Glasshouse garden’ inspires beginners and experts alike
Compact versions of the grand estate glasshouses to be found at Kew, Hampton Court Palace and various RHS gardens are being unveiled by Hartley Botanic at the 2011 Chelsea Flower Show (May 23-28) in a bid to appeal to amateur gardeners of differing skill levels.
Their courtyard ‘glasshouse garden’ in Main Avenue (stand no. MA6) – created by RHS Chelsea Gold Medal-winning designer, Roger Platts – showcases three of Hartley’s latest, smaller structures conceived to appeal in turn to beginners, hobbyists and expert gardeners, whatever space they may have available.
It’s a rare opportunity to compare three complete and fully-stocked glasshouses side by side, inside and out, in a natural setting.
Likely to attract much interest from expert gardeners is Hartley’s new Grange design – an unusual, stylish and practical 3.3m x 3.3m square glasshouse with a 3.8m high four-sided pyramid roof rising to an attractive autovent cap with variable opening.
Solid foundations, a brick dwarf wall, a smooth and durable aluminium structure in a wide choice of colours, four large side vents and seemingly endless panes of 4mm toughened safety glass make the Grange as fit for purpose as any of Hartley’s big estate glasshouses.
Clean, uncluttered lines – made possible by the use of strong yet light aluminium purlins and joists – make for an exceptionally spacious interior which will accommodate deep staging on three sides; and the high apex allows specimen plants to be grown to almost 4 metres.
With each pane of safety glass uniquely enclosed in its own frame so as to dispense with overlaps and cushioned in thermoplastic rubber to eliminate any glass-to-glass or glass-to-metal contact the Grange is built to withstand severe storms and to give decades of virtually maintenance-free service.
Inside, visitors will find plenty to inspire including Lupinus polyphyllus, Mimulus aurantiacus, Mimulus puniceus, Eucomis bicolour, Soleirolia soleirolii, Atriplex halimus and a variety of root and stem section cuttings.
Leisure gardeners will be drawn to the equally highly specified Victorian Terrace glasshouse and its more traditional dimensions. At 3.95m long, 3.06m (maximum) wide and 2.98m high, including a dwarf brick wall and an attractive glazed entrance porch, it is well suited to small or medium sized gardens.
With solid cast aluminium ball finials as an interesting design feature plus many optional accessories and a choice of nine natural powder coated colour finishes, the Victorian Terrace will sit well in any environment.
On show inside are Agave americana, Aloe striatula, azaleas, canna, dahlias, fuchsia, orchids, banana and citrus plants, chilli, peppers and herbs.
The smallest of the three and the only one which is fully glazed to ground level is the Hartley Vista greenhouse, designed for those with limited space.
Measuring 3.03m long, 2.10m wide and 2.38m (maximum) high, the Vista is manufactured from rolled BS aluminium and glazed with 4mm toughened safety glass.
It will fit into almost any garden, large, small, urban or rooftop: and its graceful arcing glazed pent roof gives it a striking contemporary look.
Again, there is plenty inside to admire and inspire including tomatoes in growbags, strawberries, cucumber, rhubarb, courgettes, early seed potatoes, lettuce, kale, herbs, begonia, chrysanthemums, impatiens, lobelia, petunia, verbena and zinnia.
Such top quality materials and craftmanship don’t come cheap but many can attest to the fact that Hartley glasshouses can last a lifetime.
The Grange, normally £14,333, will be on offer at £10,750 during Chelsea week. The Victorian Terrace, normally £15,483, can be snapped up for £11,600. And the Vista, normally £4,515, is on offer to Chelsea visitors at £3,385.
The price includes not only VAT, UK mainland delivery and a 10-year warranty but also, in the case of the Grange and Victorian Villa, erection onto an existing base and dwarf wall and commissioning by Hartley’s own team of installers.
For further information, or to order, call 01457 821952 or visit the company’s website at www.hartley-botanic.co.uk.
Hartley Botanic gratefully acknowledges the design, landscaping and nursery services provided by Roger Platts and the hard landscaping materials supplied by Marshalls and Michelmersh Brick Holdings. Pots were kindly provided by Whichford Pottery.