Bespoke Hartley Botanic Lean-To Greenhouse From Above.

Greenhouse Buying Guide: Size, Location, Type

White Hartley Botanic Tradition Range Greenhouse With Brick Foundations
A Hartley Tradition Greenhouse

If you are considering choosing a new Greenhouse then hopefully this information will be helpful. Whether it is your first or an upgrade on your current structure, this guide will assist in picking the best Greenhouse for you.

What is the best location for a Greenhouse?

The best location for your Hartley Greenhouse depends on the style and size you are choosing. Large walk-in Greenhouses, perhaps for a business, will require somewhere with a bigger perimeter, while lean-to Glasshouses for more personal use will need a solid external wall on which to be built around.

  • Ideally, one long side of your Greenhouse should be south facing, so the sun will run along the length of it during the day.
  • You will also need to consider what plants you plan to grow and the sun exposure they need, when it comes to choosing a Greenhouse location.
  • Try to avoid a position in deep shade, surrounded by trees.
  • It is always useful to have electricity and/or a water supply into your Greenhouse, so consider the distance to run electric cables or a water supply to the Greenhouse site.
  • Your Hartley Greenhouse is glazed from the outside so you will need access around the sides during the initial build. This also helps the ease of general Greenhouse maintenance.
  • You should also consider the direction of the prevailing wind onto your Greenhouse to ensure good ventilation. You may find this article on ventilation by Jean Vernon useful.

What is the best type of Greenhouse to buy?

The best type of Greenhouse to buy depends on your personal growing needs and garden space. Hartley Botanic specialise in quality British Greenhouses for sale that accommodate every kind of gardener.

Greenhouses come in different shapes and sizes that each offer a unique growing advantage for your plants. For example, an entirely glass-made freestanding Greenhouse will flood your plants with light, while lean-to Greenhouses will make use of small garden spaces.

A traditional vertical sided, pitched roof, glass to ground Greenhouse like the Hartley Tradition model affords lots of good growing light throughout the year.

The semi-dodecagon shape of the Hartley Wisley and Highgrow Greenhouses maximises the amount of growing light as the sun moves across the sky, and also affords generous internal height for a roomier Greenhouse.

The Hartley Botanic Planthouse Greenhouses onto low dwarf walls are slightly warmer than glass-to-ground Greenhouses, as the brick or stone wall retains heat for your plants.

If you are looking for the best Greenhouse to grow plants from milder climates, the warmest Greenhouses are lean-to models when built against south-facing garden walls.

Please refer to our size chart below for the sizes of our small greenhouse range:

6 x 88 x 1010 x 12
3 Pane Cottage 64 Pane Wisley 85 Pane High Grow 10
3 Pane Tradition 64 Pane Tradition 85 Pane Tradition 10
3 Pane Tradition 6 Planthouse4 Pane Tradition 8 Planthouse5 Pane Tradition 10 Planthouse

What type of Greenhouse should I consider?

A traditional vertical sided, pitched roof, glass to ground Greenhouse like the Hartley ‘Tradition’ model affords lots of good growing light.

The semi-dodecagon shape of the Hartley Wisley and Highgrow models maximises the amount of growing light as the sun moves across the sky, and also affords generous internal height.

‘Planthouse’ models onto low dwarf walls are slightly warmer than glass-to-ground Greenhouses, as the brick or stone wall retains heat.

The warmest Greenhouses are lean-to models built against south-facing walls and are the best Greenhouses for small garden spaces.

What size of Greenhouse should I consider?

‘I wish I had bought a bigger Greenhouse’ is the refrain of the Greenhouse gardener. Once you have identified your site, we recommend opting for a larger Greenhouse and installing the biggest model you can fit.

Greenhouses can come in many different structures and sizes, making them adaptable for all gardens.

A typical small 6’ x 8’ will give scope for a good range of general Greenhouse gardening. The Hartley 3 pane length Cottage 6 or Tradition 6 Planthouse will be the models to consider if this is the size for you.

If your garden can take a bigger 8’ x 10’ larger Greenhouse model then consider the 4 pane length Wisley 8 or Tradition 8.

For a big garden the 10’ x 12’ 5 pane length Highgrow 10 will give significant growing space.

If space is something you have a lot of, you may consider an orangery. These large walk-in Greenhouses are typically regarded as the biggest structures for growing, and also offer an area to sit and relax in too.

All the Hartley models are sectional in length so can be provided in greater lengths, in which case you may then consider internal partitions to separate growing areas.

What is the best layout for a Greenhouse?

The size and layout of your Hartley Botanic Greenhouse are entirely up to you.

The most common Glasshouse size for growers is 8 to 10 feet wide, however large Greenhouses for sale may range from 12 to 20 feet in width.


The width of your Greenhouse helps determine the size of the benches you can use, including any other Greenhouse accessories.

Benches are used by most growers. Depending on the style of your Greenhouse, you can choose from ornate staging to display your plants, premium quality aluminium shelving, or even high-level shelving allowing for more storage room and is best for low-hanging plants.


If you are planning to build a large walk-in Greenhouse, you may wish to consider an internal glass partition. These act as partitions for your Glasshouse, separating it into individual areas. This is ideal for growers who need different controlled climates and zones.

What will I grow in my Greenhouse?

Green Bespoke Hartley Botanic Walk-In Greenhouse
A Hartley greenhouse

The short answer is ‘almost anything’. Consider fitting your Greenhouse with bench-height staging and higher level shelving to one side.

An 8’ x 10’ model fitted like this will give you surfaces for early season seed trays.

You will also have one side of your Greenhouse to site up to half a dozen tomato plants, or cucumbers and peppers, grown at ground level in bags or pots, or in a soil border.

All our standard models can be adapted for specialist growing. Just ask.

Do I need to consider anything else?

Hartley can build bespoke Greenhouses to meet your particular requirements and can arrange to visit your site to talk over your project.

We can provide all our models with wider doors and adapted staging for wheelchair users.

Hartley offer a range of standard colours which will suit most situations but can also provide ‘non- standard’ colours upon request. Please take a look at our Greenhouse Colours page for more information.

Finally,  your Hartley Greenhouse can be custom-built to provide for your exact needs and the best Greenhouse for you – not only for your growing requirements but also for relaxing and to provide an escape from our hectic world.

No other Greenhouse can compare to a Hartley.

Bespoke Hartley Botanic Lean-To Greenhouse
A lean-to custom greenhouse