How To Choose The Right Greenhouse

Country Life UK|April 29, 2020

How To Choose The Right Greenhouse
With so many of us at home with more time to garden than usual, this is the perfect time to invest in a glasshouse, but which is right for you? John Hoyland offers some pointers
John Hoyland

With so many of us working from home and keen to grow our own, there could hardly be a better time to consider buying a greenhouse. Some of us want a place to sow seeds, take cuttings and propagate plants, always ending up with more than we need. Overwintering tender plants, protecting delicate treasures and producing unseasonal fruits and vegetables are also items high on the list. Best of all, however, a greenhouse is somewhere to be when there’s a chill in the air, a place to potter about in, deadheading the pelargoniums, checking for signs of life in pots of bulbs. Or sitting down (yes, every greenhouse should have a seat), browsing a seed catalogue and listening to the radio, but mostly simply gazing out into the garden and dreaming of more clement times.

A greenhouse cannot be an impulse buy and there are some important things to consider before making your final choice.

Siting the greenhouse

Maximising light levels inside your greenhouse is important, so try to site it away from the shade of buildings and trees. When deciding about the position, remember that the sun moves and a place that is sunny in July may be overshadowed by nearby buildings and trees in the winter.

If possible, position the greenhouse so that its ridge runs north to south. That way, it will receive the best light in the morning and in the evening, which is when it is most needed, and will escape the full midday heat in high summer.

Materials

Perhaps one of the most important decisions is whether to have a wooden greenhouse or an aluminium one. Timber greenhouses are more expensive than similar-sized aluminium ones. If you prefer wood nonetheless, avoid softwoods such as pine because, even when they have been treated with wood preservative, they will, at some point, rot. Cedar is popular with wooden greenhouse manufacturers and will require little maintenance. Foster & Pearson manufactures wooden greenhouses with traditional Victorian castiron supports that should last a lifetime.

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April 29, 2020