I have a friend in northern California with the most gorgeous organic garden, a wild mix of flowers, berries and veggies. It’s productive and beautiful and feeds her family all season long. When she had a greenhouse built, it became my favorite part of the garden. And now I am dreaming of a DIY greenhouse too.
Jeri is a consummate gardener and beekeeper, and also keeps hens. For years she fit these passions into the busy schedule of a veterinarian, but now she is retired and invests even more time. Visit at the right time and you drive off with cool-colored fresh eggs, a basket of apples or a jar of honey.
But with all these projects to tend, she wanted a greenhouse. When she came into a small inheritance, she decided to invest it in a greenhouse and brought in someone to create it to her vision. It was part DIY, part crafted by an artisan.
A Jewel of a Greenhouse
I must admit that when I first heard about it, I wasn’t too excited about the idea of a greenhouse. I imagined the typical greenhouse, long, rectangular, with plastic walls and roof that let the sun through. Yes, I thought, this might extend the growing season, but it would mar her charming yard and diminish the charm of her huge, organic garden.
Live and learn. Jeri’s greenhouse was in fact a little miracle, a small, glass-sided, light-filled jewel of a space where cherry tomatoes overflow their supports from spring through fall. It’s more square than rectangular, with a deeply slanting glass roof, and – constructed of glass and wood with raised beds on either side as you walk it – creates a very special space that, to me, represents gardening at its most magical.
Dreaming of a Greenhouse
So what’s my dream garden improvement? A greenhouse just like Jeri’s! Lacking an inheritance, mine would have to be more DIY than crafted, but what a joy! I would put plants in of course, probably the prolific cherry tomatoes she grows in the corner. And squash and peppers and different kinds of greens.
But along one wall, in the dappled light, I would put a writing desk. In the end, for me anyway, writing and gardening spring from the same well of creativity. I cannot imagine a more inspirational spot to write and in the corner of a dreamy greenhouse.