Gardening Around A Greenhouse: How To Fit A Greenhouse In The Garden

greenhouse landscape
greenhouse landscape
(Image credit: Julia700702)

While there are some stunning greenhouses out there, normally they are less than ornamental and hide the fact that some beautiful plants are growing inside. Rather than having a greenhouse in the garden that’s an eyesore, try gardening around the greenhouse. This will help to camouflage it a bit. How do you landscape around a greenhouse? Greenhouse landscaping can be as simple as adding plants around your greenhouse, but it can also be much more.

Greenhouse Landscaping Considerations

There are more things to consider than simply adding plants when it comes to gardening around a greenhouse. First of all, you don’t want to add plants that require lots of upkeep because after all, you want to have time to tinker inside the greenhouse, right?

You don’t want to add plants that will grow rapidly either, which will shade the much sought-after light needed for the greenhouse. The same goes for adding structural elements such as trellises or arbors near the greenhouse.

Consider plants that entice pollinators. Flowering plants lure bees and other pollinators near the greenhouse in the garden, and sometimes inside too, where they can help to pollinate.

Adding plants around your greenhouse can work the other direction as well, effectively repelling animals such as rabbits and deer, or even cats. Strong smelling herbs can repel both mammal and insect pests.

How to Landscape Around a Greenhouse

On the subject of adding plants that aren’t too tall, opt for plants that will only grow to about three feet (under a meter) or less. That said, depending on the orientation of the greenhouse, some spotted shade is a good thing. Just be aware of how any trees or tall plants will affect the lighting inside the greenhouse.

If you want to add taller plants and are sure about their positioning and future growth, plant them a bit away from the greenhouse, especially trees. Keep in mind that the growing trees or shrubs need room for their root systems, which can affect the foundation of a greenhouse in the garden.

Plant deciduous trees at the west or southwest corner of the greenhouse to provide desired speckled light which will help maintain temperatures inside the structure while still providing light.

To achieve some perspective and height, as well as hide the greenhouse structure, arrange varying heights of potted plants three to four (a meter or so) feet from the greenhouse and in the line of sight. Create a pathway to and from the greenhouse using pavers, stones, pebbles, or bricks. Ornamentation such as a column, bird bath, or statuary can be added along the way.

If you really want to camouflage your greenhouse structure, a hedge planted well away from the building is an option. If you have your heart set on a trellis covered with vining, flowering plants, keep it 3-5 feet (1-1.5 m.) away from the greenhouse on the north-facing side.

Remember that if you put anything right against the greenhouse to consider its effect on irrigation, the foundation, lighting, and even potential insect infestations. A safer alternative is to keep items, including plants, several feet from the greenhouse structure and still either accent or camouflage the building (whichever one you’re aiming for).

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.