Lean to Greenhouse – A romance

A lean to greenhouse can be a wonderful addition to your home if:

easy start greenhouseYour yard space is limited –
Your yard is very hilly –
You don’t want to walk more than a few feet from your home –
You want to keep your heating bills down –

Lean-to greenhouse structures can either be placed right on a patio or directly on the ground.  If placed on a wooden deck, be aware that cold air can seep in through the spaces between the floor boards and make heating the space much more expensive.

If there is no appropriate location by the side of your house, you can attach a lean to against a garage or carport wall.

The lean-to style is frequently used as a kitchen garden with vegetables and herbs growing by a kitchen door, but they can be used for any of the same plant types as a free standing greenhouse. Some leanto greenhouses are small and compact, but large ones are also available. This Easy Start Lean-To (pictured) is a good choice if you are just starting out and only plan to grow in mild weather. Solexx and Sunshine Gardenhouse also offer quality lean to structures. Flowerhouse offers a portable structure.

My romantic story has nothing to do with vegetables.

Many years ago I was seeing a man whose home had an unused lean-to greenhouse attached to his exterior kitchen wall.  An unusual feature was a window over the sink that opened onto the greenhouse, although the entrance to the structure was outside. The lean-to was not used. It was clean and very empty.

One day I brought him a beautiful white Cattleya orchid.  It sat on a shelf  in the window and seemed to thrive even though he didn’t take care of it.  It must have been in the perfect spot because it never burned from the sun nor dried up even though he barely watered it.

Much later, I noticed that the beautiful blossoms had gone, and the leaves looked very sad and wilted.  We stopped dating (not because of the poor orchid) but stayed friends. When I visited his home from time to time, I saw that the tubers had divided then divided again and the terra cotta pot was cracked and broken.  The sad looking orchid still sat on that shelf. I don’t think he had moved it an inch and his lean to greenhouse still sat empty behind the sad orchid.

Two years later, my friend met someone and fell in love.  They decided to travel to Italy for their wedding then stay on for an extended period.  From the time I gave him the orchid until they married was about  5 years.  The orchid had never been moved or cared for during that entire time.

When they returned from their honeymoon, they called to invite me to dinner.  When I arrived, they took me immediately into the kitchen.  There was that once wilted Cattleya orchid, now covered with dozens of huge Cattleya Orchidwhite blooms! I have never seen any Cattleya covered so densely with blossoms – it was an amazing sight.

If that orchid could thrive as it did after being ignored for 5 years, can you imagine what you could do by giving your orchids a little loving care?  Have you thought about growing orchids in your greenhouse?  A lean-to greenhouse might be a perfect place to start.  There is a broad selection of sizes and materials available.  Check them out here.

One final word:

A lean to greenhouse will receive less sunlight during the day because it is attached to another structure that will cause a shadow. Choose a section of your home that receives the most sun during the course of the day.

Have fun!

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