There’s no need to be green about having a bespoke structure installed in your garden. Here’s all you need to get growing…
How do I decide where to site my new greenhouse?
Basic considerations are good light and shelter from strong winds. All too often greenhouses are relegated to neglected corners of the garden, whereas to be used effectively, the distance from the property should be minimised, so you can simply ‘pop into the greenhouse’ easily. Make sure to have the door closest to the house if possible. Running the ridge east to west is recommended to allow maximum light into the greenhouse. Ensure the ground drains easily and is level. Is the provision of services (water and power) a consideration? If so, make sure these are laid on prior to the arrival of the greenhouse, or make provision to lay them on at a later date.
With limited garden space, is it best to go for a lean-to attached to the house or a smaller freestanding structure? What are the pros and cons?
A lean-to is an excellent use of space, and can be warmer than a free-standing structure. It is also a big plus in terms of proximity, and ease of provision of services (power and water). A lean-to, of course, needs an area of free space against a wall, which may not be practical for some people. The advantage of a freestanding structure is that it can be accommodated anywhere that the current garden layout allows, even in smaller gardens.
What are the benefits of buying bespoke over ‘off-the-shelf’?
A bespoke structure, by definition, is custom made to an exact size, shape, design, etc. While standard-sized models can sometimes be a more costeffective option, the ability to customise every aspect of your greenhouse is a hugely attractive proposition. This allows the re-use of an existing base, the maximisation of the existing space available or the realisation of a particular design. While standard models can offer value for money, a bespoke design, despite the cost premium, can realise a long-held desire for a very specific glasshouse design or specification.
Would you generally recommend trying to match the style of greenhouse to that of the main house, eg Victorian style next to a turn-of-the-century house, and contemporary next to a new-build?
Generally speaking, we do see this. Customers do try to match the style of the greenhouse to that of the property, but we do also see stunning examples of the exact opposite. We do manufacture multiple, very different, styles (we are the only manufacturer to do this). We would have very detailed discussions around the customer’s desires and expectations from their purchase, to best advise them. When structures are hand-made to order, they can be modified to provide individual greenhouses and glasshouses, helping the client achieve their ideal design.
Is it best to consider shelving, staging and shading at the time of design, or can I leave this until later?
While accessories can be added later, it is always advisable to consider internal design carefully during the initial discussion. This will allow you to get ‘up and running’ as quickly as possible, maximising the productivity and efficiency of your new structure.
Is it possible to repair a muchloved heritage greenhouse, or best to remove and replace?
This is not a service we offer, but we have decades of experience in replacing heritage greenhouses and glasshouses to exacting design standards, allowing the replication of original designs in modern, maintenance-free materials.
Is it ever necessary to obtain planning approval to install a planthouse on a small brick wall?
It is unusual to require planning permission for a greenhouse, even sitting on a brick wall. However, some conditions do apply if you live in a Listed Building, are located in an AONB, a National Park or conservation area. It is sensible to contact your local planning office to obtain their opinion.
Hartley Botanic produce the only aluminium glasshouses and greenhouses endorsed by the RHS, and deliver and install all over the world. All their structures are hand-made to order, with delivery time depending on the size and complexity. hartley-botanic.co.uk