RHS Tatton Flowershow 2017: We Dream of Greenhouses

We dream of greenhouses, the ridges double up, sat side by side as if in a walled garden; a lower and an upper greenhouse. It has to be said that in our neck of the woods greenhouses are essential but are somewhat fraught when sat on the side of a hillside 1330 feet above sea level. Even though we have a greenhouse, even though it is an excellent greenhouse, even though some people are envious of the size we have - for size envy is a thing in the world of greenhouse growers - it's 12 x 8 feet and runs from east to west in the garden with the main panes facing south we do find ourselves window shopping at garden shows. Listing towards wonderful greenhouses that are just built down the road from us. We have come into the world of Hartley Botanic, a local success story and a national hero when it comes to bespoke greenhouses. These are the types of greenhouses that have us all feeling a little green. We can dream of owning such greenhouses but the likely chance is that many of us won't. The closest we came to owning one was living next door to someone who worked for them.

Hartley Botanic greenhouses

Now, these may be costly greenhouses but let's face facts whilst we walk around them; these are bespoke, crafted greenhouses, top of the range and then some. These are award winning greenhouses and you can tell. They are the kind of greenhouses you walk into without banging your head and when you look up at the vaulted roof you just let out a sigh. There is a real skill, and dedication to craft and detail here, not seen since the great glasshouses of the Victorian period and much of the design here owes a debt of gratitude to those earlier glasshouses but there are modern twists that aid the greenhouse to keep cool on the hottest days. These are simply, pleasure domes within the garden; practical, beautiful and desirable. It's hard to leave Harley Botanic's stand at the RHS Tatton Flowershow but it's a delight to talk to them. They are welcoming, delighted to know we are from their neck of the woods and they've heard of us - no need to explain why it is called Pig Row and likewise they don't have to explain where Saddleworth is to me. These are manufacturers who are passionate about their product, know that it is one-off, bespoke and built for your garden and friendly to boot. Putting it all into perspective though: How many of us have complained about off the peg greenhouses? Greenhouses that fall over at the first gasp of wind. Greenhouses that say one size and come smaller, larger or missing parts? We have all been there on our allotments and in our gardens but these greenhouses, these glasshouses are in another league and more importantly the team build them for you. These are glasshouses that last a lifetime, so to the price to the Victorian villa we fall in love with, £18,000 but let's put that into perspective, an off the peg greenhouse of the same size would be around £2,500 - £4,000 and has a guarantee of 5-10 years. Now, if only we had a spare £18,000 for the one we fell in love with. We can dream.

Dreams of greenhouses

From Victorian splendor to RHS endorsed greenhouses from Gabriel Ash which form part of one of the show gardens this year in Lilly Gomm's Italianate styled garden Gabriel Ash Greenhouse Garden. We're not sure what we are love with here, the greenhouse or the pond, or even the planting, but the dominating wooden structure is breathtaking.

Gabriel Ash greenhouses

Again we see real pride in craftmanship here and as we wander though them we can't help feeling a little green with envy but out of the two it is Hartley Botanic calling us back to our dreams of a Victorian walled garden.

Gabriel Ash

We wonder if in time, if we scrape all our pennies together whether we could achieve that stately home, double ridged, walled garden look in our garden minus the walls and probably the greenhouses and the stately home. We can all dream.

We'd like to point out that this isn't a paid post. These are our views of two wonderful and different products. We can dream and sometimes we like to share those dreams.

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