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Greenhouses Indoors And Outdoors

Updated on April 21, 2011

Greenhouses Defined

Basically, a greenhouse, also called a glasshouse is a building where plants grow.

My first encounter with a greenhouse was the small building in the side yard of my grandparent's farm. After years of retirement, the quaint glass building had become a storeroom of sorts, but, my child's imagination pictured it overflowing with flowers and vegetables . . . a sort of Secret Garden in my young mind's eye.

I will briefly go over the technical aspects of a greenhouse:

The structure can have covering materials ranging from a glass or plastic roof, and the same materials for the walls. It heats up because incoming solar radiation from the sun is absorbed by the plants, soil and other things inside the building. The items and plants inside re-radiate that energy and it is trapped inside the glasshouse. Some heat loss will be lost to conduction, but air warmed by the heat from the hot interior surfaces is retained in the building by the roof and the walls.

Greenhouses range in size from small sheds to large commercial buildings. A miniature greenhouse is called a cold frame. Small household greenhouses are gaining in popularity and another form, the terrarium, has been around for years.

If you have fancied over the idea of keeping a glasshouse, you really should give it a go; it not only give you the potential to maintain many plants throughout the year, but, it has an amazing calming power . . . a Secret Garden of your own!

Terrariums - Small Start

Terrariums provide a great opportunity to garden under glass on your counter or in a corner all year long.  You can create a theme such as a rainforest, a desert with cacti or miniature flowering garden.  You can even have a larger terrarium with live tree frogs!

A glass windowed container can be a unique, live addition to your homes decor.  There are some beautiful artisan designs that are hand-made pieces to choose from.

The Portable Greenhouse

 An efficient walk-in greenhouse will extend your growing season, allowing you to enjoy your hobby beyond the summer months.  These structures provide sunlit, shelter for seedlings, transplant cuttings and vegetables.  Very affordable options are made from a sturdy tubular steel frame and has a durable PVC plastic canopy.  The zippered door will roll up and tie at the top for easy access. 

These are an excellant choice for hobbyists and serious gardeners alike. Most can be assembled in 1/2 hour or less without tools.  Guy ropes and ground pegs provide extra stability and security.

My Favorite Greenhouse

Now, my idea of the ultimate greenhouse is a glass house full of lush plants and steamy moisture. The materials available today are polycarbonate, so you are saved the worry of cracking or shattering glass. They are UV-protected, so you and the plants are shielded from the sun's harmful rays, but still have glass-like clarity. All you have to do is include the plants!

Part of the fun in setting up your greenhouse, is the choices inside that make it truly your space; the potting benches, grow tables, watering system and staging areas.

I would love to hear the details you add to make your Secret Garden glasshouse yours alone.

Lean-to Greenhouse
Lean-to Greenhouse


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