Spring Greenhouse refresh

Hartley Botanic reveals the best ways to upgrade and refresh your Greenhouse space this spring.


Luxury Glasshouse and Greenhouse manufacturer Hartley Botanic is the authority on the world’s most desirable Glasshouses. When it comes to craftsmanship and structural integrity, a Hartley Botanic Glasshouse is the ‘finest money can buy,’ and that’s not to mention the beauty and elegance of its incomparable range of structures. With customers around the world, and leading horticulture organisations, institutions and designers choosing a Hartley Botanic, they are also an authority on how best to style, organise and refresh your Glasshouse this spring – to truly enjoy its potential. 

1A Hartley Botanic Victorian Lodge in the Czech Republic

  Hartley Botanic Victorian Lodge in the Czech Republic 


Create a ‘lifestyle’ area

A Hartley Botanic greenhouse, bespoke lean-to in North Yorkshire with a relaxing space for entertainingA Hartley Botanic bespoke lean-to in North Yorkshire with a relaxing space for entertaining

Hartley Botanic’s Greenhouses and Glasshouses are primarily used for growing – whether that’s edibles or exotic, or ornamental plants. However, the timeless beauty of a handmade Glasshouse can also add another dimension to the enjoyment of our gardens. A Glasshouse can be used as a multi-functional space, allowing us to stay outdoors and amongst our plants for longer - whether that’s enjoying a cup of tea while listening to the rain patter against the roof, or making use of it as an alfresco space in the warmer summer months.

There are many stylish ways to extend time spent in your Glasshouse or Greenhouse. Use internal partitions to separate growing areas from spaces you can use for relaxing. Think about the activities you could do to make the best use of any lifestyle space, whether dressing a table for al fresco entertaining, pursuing a hobby like painting or just creating a new ‘under glass’ area to enjoy with friends. Introducing home conveniences, such as an eco-wood burner, is also great way to warm spring and autumn evenings and provide an additional heat source for tender plants.

A Hartley Botanic Opus Grand Botanic Glasshouse showing how partitions can separate out relaxing lifestyle areas. RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021

A Hartley Botanic Opus Grand Botanic Glasshouse showing how partitions can separate

out relaxing lifestyle areas. RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021 

Invest in beautiful organisational accessories

There are many organisational accessories that can help you make the best use of your Glasshouse space inside, using a mix of shelving, staging and partitions – these also have the benefit of looking very attractive. Hartley Botanic offers aluminium staging options (including ornate designs) that can be powder-coated in a colour to match or contrast against your Greenhouse, providing elegant coherence.

Staging: To grow and appreciate most Greenhouse plants they need to be displayed on staging, set at around table height. Hartley Botanic staging is made of durable alloy slats secured by spacers. Pots can be stood on these, or alternatively shallow trays filled with a layer of grit or gravel can be used if this is kept moist a more plant-friendly habitat can be maintained. Gravel trays can be used in automated watering systems, reducing the rate at which pots dry out in summer.

Shelves: Shelves make more efficient use of space by occupying higher parts of your Greenhouse. This is particularly useful for trailing and smaller plants. Shelving also improves the appearance and visual impact of the Greenhouse by creating elevated displays of ornamental plants.

Potting bench & compost store: You may wish to consider setting aside an area of staging for a potting bench, or to store items of equipment or compost in a waterproof locker or cupboard beneath to help keep the Glasshouse tidy.

Partitions: Partitions, which are internal glass walls, could also be used in the layout to provide a stylish way to separate your Greenhouse into different zones. They will also allow you to create variations in climate for different plant groupings more easily.

Create different growing zones

The layout of plants within a Glasshouse or Greenhouse can be organised so as to provide optimum growing conditions at the same time as allowing gardeners to get maximum benefit and enjoyment.

A beautifully organised Hartley Botanic Victorian Chelsea Glasshouse with matching aluminium staging, shelving, growing beds and a potting bench

A beautifully organised Hartley Botanic Victorian Chelsea Glasshouse

with matching aluminium staging, shelving, growing beds and a potting bench 

Using different levels of shelving works well both practically and visually. Lower benches are useful for plants that are ‘resting,’ such as corms like Cyclamen and tubers like Achimenes (hot water plants.) Top shelf staging is ideal for orchids as this can mimic their natural environment well, as they grow in trees. Different levels of staging are also pleasing to the eye, can be powder-coated to match the Glasshouse and means favourite plants can be displayed at bench-height.

Integrated aluminium cold-frames and growing beds provide further flexibility to develop separate growing conditions for different plant types. Cold-frames can also provide the perfect interim environment for efficient ‘hardening off’ of Greenhouse-grown plants.

If you plan to grow food crops, cut flowers or anything else in quantity, you will probably want to set up some Greenhouse beds. A Greenhouse built on a brick foundation, with natural soil as its floor will have the advantage of ready-made growing facilities which can be incorporated at the installation stage. If the building rests on a concrete base, raised beds can be built or growing bags used for crops and plants.

Fill your Glasshouse with scent

A Hartley Botanic Victorian Terrace Glasshouse incorporating an alfresco dining area, a wood burning stove and fragrant rambling rose. RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 2019

A Hartley Botanic Victorian Terrace Glasshouse incorporating an alfresco dining area,

a wood burning stove and fragrant rambling rose. RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 2019 

Many fragrant herbs can be easily grown in a Greenhouse which adds a special sensory dimension. Lavender to help you relax and sleep. Camomile for anti-anxiety or Echinacea, supposed to boost the immune system, a perennial plant. Growing herbs is also a great way to take advantage of the Glasshouse all year round, and especially as a shelter from the winter frost. Herbs which are popularly used in cooking, such as Thyme, often have varieties from warmer climates such as the Mediterranean which mean they suit a Greenhouse well as they are not completely hardy. Many herbs are ideal for growing in containers and can be kept by the door of your Greenhouse for ease of picking and so you can appreciate the scent they release when touched. In their 2020 RHS Chelsea Glasshouse, Hartley Botanic used Rosa Rambling Rector to provide a fragrant backdrop.

Give your Glasshouse a thorough ‘spring clean’

There are five key, important jobs to do when it comes to spring cleaning your Glasshouse:

1.      Clean frame and glass - both inside and outside

2.      Clean and disinfect the interior - including all benches, shelves and equipment

3.      Check and clean out gutters and down pipes

4.      Clean the floor

5.      Check the operation of vents

Clean the windows of your Greenhouse inside and out, and its doors and partitions (if you have them), not forgetting to pay attention to the individual frames and surrounds. A Hartley Botanic Greenhouse does not require a specialist cleaning solution. The glass and aluminium can be easily cleaned using hot water and a diluted household detergent, rinsing the glass with distilled water to reduce smears. A flexible scraper such as a plastic plant label is handy to remove any dirt build-up around the edge of windows. Check your gutters are clear of leaves and clean down pipes. Scoop leaves out with your hands and flush debris away with a hosepipe or watering can. While protecting and removing any delicate plants, clean the floor of your Greenhouse and disinfect all benches, shelving, and equipment – this will help to control pests and diseases. Warm soapy water and a sponge works best when cleaning blinds, but make sure they are in-situ while you clean. Otherwise you may struggle to refit them - and they will dry quicker while extended in the Greenhouse. Lastly, check the operation of your roof and side vents so they are ready for use in the coming spring and summer months. 

All Hartley Botanic’s Glasshouses and Greenhouses are handmade, bespoke and made to order. Customers interested in purchasing a Hartley Botanic Greenhouse should visit: http://www.hartley-botanic.co.uk or call 01457 819 155 for more information. 

During the winter months, Hartley Botanic is offering £50 off all new Greenhouse and Glasshouse orders, simply quote ‘50Winter’ to access the discount by the end of March 2023.

‘Why Hartley?’ – What makes a Hartley Botanic the finest Glasshouse money can buy 

Unrivalled. Unparalleled. Unique. There are Glasshouses and there are Hartley Botanic Glasshouses. Combining inspired design with enduring quality, nothing quite enhances your garden and home like a Hartley Botanic; each one beautifully handmade to last a lifetime. 

Why Hartley? 

At Hartley Botanic we have had a continuous conversation with our customers over many years. We have collected their comments so as to let you know what our customers say about us, and just why they have chosen a Hartley Botanic Glasshouse. 

1.      Beauty and Elegance 

The incomparable range of simply beautiful and elegant structures means Hartley Botanic can create designs that are distinctive and unique. The Victorian, Heritage and Modern Glasshouse ranges, are so comprehensive you don’t have to go anywhere else to find your beautifully crafted, high-quality Glasshouses from the widest of choices.  

2.      Structurally Superior 

Every Hartley Botanic Glasshouse is handmade in the North of England to your exact requirements. It is made of the finest materials with unparalleled durability, safety, and beauty. All of the aluminium sections have a structural purpose. Short cuts, such as ‘sticking’ aluminium to glass for aesthetic reasons, are never taken. Hartley Botanic are so confident of the structural integrity of their Greenhouses; a 30-year Lifetime Guarantee is offered. 

3.      A reputation Beyond Compare 

Hartley Botanic’s brand heritage and reputation have been built on trust for over 80 years. They have earned an unrivalled reputation for crafting the finest Glasshouses and Greenhouses money can buy through the very highest standards of hard-won experience, craftsmanship and service. 

4.      Unrivalled Knowledge and Expertise 

There is a wealth of knowledge and expertise built into every Hartley Botanic Glasshouse. Generations of customers have put their trust in the hands of expert, time served, highly skilled craftsmen. Glasshouses of distinction are created from decades of knowledge and care. 

5.      Exceptional Delivery of Service 

Once your order has been handmade to your personal requirements, and Hartley Botanic’s exacting standards, your delivery and installation will be exceptional. The proud team at Hartley Botanic are there to ensure the process runs smoothly, providing you with the information you need and keeping you up to date throughout.