A lean to greenhouse is perhaps the most basic and versatile form of greenhouse that you can buy. It lends itself to home construction, and can be fitted into a limited space. Its characteristic feature is that is makes use of an existing structure. It might be built against the wall of a house, garage or a boundary wall.
It might just be a temporary structure made of plastic sheeting, or an elaborate permanent structure that could be dignified with the name "conservatory".
This type of greenhouse has a reputation for being a make-shift structure, but there is no reason why it should be.
The classic vine house of the nineteenth century was often a lean-to structure built along the wall of the vegetable garden of an English stately home.
Those of us with smaller budgets can still take advantage of the benefits offered by a lean-to greenhouse. The main advantage is that the wall against which it is built acts as a kind of heat store.
A south-facing wall that receives the sun's rays throughout the day will give out heat all night long. The wall acts as a kind of storage heater and as a result less supplementary heating is needed.
The other main advantage is its height, which is only limited by the height of the wall against which it stands. A lean-to greenhouse offers more usable space than the popular dome shaped greenhouse.
For this reason the lean to greenhouse is the the best choice where space is limited. It can even be constructed on a small patio, balcony or roof garden. No one need be excluded from greenhouse gardening.
A comparatively small space can yield impressive results. In some cases it is possible to fill the whole of the greenhouse with plants without reserving any space for an access path. If the greenhouse has sliding doors, plants can be reached from the outside thereby maximizing space.
As with any other greenhouse there needs to be adequate provision for heating, ventilation and watering. You will probably want to automate these systems to some extent, and you may actually find it easier to achieve because of it's proximity to the house.
Are there any negative aspects to the lean to greenhouse?
Yes, but not many and they can easily be overcome. When constructing a lean-to greenhouse it is important to ensure that the a good waterproof seal is achieved with the wall. This is particularly important if it is built against a house wall. Flashing must be used in this context, otherwise you will get water seepage and the wall will become discolored with mould.
It may be also be necessary to check whether your proposed greenhouse contravenes any building regulations. The size of structure or the materials may be limited. so find out before you begin.
So, which greenhouse is it going to be?