Growing under glass

Victorian greenhouse benching and folding shelves

Growing under glass grants gardeners a means of controlling temperature to maximise healthy plant growth whilst also providing plants protection from the elements. It also means that gardening can happen all year round, no matter the weather! However, choosing the best structure can often be a challenge and there are many options available.

Glasshouses have long been a key feature in British gardens, nestled in the heart of growing spaces, providing a home for horticulture all year round.  Traditionally, their purpose was to create a warm climate to replicate the temperatures and natural surroundings that tropical plants, brought home by sailors and explorers, were used to. In time, this has evolved with changes in technology and style and glasshouses now add a touch of class to gardens as a freestanding feature away from the home.

Greenhouses serve the same purpose as glasshouses but traditionally utilise other materials (though the terms greenhouse and glasshouse are often used interchangeably). Glass however can enhance insulation which in turn boosts plant growth.  As well as being more environmentally friendly than plastic alternatives, glass also offers better clarity and views as plastic and other alternatives can deteriorate and not stand the test of time like glass. Therefore, a glasshouse is certainly an investment for the future. To reiterate this, Griffin Glasshouses offer a lifetime structural guarantee on its products.

Griffin Glasshouses, with 50 years of manufacturing bespoke glasshouses, creates structures that are shaped to meet the specific requirements of each customer and each garden. Its services and advanced technology ensure maximum light enters the glasshouse and that the perfect conditions are created for plants. These systems include shading, heating, fully automatic ventilation and irrigation.

Unlike glasshouses and greenhouses, which stand away from the property, there are also options for extending properties to add growing spaces. Typically, these take the shape of conservatories and orangeries, the difference being linked with bases and roofs. Conservatories were traditionally used for growing shrubs and herbs, but are now seen as more of a living space. Attached to the home, these rooms usually have complementing décor both internally and externally to match the rest of the home. They usually have glass panes side by side, with low brickwork and a pitched roof.

Conversely, orangeries have more brickwork and less glass with window panes often separated from each other. They tend to have a brick base with a flat glass roof, with a raised lantern in the centre. Often thought to be more grand and luxurious, orangeries are rapidly becoming a popular choice.

Other non-permanent buildings include polytunnels, which are walk in tunnels covered in polythene with entrances at either end, that trap heat to encourage plant growth and coldframes. Coldframes are a large boxed area with a glass lid that act as a “mini glasshouse”, these are used for germination and hardening off plants. A key benefit of coldframes is how they can be integrated into glasshouse designs to be a complementing extension of the growing space, a service which Griffin Glasshouses offers.

Posted by Linda in Maintenance, Tips