Sure, "she sheds" are great, but there's no retreat quite like a garden. Something about being surrounded by plants always seems to soothe the soul. So if you're thinking of building a little retreat, a place where you can get away from the cares of the world (and maybe of your family, too), why not make it a greenhouse?
A greenhouse can also significantly expand your gardening possibilities. (This is, of course, the reason they became popular in the first place). With a greenhouse, you can start seeds much earlier than you would outside; you can also grow plants, like orchids or citrus, that otherwise wouldn't grow in your area at all. Just don't forget to monitor the temperature (and humidity levels) to make sure the environment inside your greenhouse is appropriate for your plants. You don't want to cook them, or leave them out in the cold.
Garden & Greenhouse is another Scandinavian company that sells greenhouse kits. For northern climates where winters are long and cold, a greenhouse is a smart choice for overwintering sensitive plants.
This little greenhouse is part of a Farm in Ojai, California, designed by Giannetti Home. Its wood construction is a particularly nice complement to the surrounding landscape.
Kevin, an avid gardener who blogs at Nitty Gritty Dirt Man, built this greenhouse/potting shed in his backyard. He graciously shares his plans and details of the construction on his website, so you can build something similar, if you so choose.
The folks at Vaughan House, in the Virginia mountains, made this greenhouse retreat from cedar beams and reclaimed windows.
What really sells me on this greenhouse by JV Arkitekter is the location: Who wouldn't want to spend time in a little glass house with a view like this one? But the design, with the two connected rooms and the rustic interplay of wood and brick, would look lovely in a suburban backyard, too.
There are plenty of examples of DIY greenhouses out there, but if you prefer something a little less involved, this very spacious 10 x 12 foot greenhouse is available from Wayfair for $2,497.99. (Of course, there's the foundation to be considered as well.)
This 6' x 8' structure would make a good starter greenhouse, and is available from Wayfair for $579.99.
I have sad news for readers living in the American South: A greenhouse is probably not that great of an idea for your climate. I used to live in Texas, and it was, most of the time, plenty hot for things like citrus. Add to that the fact that a tiny glass room would be absolutely sweltering during the summer. But if you love the look, and the idea of a backyard retreat, you could build something like what Timothy Sheehan created in the backyard of his New Orleans home—all of the charm of a greenhouse, with less potential to turn into a tiny glass oven.