Victorian GreenhouseFor years Sam and I have toyed with the idea of getting a greenhouse. We really like the idea. At least in theory. Kind of how we like the idea of having horses and goats and chickens and those cool little mini-cows. And when we bought the mansion, we thought we'd use the five acres for the livestock. Until we tried our hand at raising chickens. Let's just say it didn't quite go as planned and disabused us of any notion of being gentleman farmers.

Even with our farming fail behind us, garden greenhouses still hold romantic notions to us, even though we are decidedly not gardeners. Having bright flowers in the winter and fresh tomatoes year round is very attractive, not to mention a great cost-cutting measure. (We can actually grow tomatoes. And 10-pound zucchini, but that's another story.)

The new house has a generous yard. We plan to put in some raised flower beds for square foot gardening, probably down the east side of the backyard. But there is plenty of room for a moderately sized greenhouse on the south side of the property.

No Space? No Problem!

Lean To GreenhouseEven a small space can accommodate one. A lean to greenhouse snuggles right up to the house on a carport or spare corner. This would be a fun addition to any yard.

Kids love dirt and each of my kids has spent a phase completely enamored with planting and harvesting, especially when they have real tools of their own. A year-round garden will provide a year-round educational opportunity for kids. Grab some kid-sized gloves, soil, and seeds, and they'll be off an running their own horticulture course.

Cold Frame GreenhouseIf you don't even have space for something like that, what about a cold frame greenhouse? They are small — some take just a few feet — and are very economical.
Use these for regular gardening all year. And they are perfect to promote seedling growth and harden off or protect your plants from sudden climate changes. It's also a great option for someone who just wants to try their hand at this without investing in a huge structure.

Greenhouse Style

After spending years building our dream home, are we just going to slap together some 2×4's and throw plastic over it? Um, no. Yes, you can still get primitive looking greenhouses. But you can also choose functional and beautiful greenhouses that you won't want to hide.

Some have a victorian flair, like the one pictured above. You can also get beautiful redwood greenhouses. I've even seen these used in magazines to serve dinner and entertain!

Redwood Greenhouse

Your New Greenhouse

Whatever style fits your yard and your gardening skill, make room to have gorgeous flowers and delicious vegetables available all year round with your backyard greenhouse.