Featured in the Oregonian Home & Garden Section, Saturday, September 26, 2020 Aloha Garden Club Members Nancy & Gordon Prewitt & their beautiful garden!
Gordon and Nancy Prewitt: The Prewitts have been gardening — and married — for more than 50 years and speak with the experience that comes from a half-century of growing things, experience we will feature in columns next spring on getting ready for another growing season.
Their wonderful garden on their one-third-acre Beaverton property features a freestanding glass greenhouse and a hoop house.
Be advised, the Prewitts put the “yourself” in do-it-yourself. In the case of the greenhouse, they salvaged someone’s old frame, found a source for glass and then custom-cut each pane to fit.
It’s good size — 16 feet long by 8 feet wide — and they use it primarily to house Nancy’s sedum collection (and other non-hardy plants) in the colder months. It’s essentially empty in the summer but there’s a heater in there during the winter along with a fan to provide circulation.
Gordon says other than occasionally using silicone on cracks in the glass, it’s done “remarkably well” in the 30-plus years since they built it.
Then there’s the 12-year-old hoop house (a less expensive type of greenhouse), which Gordon describes as “the best thing we ever did.”
It’s a 12-foot-by-25-foot structure with a metal hoop frame and a double-walled polyethylene cover. A fan inside keeps the air moving and the plastic sides can also be rolled up on warm days. There’s no heater, but the inside temperature still can be around 75 even on a cold day.
The Prewitts use it for basil, tomatoes and peppers in the spring/summer and grow cool-season vegetables in the fall/winter.
For anyone considering what type of greenhouse is best for them, the Prewitts lean toward a hoop house for the typical homeowner, but also said their daughter just purchased a fully assembled freestanding greenhouse that was delivered on a flatbed truck for her garden.
Regardless, they agree, size is important and would-be buyers should “never sell themselves short.”
Marcia Westcott Peck is a landscape designer (mwplandscape.com or find her on Instagram at @pecklandscape or on Facebook by searching for “The Pecks”), and Dennis Peck is a former senior editor at The Oregonian/OregonLive.