Are you interested in adding a greenhouse to your garden? I’ve had so many questions asked about my greenhouse, and hope to answer most of them here.
Let me start out by saying that I still pinch myself every day when I work in my greenhouse. I call this my office, and the commute from home is only a few steps away. I’ll show you some of my favorite pictures, share more specifics about this structure and my favorite things about having a greenhouse.
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I’ve said this before, but I have to say it going to say it again…and again. I’m a hobby gardener, not a professional. Almost everything I’ve learned has been by trial and error, and am still learning as I go. So when I share my thoughts with you, they are based on the things that have worked for me, as well as the MANY mistakes I’ve made along the way.
The Inspiration Behind it All
And this is where it all started. A bookstore in LaConner, WA. My husband and I were on a boat trip and stopped into this store to look for something to read while on vacation. I saw Erin Benzakein’s new book at the time, called Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden. This was basically a book for the beginning gardener.
I’ll be honest. I first bought the book because the pictures were so pretty. But once I started getting into it, I instantly knew I had to have my very own cut flower garden. And the rest is history.
Building the Greenhouse
The view of the garden above was when we first bought our house, 9 years ago. I can’t believe how bare everything looks here without the greenhouse!
I found several pictures for inspiration from Pinterest and shared them with our contractor. He basically built the structure with just that information and had no design plans.
Our greenhouse was built almost 4 years ago, during the winter months. Because the weather was so cold and rainy, our contractor decided to build most of the structure in our oversized outbuilding.
He then disassembled the entire structure and brought all the pieces to this spot, and put it all back together again. I only wish I had taken pictures of it being built in the building and how they took it all apart. I was also able to do some of the painting ahead of time before we brought it outside.
More About the Greenhouse Structure
Why Did We Choose The Size of the Greenhouse?
Can you guess what the two most asked questions about my greenhouse are? “How big is your greenhouse?” and “Do you have a design plan that you used?” I already told you that we didn’t use a design plan. So the other answer is that our structure is 8′ X 10′. This was for a couple of reasons. First, we didn’t want to go through the hassle of going through the permitting process. And secondly, we really didn’t have much space in our yard. and we didn’t want to block the amazing water view.
The main structure was built with standard 2’x4′ construction. The ceilings and walls are 1’x4′ tongue and groove pine boards, which we put a clear sealant on them for protection. We used standard 2’x3′ skylights to make sure we have plenty of sunlight for my plants.
Cedar shakes were used for the exterior of the greenhouse. I’m LOVING the cut-out trim that matches the house trim. We found the template that was used for the house and scaled it down to use for the greenhouse.
I have to tell you that I LOVE my two dutch doors at either end of the structure. They were custom made for better airflow, and are great to keep the dogs inside on wet days.
Our greenhouse is temperature-controlled which makes life so much easier for me, and allows me to take a weekend trip, not worrying about my plants getting too hot or cold, depending on the weather.
Heating a greenhouse in the cooler months is quite a task! We installed an electric heater in the ceiling which is temperature-controlled. We maintain the setting at 45 degrees in the winter for the geraniums we keep inside.
When the sun is out and heats up the greenhouse too much in the spring months, an attic fan pulls the hot air from the top of the greenhouse.
Water and Electricity Availability
I really wanted a water source in the greenhouse, so we made sure we added a water hose hook up inside the structure. We also added electricity, and have electrical outlets at both ends of the structure for heat mats and the LED outdoor bistro lighting.
Our shelves are slotted, which allow water to drain from the plant containers.
5 Favorite Things About Having a Greenhouse
1. Fresh Cut Flowers Anytime You Want
Can you imagine how amazing it is to step into your garden and cut a vase full of flowers anytime you want? Well let me tell you, it’s amazing. I did not go to the grocery store once in the summer months. And I always had a bouquet ready every time a friend or neighbor had a birthday.
2. A Source of Protection for Tender Plants
I take full advantage of the greenhouse from the fall season, until after all danger from freezing has passed. My geraniums are transplanted from the window boxes and containers around the garden to their own pots where they will overwinter. This saves me so much money every year!
3. An Extended Growing Season
One of the biggest advantages of having a greenhouse is that you can extend growing seasons, getting an early start on spring and summer, and even growing certain vegetables all year round.
4. Provides Protection from Pests
With my plants inside the greenhouse, they are not only protected against problems such as bad weather but also protect them from seasonal pests.
5. Garden Therapy
I can escape to my greenhouse anytime I want. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like, or what time of day. I love the fact that I can always relax and step away from the stresses of everyday life, and come to my special place.
My Favorite Greenhouse Captures by Season
For those of you who have had questions about my greenhouse, or who are considering a greenhouse of your own, I hope this has helped. Please leave me a comment if you have any other questions to add.
If you’ve enjoyed this blog post, please pin and share this on Pinterest.
Other Posts You May Enjoy…
- A Greenhouse for Every Season
- My Summer Cottage Garden Magazine Features
- My New Blog Series – Growing a Cut Flower Garden
- Inspired by Blooms – June PNW Cottage Garden Tour
Let’s Connect on Social Media
- Follow me @shiplapandshells on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook
- Join my Facebook Gardening Tips & Tricks Group!
LOVE your Greenhouse! I have applied for a GreenHouse/Hoop House Grant from the USDA since we have acreage. Fingers crossed. What are the upside-down Sunflower-looking things?? So cute! Thank you for sharing.
What a darling green house. I love how it blends so well with the garden, like it has always been there. I also love that chandelier!
Jane Hill says
Thank you for posting the photos, so pretty. Did you do alot of research on before building the green house?
Stephanie Strong says
You are sooo artistic! You have a true gift!!
Thank you Steph! I’m so glad you came and checked out my blog!
Carol Karl says
It’s just so beautiful! I want one! I just don’t have the room right now to put it. It’s pinned and at some time in the future, I’m going to build one. Thanks so much for sharing.
Thank you. You know, it took me so long to figure out where we were going to put it. We had few options. We were worried that we were going to block our view, but our neighbor has been working on that for years with all the trees she has planted so, really it didn’t matter. Thank you for pinning. I hope you get your greenhouse someday!
Rebecca Payne says
Beautiful. I love the photo’s of the different seasons.
Thank you Rebecca! It is so amazing how different the greenhouse looks in each season.
Good Directions says
I loved learning the background behind the process of building your beautiful greenhouse! Thank you for telling the story and of course I love the mermaid weathervane to complete the project.
I’m so glad you liked the post. That mermaid is pretty famous now!