How to Choose a Greenhouse

There’s nothing quite as exciting as preparing your garden for the oncoming arrival of a glasshouse or greenhouse.

That said however, what factors do you have to consider before making that all-important purchase?

Does your garden need a greenhouse?

There are many reasons that someone might want to install a greenhouse in their garden. Whether for serious vegetable growing or to sustain a hobby – new or old – we offer bespoke greenhouses for all types of passions and gardens.

So here are a few reasons for buying a greenhouse for your garden:

Food security

With the cost of food seemingly on a never ending rise, many people have now taken to growing some of the most essential fruit and veg in their very own greenhouses.

In addition to the obvious bonus of saving money, growing your own food helps protect your resources during unusual weather or emergency situations.


Although many of the items we buy for our homes and gardens only last a matter of years, Hartley Botanic greenhouses have been known to last for decades – with some of our oldest glasshouses still being used (and sold at profit) by gardeners today.


Gardening has long been reputed to help improve the health of both the mind and body, and according to a recent study conducted by Bakker Spalding, 88 per cent of people find that mental wellbeing is a key benefit from spending time in the garden.

Garden time in winter

If you’re looking to get out of the house during the winter months, or wish to continue your love of growing and horticulture, greenhouses provide the perfect opportunity to do this.

And of course, there’s nothing as lovely as standing in a greenhouse with a hot cup of tea while you listen to the rain beat down on the glass panels.

Benefits of greenhouse gardening

Greenhouse Grapes

Your growing season is extended

With the benefit of a fully controlled environment, it is possible to extend growing seasons, both before and beyond the traditional periods.

By sowing seedlings earlier in the season, it is possible to ensure fuller, more developed crops during the natural growing seasons.

If you’re sowing in spring, it also means that by the time that warm weather arrives, you’ll be able to set plants outdoors, with them having enjoyed greater development time within the keep of your glasshouse.

Plant protection

Once that your plants and seedlings are safely tucked away within your greenhouse, they are of course protected from most pests and animals, enabling you to reap a full crop of vegetables come picking time.

Although you will still have to battle the occasional bug (despite being able to fend off slugs, wireworm and other such pests), your greenhouse shall be fully protected from birds and other, larger animals.

From bespoke to Victorian greenhouses – our different types

Interior of a White Hartley Botanic Lean-to Greenhouse

As mentioned above, Hartley Botanic offers a large range of greenhouses for a variety of people and gardens.

Mini Glasshouses

Hartley botanic supplies a range of smaller sized glasshouses for those that are just starting to get into growing. While our Patio glasshouses are great for this purpose, some people also choose to dip their toes with small, cold frame greenhouses.

Although these cold frames are great during the summer months, plants also risk perishing during harsh winters and cold springs.

‘Starter’ or ‘small’ greenhouses

Sometimes referred to as ‘starter’ greenhouses, we offer a great range of small and medium-sized greenhouses for those who want to enjoy growing their own fruit and vegetables without the pressure of having to fill and maintain a large or more demanding greenhouse.

One of our most popular greenhouses can also fit within this category; the Lean to 7 Greenhouse is built for the benefit of compact, yet comfortable growing, and can be placed along any south-facing or well-lit walls.

Larger greenhouses

We also offer a variety of larger greenhouses for those who have the available space and are passionate about the plants and vegetables that they grow.

From our Grand Gallery Glasshouse to our Bespoke Greenhouses, we offer a range of large standalone structures alongside brick-based greenhouses and plant houses. For such large structures, Hartley can provide a range of services as the main contractors of the project, including structural and mechanical engineering aspects.

What should you consider when looking to buy a greenhouse?


Although a lot of people presume that you can set up your greenhouse almost anywhere in your garden, there are of course important factors to consider to ensure the success and your enjoyment of the greenhouse:


One of the most common reasons for plant failure within a greenhouse is the structure not being properly ventilated.

Like many buildings, it is of course important for greenhouses to retain warm air during winter, but also to release it during the summer months.

This means that when choosing the location of a greenhouse, the airflow to it must be thoroughly considered to ensure that it can enter and exit the structure. You can choose the location of vents on many of our glasshouses to suit your garden.


Every greenhouse needs some form of insulation, but every greenhouse requires different levels of insulation, depending on the environment and weather activity in your garden.

You can buy a range of materials to ensure the insulation of your greenhouse. It’s worth remembering that depending on the type of greenhouse that you buy, foundations, walls and roofs are all available for insulation.

Hartley botanic also provides roller shades, roller blinds, and if needed, grow lights for those particularly darker months.

If you happen to have a particularly small greenhouse, many greenhouse owners tend to use bubble wrap as an inexpensive yet effective form of insulation.

What about greenhouse frames?

White Hartley Botanic Greenhouse Frames

With such a wide variety of designs and offerings, greenhouses are constructed with a variety of differing frames. Here are some to consider:


Aluminium is by far the best material to build a greenhouse from it provides a strong but light frame that does not rust. It is the most common material used for greenhouse frames and is celebrated for its longevity. Hartley Botanic manufacture aluminium greenhouses, and glasshouses for this very reason.

Plastic resin

Plastic resin frames are often regarded as a cheaper option, but tend to lack the strength of aluminium and other metal frames, so are generally used for some of the smaller greenhouses. They are often designed to be supported by polycarbonate panels instead of glass.

Greenhouse accessories

Greenhouse accessories - Watering Can - Hartley Botanic

When considering buying your greenhouse, it is also important to understand that you might also need to purchase some of the accessories used within greenhouses all over the country:

Low lying louvers

Most greenhouses come with opening vents that are essential to controlling a building’s temperature. Our greenhouses also come with louvered vents that are draft free as they are placed at low levels.

Grow lights

Many plants within greenhouses are sensitive to the amount of light that they receive throughout the day.

Hartley Botanic supplies greenhouse owners with a variety of grow lights, enabling the proper maintenance of plants during the early stages of growth.

Water pumps

During dry seasons it is important for greenhouses to have easy access to water supplies. In case of the event of droughts, Hartley Botanic can also supply greenhouses with water pumps and underground water tanks.

Electric Heaters

Investing in an electric heater is a great option for greenhouses that are equipped with a mains supply. Fan heaters are super-efficient at circulating air, even within medium to large greenhouses.

Additionally, they are also good for eliminating cold spots in the short-term. If electricity isn’t an option for your greenhouse, a paraffin heater is often an alternative option.