grow shelf or mini-greenhouse for growing orchids outside in Napa valley?

Does anyone have any suggestions for a mini-greenhouse or grow shelf? I'm looking for something with adjustable shelves, with a rack that allows maybe 4-5 ft. clearance for some really tall orchids. I've tried the Lee Valley grow shelf and it's nice but there's a middle bar that gets in the way whenever I'm trying to get the plants on or off the "top" shelf.
Incidentally, our yard is very sunny--it gets a lot of morning sun on one side and the other side has a lot of afternoon sun. There is a shady corner next to the house where I've sited the grow rack. The summer highs are in the 80's and 90's in the sun, and the winter low's are in the 30's and 40's.
So, the question is, could I carry it off--will the orchids survive? Also, can I buy a better "greenhouse" system than the one I have? I would like to buy another one because my collection is increasing...
Thanks in advance.
Lil
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IIRC the Costco summer ads had a greenhouse for sale. Also check their online store you have to search for 'greenhouse' for a pretty good deal. larger than what you want, but I recall the one in the ads was smaller.
K Barrett

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Lil, If by small you mean in the realm of 6' x 8' I think I have a goodie for you. Harbor Freight sells on for $395. It's made in China but the frame is pretty good aluminum and the glazing is 4 mm polycarbonate. It wouldn't be suitable for Iowa but in the Napa Valley it would be fine. If you are interested let me know and I can give you some tips on very inexpensive, good quality benches suitable for orchids. Cheers! Dave

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Hi there Dave, Yes, I would be interested in these tips. Some of the benches I made with 2x4's are too big & bulky taking up too much space! Cheers Wendy

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Wendy, I went to Home Depot and got two wire closet shelves eight feet long and twenty inches wide. I attached a length of 3/4 inch aluminum "L" eight feet long to the greenhouse wall. I then put a pressure treated 2x4 on the ground twenty inches from the wall. I then made a "ladder" of 3/4 inch PVC pipe. The ladder is simply an 18 1/2" piece of PVC with an "L" fitting at each end. Into the open ends I inserted two 30" pieces of 3/4 inch PVC. At the end of each 30" piece I attached a "T" fitting. Then I added two more 30" pieces to the "T" and had an 18 1/2" piece between them. Keep going in this way until you get as long as the wire shelves. The last fittings are "L"'s again joined by another 18 1/2" piece. I then laid the "ladder" on its side on top of the 2x4 and used stainless steel screws through the pipe into the 2x4. I placed the "lip" of the shelves down and in the front and rested them on the other side of the "ladder". I secured the shelves to the PVC with plastic wire connectors. The result has been very light but very sturdy. I even have one shelf filled with cymbidiums and it has been very secure. The Phal, Catt and Paph shelves are really over built. The only possible problem I see is the sunlight might deteriorate the PVC over time. I doubt it will be a serious problem as the polycarbonate has a UV filter. If you wanted to be extra careful you could spray paint the PVC with a white paint to shield it or you could use plastic electrical conduit that is available for above ground use (it has UV protection built in). It works just like PVC but is a little more expensive. It's a grey color and I preferred the white PVC. I hope this is clear. If not, please let me know. If this were a binaries group I'd attach a sketch or photo but... -Dave

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Thanks ever so much Dave, but I got lost at the first "T" *g* Sounds nifty so wondering if you could post a sketch or pics on alt.bianaries.pictures.orchids I would be so grateful. Cheers Wendy

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