Everything to know about Victorian Greenhouses

A Greenhouse is a feat of engineering, trapping the heat of the sun to allow more exotic species of plants and flowers to be grown inside, and to extend the flowering season of domestic species for fruit throughout the year.

But where was the Greenhouse created? And how did the traditional Greenhouse aesthetic come about?

Greenhouse history

So it should be no surprise that the traditional English Greenhouse owes its origins to one of the greatest engineering civilisations in history. But we’re not talking about the Victorians; we’re talking about the Romans.

The first Roman Greenhouse was created in about 30AD to grow vegetables for Emperor Tiberius. It consisted of a cart covered with a kind of plastic, more akin to a cold frame than to a modern Greenhouse.

Nearly 2,000 years later, the Victorian era Greenhouse brought this technology up to date, with peaked and arched roofs offering maximum headroom. Greenhouses with the highest possible glass surface area were developed to retain as much heat as the British sun can provide.

A long legacy has been left by the Victorian Greenhouse aesthetic, and these are still some of the most popular blueprints for contemporary English Greenhouses.

What are the benefits of a Victorian style Greenhouse?

Iconic of the Greenhouse aesthetic, a Victorian-style Greenhouse is considered one of the finest in Greenhouse growing.

Glass was an expensive material, so a Victorian era Greenhouse was primarily used by the wealthy of that period as a symbol of their privilege and status. Structures were elaborate and eye-catching, the centre point of any garden.

A Victorian indoor Greenhouse usually features a high peaked roof for more headroom, large glazed elements (often all the way to ground level, however, a partial brick wall is possible, too), and a gable end door to the porch entrance.

The Victorians were the true masters of English garden design, and just like the Romans, their engineering prowess gave us designs that are hard to beat over 100 years later. Nowadays, a Victorian era Greenhouse is a place not only to grow exotic plants but also to take refuge and relax.

What are the benefits of buying a Victorian Glasshouse?

A Victorian indoor Greenhouse offers many benefits, including temperature and humidity control and impressive aesthetics.

Regulate temperature

The structure’s design means the Victorian Greenhouse interior is not just as hot as possible. Instead, the Greenhouse allows you to keep a constant temperature by opening vents and windows, with the hottest air retained up in the high peaked roof.

Warmth absorption

Large surface area of glass means the warmth of the sun penetrates easily into the Greenhouse, but is not easily lost. This allows you to grow more exotic species like orchids, or just boost your crops of Greenhouse staples like tomatoes.

Humidity control

Control the humidity in your structure using windows, vents and doors. Space your plants around the Victorian Greenhouse interior, ensuring proper drainage from your pots and trays.

Impressive design

The Victorian Greenhouse aesthetic is iconic. Choose Victorian Villa Glasshouses or The Westminster for a striking statement, or the glass-to-ground Victorian Chelsea Greenhouse for an elegant and traditional look.

Upgrade options

A Victorian style Greenhouse is a real investment for your garden, and Hartley Botanic structures are built to last. Create a Victorian Greenhouse interior that feels like a true extension of your home’s living space.

What size Victorian Greenhouse should you choose?

Consider the space you have available in your garden and what size Victorian era Greenhouse you can reasonably accommodate.

Small Victorian Greenhouse

A Victorian mini Greenhouse gives you the aesthetic and plenty of growing space, without occupying too much area in a bijou garden.

Our Victorian Classic Glasshouses are compact, allowing medium-sized gardens to grow a good variety of plants, fruits and flowers.

Large Victorian Greenhouse

Bigger gardens can benefit from a large Victorian Greenhouse like our Victorian Grand Manor Glasshouse or The Grange Glasshouse, a square Greenhouse ideal for a central position.

Victorian Greenhouse considerations

Size is important but not the only factor when choosing a Victorian style Greenhouse. Here are several things to consider when buying a Victorian era Greenhouse

For even more ideas, read our guide on How to Choose a Greenhouse.

Greenhouse position

To maximise your growing opportunities, place your Greenhouse where it will get plenty of sunlight all day and year-round. 

A lean-to Victorian Greenhouse attached to house walls can retain heat particularly well, as the bricks warm up in the daytime and then release the warmth into the Victorian Greenhouse interior overnight.

 Greenhouse accessories

We supply a range of Victorian style Greenhouse accessories to help your plants to thrive. 

Staging and shelving, including high-level shelving, allow you to make the most of the vertical space in your Glasshouse, while blinds and vents can control the temperature and humidity. Grow lights and heaters provide a boost when natural conditions are less favourable.

Hartley Botanic Victorian Greenhouses

Hartley Botanic Victorian style Greenhouses include many different designs. Choose between a range of peaked and pyramid roofs, entrance porches, and decorative touches such as crestings and finials.