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Today I’m sharing some dramatic befores and afters of our new veggie garden and greenhouse!

The was me shopping for plant material before it was installed this Spring.

We had raised vegetable garden beds in our last home and Terreeia always wanted to add a greenhouse. 

But as you can see by the space we had, it was not a lot. Truly we would have had to tear down the storage shed.

And even though searching for a new home–so I could have a new canvas–was really discouraging (every house needed too much work) I still had a feeling we were moving, so we kept putting off the greenhouse project.

Until we moved into our new home on 2 1/4 acres. This was what the same area looked like when we took possession. You can see the pool fence here on the left side of the photo (below).

This is where the greenhouse from this house used to be located.

Past this area beside the barn halfway down the property.

Way too far from the house.

This is what it looked like after we took down the overgrown Christmas trees (this used to be a Christmas tree farm):

Here’s what it looks like now, I love the row of poplars in the background they really add scale to the setting:

I added some concrete spheres in the front. I’m obsessed with them (below)! You can order them here locally.   Pottery Barn also sells the look of concrete so a lot lighter here. Of course I need potted plants in the front as well, lots more to come.

We were a month late planting our vegetables, but we are so happy not to miss the season this year!

Here’s what this area looked like when we moved in: 

Here it is now:

The best feature of the back property is our Honey Locust tree, it stays this fresh green colour all season! It truly makes the garden feel enchanted.

This was the plan MaryAnne dreamed up, in the end when we drew it out we reversed where the triangle boxes went because the circle had to be centered behind the pool (I had sent slightly wrong measurements)

A detail I didn’t really understand until it was all installed.

She added larger beds in front of the split rail fence but for this round I deleted them for another phase. 

This garden wouldn’t be even remotely as spectacular without MaryAnne’s guidance and aesthetic. She, just as I do, works with clients remotely all around North America. 

Landscaping is expensive so a plan that you can work on is the most critical piece of any garden project. You can spend a lot of money and end up with not a lot of fabulous. You can contact her here.

Here’s what the property looked like before:

Here it is now:


So now that the garden is installed (whew) I need to figure out what to do with the inside of the greenhouse. I have spent very little time exploring greenhouse interior inspo and I need your help.

Should we put a sink inside the greenhouse or outside?  Terreeia wants one side of the greenhouse dedicated to tomatoes so do I have a sink/potting area on the back of the greenhouse? Then a row of shelving on the right side? 

I would love your ideas! 

Also we’re hosting a block party for our street in two weeks. Any tips or advice that you have would also be great! I think it would be fun to know our neighbours! I’ll let you know how it goes! 

Become a True Colour Expert in Dallas this November, learn more here.

Homeowners, learn to choose the right colours and finishes for your projects in my virtual workshops here.

Related posts:

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Fourth Rule of Design: Trendy Equals Temporary

17 pins


  • Calliope says:

    Dear Maria, wow! Your garden is going to be spectacular! The only thing that seems off is the red color of that shed! Why not yellow? Or the same as the main house? Anyway, I think, with your winters and overall chill weather, the sink should be inside the greenhouse

    • Christine says:

      Maria, your backyard is truly amazing. I am aware you were not asking our opinion on this aspect (barn colour) but I tend to agree and would paint it BM Regent Green all day long so it recedes.

      I always think of ketchup and mustard when I see red and yellow combined. 😭

    • Maria Killam says:

      My wife loves the red barn and since I get to do mostly anything I want everywhere else the red barn stays 🙂 Maria

      • Liz in Oregon says:

        I love the red barn! It’s classic and adds a quirky surprise to your perfect landscape.

      • Beth says:

        I like the red barn. Barns should be red. I would put the sink inside the greenhouse as it would be more useful there. Love the look of the entire yard now. Your landscaper is awesome.

      • Sheree L says:

        I have no advice, but just have to say “WOW!” Your yard (and your home) are just gorgeous! I LOVE the red barn – it’s classic, fun, and reminds me of homes in Scandinavia (you have Finnish roots, right?) MaryAnne is a landscaping genius, just as you, Maria, are a decorating genius 🙂

        • Kif says:

          I want to replicate your landscaping. My only question how much maintenance is involved. Do have a gardener pulling weeds daily, trimming shrubs and moving the sprinkler?

          • Maria Killam says:

            My landscapers installed a 3″ layer of mulch on all the beds after everything had been planted so that helps immensely with the weed situation. We also installed a built in sprinkler system. Shrubs generally just need a Spring clip so that’s when we have a team in to do that. Hope that helps, Maria

    • Karen says:

      Having grown up in the countryside, I can tell you that red barns and sheds are classic. I spent many teenage summers with a paintbrush and a bucket of red paint, and I wouldn’t have any other colour!

  • Judy says:

    Beautiful! I had a glass greenhouse. Some thoughts.
    Sink inside. Water line going to it wrapped, or however they do it, w/ something so it won’t freeze those few cold winter days. Windows w/ the automatic open/shut wax mechanism. Auto exhaust fan. This can REALLY heat up w/ sun. We ended up putting a double layer of shade cloth over the roof. My husband screwed it on about every 2”. Automatic watering system w/ drip lines. Before we had that I was out there 3 times a day after seeds came up.
    A stool to sit down & just enjoy it!

    • Liz N says:

      All of this, as well as adding a ceiling fan. Insulating the water pipes is key.

      The heat inside of a greenhouse can be brutal in summer.

      Maria, I would also eventually put in a heating system, if y’all are going to house plants in the greenhouse in winter. Just as greenhouses can get HOT in summer, they can be super cold in winter.

      Everything looks wonderful! I can’t even imagine how happy you both must be with everything!

    • Fiona says:

      Everything you said is spot on! In my hot climate, a ceiling fan is also key, and overhead misters can be nice, both for cooling and to increase humidity for the plants.

      I also like to have a comfy chair and not just a stool to rest on, gardening can be hard work! And a greenhouse is a lovely place to sit and read a book.

  • Nan says:

    A sink inside -so you can water your plants in winter without going in and out of the greenhouse. A comfortable chair- to sit and enjoy the warmth when it’s cold out.

  • Karen Ernest says:

    Definitely a sink inside. Your arrangement at the greenhouse reminds me of Laura’s at Garden Answer on YouTube, even the boxwood lined beds outside the greenhouse. Check her out if you haven’t already. She has wonderful ideas and often posts videos from inside her Hartley greenhouse. Your place is looking fabulous!

    • Barbie Bloom says:

      I second the suggestion to check out Laura at Garden Answer! I learn so much from Laura and her husband regarding their Hartley, drip irrigation, resided beds, etc.

  • Barbie Bloom says:

    We’ve had a greenhouse for a few years now and it’s a definite work in progress because initially you don’t know what you don’t know! lol. Here are some things I’ve learned here in West Virginia (old zone 6b with summer temps into the 90s F and winter temps frequently well below freezing).

    How to heat and cool the greenhouse are some of the most important decisions you’ll make. On sunny summer days, unmitigated temps inside the greenhouse can reach into the 120s. During the dark hours, the greenhouse interior can approach the same temps as the outside air.

    If you intend to extend your tomato growing season, grow plants throughout the winter, and have a sink with running water, you’ll probably need a heat source. We have in-floor, hot water radiant heat that will allow us to maintain the temps about 25 degrees (Fahrenheit) above the outside temps. For cold winter nights where that won’t be sufficient to prevent freezing we add additional heat.

    In the summer, we use shade cloth on both the north and south sides of the roof. It makes much more of difference than I thought I would. I keep the north side cloth up year round to act as insulation in the winter. Through out the summer the doors and side vents are open full time unless a windy storm is expected. Our roof vents are automatic and are controlled by the temperature in the greenhouse.

    We also added air conditioning. My contractor joked that he’d never been asked to install an ice maker in an oven before! The air conditioning is for me rather than the plants (as a woman of a certain age lol!). I enjoy puttering around in the greenhouse all year long. We’ve added a table and chairs for dining as well as comfortable seating for just hanging out.

    With all that said, I would add the sink to the interior of the greenhouse now. However, you may find you also want an outdoor sink in a shaded area to use on warm sunny days when the greenhouse is hot. I have three areas that I can pot plants—a potting shoe in the greenhouse, a heated potting shed, and an outdoor potting bench on the shady north side of my potting shed. I use all three depending on the weather and having water handy at all three is a definite plus.

    Hope this helps and I hope both of you enjoy your new greenhouse!

  • Tara Bristow says:

    Beautiful now, imagine when grown in !

    Please, get your SWAN a companion.

    They love floating together, and bumping into each other.

  • KariAnne says:

    I almost gasped when I saw the photo of the entire yard. What a SLICE of heaven! It’s so beautiful! I love it all—the red shed, the pool, the greenhouse and the swan float in the pool. 🙂

    • Sue Kurtz says:

      I couldn’t agree more! It’s PERFECT … red shed and all. Please don’t change a thing. The red makes it stand out, as it should, because it’s darling! Not something you want to hide. What a blessing to your neighbors who share your view. :-)) Enjoy!

  • Marilyn dow says:

    I don’t know about the sink, but I would highly recommend a rain barrel to collect water to be used for your plants.
    They work beautifully.

    • maggie says:

      YES YES YES! I have rain barrels at every corner of my home and grow almost all of my own vegies in the summer. Essential equipment for climate-forward gardeners! <3

  • Karen Wisnovsky says:

    Hello Maria …. Your home and gardens are amazing! I can’t believe how quickly you are processing. In answer to your question about a sink in the greenhouse I refer you to ideas from Brooke and Leila Ginette. I see you follow them on velvetandlinen in instagram….they have impeccable taste (like you) and much experience in the garden and hit house area.
    Karen W

  • Leah DiPascal says:

    Maria, your yard is so beautiful! I would 100% put a large sink with a large countertop area around it (inside the greenhouse). You can always have an extra hose connection outside the greenhouse. Having a sink and countertop will make it much easier to work on plants, potting/re-potting, mixing fertilizers, etc…

  • Kim says:

    FAB-U-LOUS!!! Maria, your home and gardens are stunning! I love that pop of red on the shed. I have a brown thumb so no idea about greenhouses.

  • Linda says:

    If plumbing already in place, see if your plumber can do a sink on both the inside and outside, as you will have chores inside and outside of the greenhouse. I recently was sketching out my idea regarding a similar dilemma. I want to have a garden near my garage and do an art studio in half the garage, so I lined up the plumbing to have a garden sink outside and a small utility sink inside for artwork. Otherwise you will roll eyes each time need to have access to water and on other side of greenhouse. 🙄

  • Nancy says:

    Maria – Love your outside it’s gorgeous
    Put your sink inside .
    I think that would be a lot more convenient.
    Can’t believe all you’ve accomplished outside .
    Looks like you’ve been there for several years !!!

  • Elaine Babiy says:

    I also use my sink to wash the garden pots before I store them for the winter. I agree with the suggestions to have one inside and another outside near the potting bench.

  • Lynn Wilhelm says:

    The location of the sink really depends on how you will use the greenhouse year round. Do you have a suitable potting area and do you want one inside the greenhouse? A sink in the greenhouse will take up valuable plant space and the space is small. You may want to use the space for a while before deciding to put one in. It looks like there’s s room behind the greenhouse for a potting bench, storage area and sink that would work most of the year for you. You can install a frost-free connection in the ground to bring water to the sink if that’s required in your climate.
    Stick to a hose set up in the greenhouse for now and then plan to install a bench and sink there later if you decide you really need it.
    It looks lovely and reversing the parterre wedges turned out just fine.

  • Deborah Young says:

    Hi Maria,

    Install a large, single bowl sink “inside” the greenhouse for use in all weather conditions.
    You may want to consider adding a hose bib on the “outside” of the greenhouse, located directly behind the sink.

    Love the little red barn! A hit of contrasting colour that’s fun and classically historical.


  • Vivien Wulff says:

    Looks gorgeous! Love the red barn-a classic! Sink inside if possible. You could add a vintage looking wood table and a few chairs, draining shelves along the edge for plants, heat source for fall and spring use?

  • Cheryl says:

    Put a sink on the inside and an outside water spigot on each side of the greenhouse so you don’t have to drag hoses.

    I switched to this 25 ft. hose and love it since it’s lightweight and doesn’t kink…plus it shrinks down to ~4 feet. Very well made. (comes in 25 ft, 50 ft, 75 ft, and 100 ft lengths.)

    For shrub beds (NOT vege planters), I use ‘Preen’ to keep the weeds out. Preen is a pre-emergent and stops weeds for up to 3 months. There’s also a Preen with Fertilizer…and an Extended Control Preen that stops weeds for up to 6 months.

  • Definitely inside if you have the opportunity. Cold weather/cold pipes don’t go together. Would put it close to the door if possible.

  • Lorri says:

    It looks amazing and everyone is giving you such good ideas. What a transformation!!!

  • Maureen Puddicombe says:

    Barn must be RED. Sink inside foe better winter access.

  • Joanna says:

    What a gorgeous backyard. I’m a big fan of boxwood and a more formal layout.
    The barn must stay red. Red barns are classic and I love the pop of colour on the farthest edge of your property. I vote with Terreeia!

  • Deb says:

    Really dreamy, so much progress. Here are a few ideas: hang a hammock or swinging chair. Your nephews will love it, you too.
    Use a hose to lay out paths and some of beds, infinitely adjustable curves to help get the best layout,
    Add a water feature, could even be a koi pond.
    Remember lighting, perhaps solar lights installed up high for winter dinnertime visits to grab some herbs.

  • Joanne says:

    Hi Maria,

    Your property is fabulous! I think I would opt for the sink inside of the greenhouse with potting area. With your winters, you could have the greenhouse thermostatically controlled and crops could be grown in the winter as well.

  • Becky says:

    I love the yellow flowers!!! Your all white flowers were beautiful at your old house, but I REALLY like flowers with color… and for you, yellow! It’s so happy! Beautiful property now.

  • Ingrid Ulrich says:

    Hello Maria,
    For your sink I was surprised that the one from Lee Valley was not satisfactory, since their products are usually quite good. As an alternative try a stainless steel sink from TRINITY. I ordered one at Costco for my garage and it is GREAT. It is large and deep (30 x 16”) and even comes with the related pullout faucet. It was easy to install. It is high-quality, very functional and even looks good for a utility sink 🙂 I was so satisfied with it, that I purchased an additional stainless steel table to have extra counter space beside the sink. I use it for potting plants, cleaning paint brushes, and washing my 2 dogs muddy harnesses after hiking trips. Hope this is helpful to you!

  • CSue says:

    Oh wow. I’m struggling with a 1 acre bare dirt similar situation. Everything is so expensive when a yard is this big, and it’s so hard to decide what to do. Most of the hardscaping is in, but I need thousands of plants and everyone is already sold out for this year. I want a greenhouse down the road but it’s tricky here because we get so much snow. I think it needs removable roof panels. Most people make do with garden beds with high fences to keep the elk, deer and moose out. I’m still finishing the house that’s gone on for 5 years (bad contractors), so I will watch your greenhouse journey and try to apply it to my high snow mountain climate.

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