, but I'm happy with the results so far!

Looks good in the garden too, if a little strange:

How exactly I was going to suspend this above the plants was a concern and I originally thought I'd have to drive four support poles into the ground. Realizing that logs would probably work quite well for three of the corners really simplified things.

If you've done this sort of thing before, what do you think of my solution? Is there something I didn't consider?

It rained last night so I'm curious to see what things look like out there this morning.


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outlawgardener  – (November 16, 2015 at 9:37 AM)  

What a great idea; you're full of them! Haven't tried this before but Danger made a pvc pipe and plastic shelter for one of her agaves that I'm considering copying this year. Here's to a nice dry winter for your cacti under their new and lovely roof!

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (November 16, 2015 at 10:46 AM)  

I think this is a great solution! It's very similar to what the Ruth Bancroft Garden does, except they use heavy plastic.

danger garden  – (November 17, 2015 at 12:38 AM)  

And I think leaving the glass "frosted" is actually better, lest the plants be sunburnt on a really bright day.

Alan  – (November 17, 2015 at 6:10 AM)  

Loree: Is "sunburn" possible? The sides are completely open so I know it shouldn't get any warmer under here than the surrounding air. (I'm pretty sure this bed won't get any strong direct sunlight until March or so anyway)

Bob –   – (November 17, 2015 at 2:40 PM)  

I love it in concept, but I have two questions. 1) Is there no chance that it could be moved by wind? Here, I'm afraid it would sail across my yard. 2) How about water drainage? Did you drill holes or grooves?

Alan  – (November 17, 2015 at 3:10 PM)  

Bob: it weighs a lot, and some corners are screwed down to the logs that support it. The slot that the glass slides into goes all the way to the end, so there is a natural drainage hole there. If it gets 1/4" of ice on it though, that will just help hold it down. :)

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