A Dream Come True – My Own Greenhouse

A few years ago, I was on a cruise in the Western Caribbean with a wonderful group of friends to celebrate my 50th birthday! It was a MEMORABLE trip to say the least. We promised (like we always do) to get together afterwards and keep up our momentum. My friend, Mark, who was on the cruise, was already an over-committed builder at the time, but I convinced him to help me with my dream project…to have my own greenhouse!

Around that time, I was at a fellow Master Gardener’s house and saw some ideas for greenhouses in a magazine she had. In the environmental mind of being cost effective and trying to recycle/reuse, I rediscovered some old windows with wooden frames that had been replaced on my
home; this was the catalyst to start the project. They became the framework of my greenhouse dream. Then I searched flea markets and I found 2 very old doors to be used at each entrance. Another junkyard yielded the old sink and washboard I use for watering & cleaning up. All I needed now was a roof to complete the structure. Mark suggested that we do not use the windowpanes on the roof because they would break if a tree branch fell on them, so we used Plexiglas as the roofing material.

The greenhouse construction began in June and was completed in September of that year, just in time to begin over wintering the plants in my yard.

One big factor to consider is your sun exposure …mine has a southern exposure & that is important in the winter months.

The greenhouse is kept warm in the winter with a small heater-fan that has an adjustable thermostat. I purchased it at Lowe’s for about $40.00 and it has done the job well for 5 years now. Many times in our Southern winters, I take all the plants outside in the daytime & let them just soak up the sun & move them back inside when it gets very cool again outdoors. That also gives me a chance to spray them for any insects, fertilize & water well.

The greenhouse is not big…its 15’ x 9’ with an additional adjoining room as a tool shed that’s about 15’ x 3’. There are shelves on the side walls so I can put the plants on as well as extra pots and supplies underneath. I’ve also installed some plant hooks in the ceiling to hang ferns and the like.

I’ve put a portable CD player/radio in the greenhouse…to keep things lively and the music keeps the plants and me happy!!

The plants that you can grow, propagate, over-winter, and seed are only limited by your imagination (and space). Now be aware, your friends will ask you to overwinter their plants too, so be sure to save some space each year!! ☺

On the outside of the greenhouse, I had gutters installed on one side (opposite the Plexiglas roof side) and have 2 rain barrels situated below to collect the water. This helps to supply water for the vegetable garden all season.

Bottom line, the greenhouse has been a center for growth (for me and the plants), experimentation, and a musical interlude as well as a shelter for the plants in the winter months when nothing else is growing outside.

It is my dream comes true.