The Garden at Winterhaven Devas, Nature Spirits and Fairies Oh my!
We installed a 10' x 12' Northern Light Greenhouse from Gardener's Supply in the fall of 1988. It's situated on the edge of the garden facing due south and provides a division between the main garden and the orchard area.

Greenhouse at the Garden at Winterhaven Greenhouse in the garden

It has been a wonderfully satisfactory structure and held up very well for over 20 years.

It has automatic vents which open as the temperature in the greenhouse rises and close again as the greenhouse cools. In the heart of summer, we open the side door to allow for further cooling.

It's designed especially for northern latitudes and suits our climate perfectly.

Gardener's Supply doesn't sell them any more but there are a number of greenhouse companies on-line that still do.

When we built the greenhouse we set it up with an in-ground bed in the front section. The bed is 2 1/2 feet by 12 feet. This is where I grow a broccoli plant in the early spring.

Broccoli in the greenhouse bed

And tomatoes, peppers, and basil in the summer.

Basil and red peppers in the greenhouse Tomatoes in the greenhouse 

I've tried growing lettuce, spinach and peas in the winter but we just don't get enough light. Things literally make no growth at all for months so I've given up on it. Instead the bed provides space to over-winter the pots that have my African Daisies and Geraniums in them.

African Daisies and Geraniums overwintering in greenhouse

When we put gravel on the floor we made a logistical error. We ordered pea gravel instead of regular gravel. It looks nice but it never packs down and makes a very poor surface for wheeled carts or casters.

We placed six white 55-gallon plastic drums in the back section of the greenhouse to increase its heat-storing capacity. We had hoped we wouldn't need to heat it but our winters are too cold and have too little sunshine for that. So we have a small milk house heater that only turns on when the temperature gets below 38 degrees. This keeps everything from freezing and things seem to thrive.

We placed a slated wooden bench on top of the barrels and a metal rod up near the ceiling to hold hanging plants.

The back north-facing panels of the greenhouse are opaque and insulated. The sloped ceiling section is mirrored and reflects the light back down onto the plants below it.

I over-winter my fuchsias and ivy geraniums here.

Hanging pots in the greenhouse  More pots in the greenhouse

When I wanted to over-winter still more plants we brought in some low wooden benches that hold gallon cans very nicely.

The greenhouse is a wonderful oasis of warmth in the winter and I've been know to sit in amongst the flowers on a sunny winter day to meditate.

African Daisy African Daisy

The greenhouse pays for itself in so many ways. It provides peppers, basil and late-blight-free tomatoes in the summer; an early crop of broccoli in the spring and it has allowed me to save my fuchsias, geraniums, ivy geraniums and African daisies for years on end.

Think of it, I have 15 fuchsias I haven't had to repurchase for 20 years! And I have an equal number of geraniums and African daisies! That's hundreds of dollars every year. In addition it provides pure joy in the winter and early spring when the world is wet and grey outside and the greenhouse is full of blooms.

Snapdragon growing in the gravel

Including the snapdragons that have self-seeded in the gravel floor.