I went to a class this morning at a fantastic nursery in North Portland called Livingscape.  They have classes on a wide variety of topics that focus on culinary and gardening skills.  Today’s topic was about starting your own seeds.  I’ve tried growing my own seeds a number of times but my plants always turned out lanky, droopy and all around sad.  Today I learned why. The secret to He-Man seed starts?  You need to hang your grow lights no more than a quarter of an inch above the plant!  Who knew?
Sitting in class I started daydreaming (you know you did too in class!) of a green house or cold frame for my seedlings to go to once they’re strong enough for the outdoors.  My garden magazines make it sound easy to build and we have all the materials at Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage.  In an earlier post, I mentioned how doors are on sale this month plus we have a number of $5.00 windows that would be perfect for a green house or cold frame. We also have a large lumber yard that specializes in reclaimed timbers, beams and barn wood.

Old windows at aurora Mills architectural salvage

At Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage we have thousands upon thousands of windows and doors. These are some of our $5.00 windows but we have many more that are ornate or more decorative.

Our lower warehouse is filled with thousands of doors! Above on our main show room floor we have more ornate doors, French doors, pocket doors and beautiful exterior doors.

Just a fraction of the barn wood we have at Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage.

Below I have listed a number of resources for inspiration.  The cold frame ideas are from Better Homes and Garden and Fine Gardening.  The Fine Gardening link is to a slide show that gives step by step instructions but theirs uses new materials. This is a good source of information since there is no reason you can’t use salvaged materials instead if you wanted to.
How to build a cold frame from Fine Gardening.

Below is the link to the video showing how to build this cold frame. It was also featured in the December 2010 issue of Fine Gardening.

Green house idea that was found on Gardentenders.com website

This green house was found on the Gardentenders.com website. It was posted by wyndyacre.

Green house originally posted on Fine Homebuilding Website by KeimLoesch.

This picture was on the Feather & Nest blog.  It was originally posted on the Fine Homebuilding website by KeimLoesch.

Green house made from recycled car windshields

This was just too unique to not share.  This green house is made from recycled windshields from cars! No, we don’t sell used windshields but you may be able to find some from calling an auto glass replacement and repair shop. I found it posted on the Oooby blog.

Another green house idea found on the Oooby blog.

Another green house idea found on the Oooby blog. It is simple, quiet and charming.

From the Nolly Posh Blog. Quaint with a touch of elegance. Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage has all the old windows and doors needed to build a green house

From the Nolly Posh Blog. Quaint with a touch of elegance.

This Green House was featured in Sunset Magazine.

A refined green house from Sunset Magazine – I could almost live in here!

At some point I just have to stop… There are incredible green house and cold frame ideas out there.  I hope this inspires you to get out in the garden this year!
Livingscape is located off N. Vancouver Avenue in Portland, Oregon. They have a wonderful and knowledgeable staff!
3926 N. Vancouver Avenue (b/w Shaver and Fremont)