As buyers seek more outdoor space amid Covid-19, this rare amenity provides options for entertaining and connecting with nature
A French Normandy chateau in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, listed at $29 million, includes multiple gardens and a greenhouse. Photo: Daniel Dahler for Sotheby's International Realty
The benefits of living in tune with nature have become more apparent than ever in 2020, when even diehard urbanites have been seeking out gardens, forests, lakes, mountains and beaches to soothe their souls. Estates with outdoor space and gardens may attract many buyers, but those with a greenhouse have the added cachet of providing greenery in every season. Sometimes, a greenhouse can be a light-filled living space.
Adding a greenhouse to your property can cost an average of $7,000 to $29,000, according to HomeAdvisor, an online home improvement services marketplace. Adding a one-acre greenhouse can cost $40,000 to more than $100,000, but if you want to add a greenhouse to an urban rooftop, that could run $1 million or more.
The typical greenhouse needs some type of heating and air conditioning system, lighting and water.
Here are some greenhouses around the U.S. that range from expansive spaces for growing orchids or tropical plants to ones that function as living space for entertaining or simply communing with the plants.
Serious Gardening in California’s Sonoma County
Photo: Sara Woodfield
A $3.15 million estate listed in Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, California, includes a two-acre garden with a wide variety of plants and gardens.
“Flowers are the passion here, with color and exuberance,” said Sara Harrison Woodfield, a 66-year-old architect who designed the home on Shiloh Terrace that she owns with her husband Peter Woodfield, an 87-year-old retired mining geologist. “To support all this garden, we built a 10’ x 12’ greenhouse, with one side full of plants and one side full of fertilizer, tools and garden gadgets. There’s a potting bench and area outside, which has turned into a secret getaway place to enjoy the plants.”
While the greenhouse is used to start plants, protect sensitive plants during winter and to grow some exotic plants that don’t flourish in the California climate, Ms. Woodfield also enjoys spending time there.
“The front and sides of the greenhouse have wall-to-wall windows with shelves for growing plants and a small place to put a chair and table to just enjoy the space and look down and out over the nearby garden,” she said.
Sunlit Winter Retreat
Photo: Christie's International Real Estate
With a 4.6-acre estate and a 4,400-square-foot residence, you might think the homeowners of this Massachusetts coastal property would have more than enough space to relax in their main house. But for Barry Goldman, a retiree who is selling his riverfront estate in Newmarch Street in Ipswich, the greenhouse offers a special spot amid the gardens and terraces.
“It wasworth every penny spent over the course of the year it took to meticulously restore the greenhouse,” Mr. Goldman said. “We especially love luxuriating in the sunny warmth on chilly winter days with a cup of tea and a good book.”
The estate is listed at $2.695 million with Christie’s International Realty.
A City Greenhouse for Entertaining
Photo: Sotheby's International Realty
An unexpected spot for a greenhouse is a Manhattan rooftop, but one rests on the roof terrace at 10 East 14 St.’s penthouse No. 1 in Greenwich Village. The greenhouse, which features plants and trees fed with a year-round irrigation system, can be reached by a private elevator from the condo, which is listed for $4,999,500.
“The greenhouse is used as a living space for the owners and has central heating and air,” said Cherie Hinson, the listing agent with Sotheby’s International Realty. “This conservatory doubles as an additional living room, lounge, entertainment pit or office space.”