Garden Photo of the Day

Adding Greenhouses to the Garden

One greenhouse becomes two, and a beautiful patio

My name is Linda Newber, and I live in Wilmington, North Carolina, Zone 8. Since last submitting pictures (Lindas Coastal North Carolina Garden), I have added two greenhouses to my garden. Thought I’d send some pics this time of the greenhouses and a shade garden I am developing behind them. Please overlook the messiness in some of the pictures. I wasn’t thinking about submitting them when I took them. Hope you enjoy the pics.

garden greenhouseI had wanted one larger greenhouse, but when I went to the planning commission, I quickly learned that anything over 12 feet required permits, inspections, and lots of hoops to jump through. So I ditched my original plan and built two greenhouses just under 12 feet square. I then joined them with an arbor and brick patio.

The patio extends behind the greenhouse, where I am developing a shade garden. I’ve also included a picture of a butterfly garden I’m working on in front of the greenhouse. Most of these pics are from last summer.

A peek inside one of the houses shows a leaded glass window—a steal from Habitat for Humanity.

I bought this house in 2008, but it was built in 1959. As with many homes in this area, it is surrounded by 50-year-old camellias and azaleas. You can see a bank of azaleas in this photo. Several of the camellias have grown into trees, and most of the shade behind the greenhouses is provided by one of those.

My latest project is the back fence. Chain-link fences are not very attractive. I had a friend, BJ, who wanted a garden structure in her yard taken down, including lots of vinyl lattice. I was only too glad to help dismantle it, and she gave me the lattice. A cousin, Valora, had some lattice collecting dust in her shed, and I bought two pieces from Habitat for Humanity at a dollar each. I attached the lattice to the fence with some plastic attachments I use with vines. The lattice brightens up the area and makes a nice backdrop for the plants. Total cost was $2.00 and some elbow grease. I love recycling. The fountain was another steal. I found it on Craigslist. I am blessed to have a cousin, James, who loves gardening as much as I. He does the heavy lifting and much of the hardscaping.

Cone flowersConeflowers (Echinacea, Zones 4–9) and yarrow (Achillea, Zones 3–9) mingle in shades of pink and white.

Stokes asterStokes aster (Stokesia laevis, Zones 5–9) produces large purple flowers over a very long season and is a great native plant.

The patio joining the two new greenhouses.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 04/28/2020

    Those greenhouses are to die for! Who would have ever thought about doing this to solve a problem.

  2. PattyLouise 04/28/2020

    Wow love those greenhouses & patio! The lattice over the fence was a great idea! Beautiful flowers especially the camellia!

  3. karen49 04/28/2020

    How ingenious! The green houses and all the flowers all around make this a wonderful retreat. Lots of work that’s paid off in beautiful spaces. Love the quote too.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 04/28/2020

    You are certainly blessed with a creative mind and a will to turn dreams and notions into reality. I love the idea of the two greenhouses. I can see them being more useful to a home gardener than just one larger one. I suspect seeing your leaded glass window and knowing you got it for a great price from Habitat elicited some cyber fist bumps of "you go, girl" from many us out in GPOD-land.
    That's so cool about your mature camellias being large enough to be limbed up trees. How wonderful.

  5. cheryl_c 04/28/2020

    Linda, I also love your creativity and changing of obstacles into assets! Actually, I think the two greenhouses makes a more intriguing and attractive focal point than one would have - and I think I see some strings of lights for night time illumination on them! How beautiful it must look at night. Yes, you definitely are strong both on creativity and on the execution of your ideas. Thanks so much for sending these pictures, even if you didn't take them with the intent of submitting them!

  6. wittyone 04/28/2020

    That leaded glass window is totally gorgeous as is the fountain and they add so much to your garden area. The lattice addition to the chain link fence (such an ugly addition to any landscape but expensive to take out and replace) is a novel idea and probably easy to accomplish. Kudos to you for all your resourcefulness.

  7. bdowen 04/28/2020

    Beautiful! There's a lot of work and love of gardening evident in these photos.

  8. User avater
    simplesue 04/28/2020

    I love your garden. I got distracted for a few minutes as I was inspired by your Stokes aster, and went off and ordered some online in the middle of reading this. Shows you I was inspired for sure by your garden!

  9. Musette1 04/28/2020

    gorgeous garden. and the two greenhouses are GENIUS! We just barely escaped a 'bink' from our local planning commish re my shed, so I'm all about finding ways around the drama. You've done so - and in beautiful fashion!

  10. btucker9675 04/28/2020

    What a marvelous garden you've created and the two greenhouses solution is even better than your original plan. That pretty fountain reminds me of the ones at Wing Haven, a lovely garden here in Charlotte.

  11. Sunshine111 04/28/2020

    I love your ingenuity and creativity. Those green houses are fabulous and a great way to get around those pesky rules and regulations! You go girl! Amazing and beautiful😊

  12. schatzi 04/28/2020

    Ingenuity, creativity, originality - and a gorgeous result! you go, Girl! How wonderful to have truly mature rhodies and camellias. Absolutely beautiful.

  13. Cenepk10 04/28/2020

    Got my heart racing with this one. Especially the $2 lattice. What a great solution for an issue I have with a neighbor. Only spot I can see through to his property ( can be seen from my deck & everywhere- he likes to store broken down appliances, rusted out bikes & riding mowers ).
    Now : about your fabulous greenhouses. Aren’t you delighted about the code ? 2 are much much better than one & your photos are the proof !!! Nice ! Just a wonderful little secret garden beyond the greenhouses. Really love where you’re taking that & that giant azalea. Swoon !!!!! So grateful you shared !

  14. Patchworkgardener 04/28/2020

    Thank you all for the wonderful comments. You made my day. I have thoroughly enjoyed the greenhouses and the setup with two rather than one has worked out really well.
    Last time I submitted pics I missed the day mine were featured and stumbled across them by accident two years later. Must have been the only day I didn’t look. I love seeing all of your gardens. I am back to checking in first thing every morning. Many thanks to Fine Gardening for their GPOD sight. What a wonderful reprieve from all the COVID 19 news. I wish you all a wonderful gardening season. 🌻🌻🌻

  15. darylsavage 04/29/2020

    Love the greenhouses, I wish I had room for one. I also recommend the Stokes aster, it is a great plant. Mine is called "Peachie's Pick", and it performs very well. Thank you for sharing.

  16. darylsavage 04/29/2020

    Love the greenhouses, I wish I had room for one. I also recommend the Stokes aster, it is a great plant. Mine is called "Peachie's Pick", and it performs very well. Thank you for sharing.

  17. TreeSurgeonTony 05/06/2020

    Absolutely in awe of those greenhouses. Has given me inspiration for a greenhouse project of my own!

  18. Pollen 06/17/2020

    Oh goodness gracious, can you share the plans of the two greenhouses? They are indeed "Just Right"! I must do myself, which is why I am asking, [email protected] Thank you,

    1. Patchworkgardener 02/02/2021

      Hi....just saw your comment. You’ve probably already built your greenhouse. If so, I’d love to see some pics ([email protected]). I had plans drawn up for my original idea. When I ditched those, I talked to the carpenter, a friend and very patient with me. I had a foundation poured the size I wanted and told him to build two greenhouses on top of it. We ordered the basic windows and he started. I think I went to Habitat every day. When I saw something I liked, I dragged it home and he worked it in. I have several decorative windows and transoms over the double entrance doors. We even used cabinet doors for the lower walls inside. Makes it look like paneling and only cost a couple dollars each. The floor is gravel from a local dealer. Water just drains through it. The carpenter is also an artist. He did the sayings inside. Thanks for your kind words.

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