by B-Keeper Robb

We hadn't intended on documenting HOW B'z Backyard Greenhouse came to "B", but it has been quite an adventure, so I thought I'd share it here with whomever might be interested...

It was around the middle of April 2013 when "B" Keepers Taran, Chris and Robb seriously decided that they wanted to open a little garden centre here in Campbell River.  First was to find a location, and after checking out a few properties, we found 2338 Island Highway in Willow Point.

It was located in a nice area with many other businesses around, but the main building really wouldn't have been any good to us.

But it had a rather large empty "lot" behind the building...in the backyard, which got our creative juices flowing!

Just drive right up into the backyard, and there it was...

...a big empty space...

...with a shack that looked suitable for the Beverly Hillbillies to live in!

Be that as it may, it was large enough for what we had in mind, was in a good location, and had "potential", so the negotiations began on renting JUST the backyard.  Next thing we knew, we had an over grown, puddle infested lot to play in!

Where to begin?  We decided that some gravel would be a good place, and the pot holes got filled in.

Then the cedar trees along the driveway in got a serious trimming of all their bottom branches.

Then a load of sand arrived...a really BIG load of sand.  A decision that we would later come to regret.

Then a fence appeared...

...because we wouldn't want any hillbillies to move into our lovely shack!

...or should I say "shacks"?

So, shack number 1 gets a much needed face lift.  We add skirting, make some new stairs, paint, and remove a decade or so worth of moss from the roof top.

TA-DA!  Hey, that's looking better!

Oh yeah, that's looking MUCH better!  It's no longer suitable for hillbillies!
Now, if we could just figure out how to paint vinyl siding black and yellow...

Another day at "The Shop" done, but it never ends there.

Once we're at home again, the work continues on line.  Registering a business name, getting PST and GST numbers, locating suppliers, creating a logo and brand, making a web site - oh yes, and let's not forget the HUNDREDS of phone calls and faxes...or at least it seems like that many ~

It is almost a relief to get back to the 'manual labour'!

Taran tackles the 'forest' that is at the back of the property, weed whacking away the under brush, and trimming the hollies growing back there. There's a LOT to try and tame!

Meanwhile, Chris has created a few rectangles for us that will eventually house potted trees and shrubs.

Then we suddenly realize something...we have a LOT of sand...actually, it's a lot FULL of sand!

What we had originally thought would be a good and smooth 'floor' to the soon arriving greenhouse, has turned out to be a 'sand box'!  There's wayyyyy too much of it, and something has to be done to fix the problem.

Enter MEGA MORE MANUAL LABOUR!  We begin moving TONS of sand by hand, one wheelbarrow full at a time.

While Chris rakes it up, I shovel it in and transport it.  This turns into a job that takes several days, *sigh*.

The greenhouse itself is late in arriving, which is probably a blessing, as we're still working on removing MOUNTAINS of sand from where it will eventually sit, but our first small order of plants does come in!

They find a temporary home in Chris and Taran's backyard...

...any place they can be stored!  Who knew hot tubs would work so well?

...and in their garage some black and yellow boards appear for an upcoming 'project'.

The 'at home' work also continues at my house.  Once I have the new phone number for the business, our business cards are designed...

...and I finally get them ordered! (Yay! Another job done!)

The next day is dedicated to the creation of a planter that will sit at the entrance to the property.  Our 'project' becomes a reality.

We wanted something that might grab the attention of the drivers going by, so folks would become aware of our location.

Yeah, that should do the trick!  LOL!  Our black and yellow "B" theme arrives!

With the planter constructed, our afternoon continues with the moving of (surprise) MORE SAND!

Looking for ever more places to use it, we decide to 'clean up' what's left of the forest at the back of the property.

Then our first order of pots come in.  We hide them in the shack until we have a better place to display them.

Then, to further ensure folks know where we're located, I chalk out a giant arrow on the driveway up...

Chris blows the area clean so I can paint it.  Notice the black blower and yellow extension cord...coincidence?

Then I begin painting...

...and painting...

Oh yes, that should be helpful!

Meanwhile, Taran and Chris are painting up the beds for the back.

Of course no day is complete without a 'nutritious' lunch!

The next day turns out to be a busy one for us, but we get to enjoy watching all the sailboats go by as they race around the Island.

Then our greenhouse FINALLY arrives...about 6 weeks later than we had planned for it.

This is supposed to be 48' x 24' ?  Hmmm, interesting!

Then our cards arrive... WOO-HOO!  They look AWESOME!

Then some soil arrives...

That should be a good start and fill up our planter near the road.

Then a neighbor arrives...

Who briefly says 'hello'...

Then ignores us as he pursues more important things!

Then some baby palm trees arrive, (we just LOVE palm trees!).

The next day we are greeted by our other neighbors...

A pair of bald eagles who are nesting across the street from us.  WOW, what a beautiful city we live in!

OK, things are getting serious now...

As Chris, Taran and I try to figure out EXACTLY where the greenhouse will sit.

OK, back to the planter!  Lets take 100 loads of dirt down there by hand...

Maybe we should have had the dirt dropped off a little closer.

But hey, we're not afraid of a 'little' manual labour....

...or getting ourselves dirty in uncompromising positions!

FINALLY, the planter is FULL and ready for something magnificent.

So I bring one of my palms from home to make the planter beautiful...

...which lasts for less than 24 hours before it is stolen from the spot :(

This breaks all of our hearts...such a NASTY thing to happen!

But it ends up having a happy ending!  (Read all about it HERE)

Needless to say, a less impressive display of plants eventually show up here.

But the work must continue, and phone lines are installed.

Oh yeah, we still have this greenhouse thing to do...

A sledge hammer comes in handy.

As do ladders, as we get ready to reach for the sky!

This is a puzzle like no other, and a LOT of pieces are needed to put it together!

I will spare you of the frustration we ALL went through with each step of this process...

...and just say, "Yay! It's finally coming together!"

Chris scientifically tests the structural integrity of the arches.

Time to start building some benches for inside.  The first load of wood arrives. Now it is the beginning of July, a full 2 months after we had originally hoped to open : P

At any rate, the very first 'prototype' bench is (almost) built!

Several more appear there after.  Oh, and look, we get the back door and framing done!

Time to celebrate.  Let's drink beer and get only half as much gravel as is needed to cover the greenhouse floor!

*SIGH* - WHATEVER!  At least we're getting an idea of how things will eventually look inside :D

Days and days and days pass while we wait for no wind to put up the poly covering, so more trimming is done to the maples out back, and we finish our benches for inside.

Then suddenly a windless day arrives, and we coax folks into helping us with, (surprise), BEER!

We can hardly believe our eyes!  It's actually a greenhouse...with a poly covering and everything!  Plants instantly arrive so we can get a 'feel' for the place :)

WOWEE!  It even looks like a greenhouse from the back...and wow, the door opens!

Well, it's time to make a desk for the till...things are really coming together...at last!

We wait patiently for another windless day to get our second layer of poly on the greenhouse...

Which arrives quickly to our surprise...wow!!!

A small outdoor plant order arrives...it's really starting to look like a garden centre!

Signs arrive, and we finally open for buZiness!  Nearly 4 months after we had hoped to, (sigh again).

We display some outdoor plants inside for now, and lights get installed...

Still, we are AMAZED at our progress!  It really IS a greenhouse, FINALLY, with plants and everything!  LOL!

We take out a few small ads in the newspaper, but it's late summer, and sadly, we've missed the gardening season...

The customers that do show up seem more interested in eating our plants than buying them...

OK then, see you next time!  Please, uh, come again?

FINALLY a few "real" customers begin to show up :)

And our order of tropical indoor plants eventually arrive.

Once organized, the greenhouse begins to look as we had originally planned it would...

An oasis from the elements....

...or a jungle to get 'lost' in!

At last!  Our dreams came true!  A new little garden centre / nursery, with that 'backyard' coziness that we had envisioned!

B'z will always "B" a work in progress, but we've FINALLY gotten it to a point we can be proud of.  A cute little spot to purchase happy, healthy plants from!

So that is the story of "How we came to B".  I hope you enjoyed it, and thank you for your interest in reading along,  sharing in our frustrations and triumphs along the way!  As the saying goes, "You've come a long way, Baby!", and that goes for us, and YOU as well for reading all this!

We do hope you will come in and check us out for yourself, and if so, we look very forward to meeting you : )

 © B'z Backyard Greenhouse