Dome greenhouse

January 16, 2011

astrid de groot

We thought it might be a good idea to make a greenhouse in the shape of a dome because the wind can be very strong on Strumble Head peninsula. 15 pieces cut at an angle of 12 degrees were needed for the base. Every piece of wood has two very big nails through the ends, which stick into the ground in a simple way to get it all in level.I glued and screwed the ends together, put a few stones under the wood and strapped it all tight with a band strap. It was so strong that I could jump around on it and it didn’t move at all. The band strap could be taken off after the glue dried.


This is the drawing we had- the layout, what we needed to make was: 5x 3 triangles fixed together, 9x 6 triangles together and 7x 5 triangles together (the top is double ). So total of 104 triangles plus the 4 along the entrance. We cut the wood at 750mm length each except for the ones on the inside of the 5 triangles together we cut those shorter. This drawing is all we had the rest was trial and error, and to be honest I don’t know the sizes anymore.

We cut lengths of wood for the 108 triangles.  These are not all the same size, but  this is unfortunately something we found out later on in the process.

Actually, doing the calculations just about finished us off. What we had was the 2-D drawing so we knew that we had to put 5 triangles together and 6 triangles together and 3 triangles together.  We also knew how to puzzle those together to get the dome. No sizes or angles were given. I can’t tell you the angles I made a guess and it wasn’t perfect. It worked but not a perfect fit.

Jobina tacking the poly-tunnel plastic over the triangles. The plastic was heated up to stretch it over the triangles.

108 triangles ready to be screwed  together in 5’s 6’s and 3’s


Drawing of the base needed 15 pieces of  wood. We used old roof frames chucked away in the field next to our project.

astrid de groot

All 750mm long cut at 22.5 degrees, glued and screwed together, In each part there are two very long nails at the ends sticking in the ground that was to make it possible to level out the whole base , after it was level I filled the gaps with small stones.


Left over roof plastic we had saved  to seal the base, slugs in our minds.


Started with a 3 together one screw it to the base.


And build it up, more and more parts added.

At this point we still didn’t know if it all would fit to make a dome,  but it looked already amazing anyway.

The last one is a double one for airflow. Would it fit?



It looks like it worked out nicely. And it is very strong amazing didn’t expect that at all.


Make the best use of the dome, I made tables and put a floor in using old pallets.



This circle is built in the same way as the 15 base.

We have already been using the greenhouse for two years.  This is the time of year that we clean it out, collect seaweed and mix it into the soil to make it ready for the next season so that we can  grow all kinds of  lovely vegetables again.



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