It is a little known and curious fact that greenhouses originate from all the way back to the 13th century. First used by Italian explorers to bring back exotic plants, the craze soon spread through to the Netherlands and the rest of Europe before eventually finding its way to England.
Today, we largely think of greenhouses as a British interest and rightly so. Throughout our recent history whenever we think of greenhouses, we tend to imagine of our parents or grandparents tilling away at the soil or listening to the radio on a hot summer’s afternoon. In fact one of the largest and oldest greenhouses in Britain dates back from 1844; known as Palm House, the glasshouse is one of the most important surviving glass and iron structures from the Victorian age and has since been made a world heritage site.
Besides the grand and the exceptional, greenhouses are revered throughout the United Kingdom not for their grandeur, but the fact that they are so accessible for the everyday working man. Throughout the forties and thereafter, Britain enjoyed a revolution in home grown vegetables and plants. Although the reasons for this were less than appealing, the passion for all things that grow has rarely abated and as we move into yet another summer, the time to buy a greenhouse has never been better.
But what are the benefits of buying your own greenhouse? Not only do they provide a respite and place of shelter from the maelstrom of everyday life, they are also a great and welcoming hobby to carry you through warm weekends and glorious summers.
Greenhouses can last for generations (one greenhouse by Hartley Botanic still stands just over fifty years having been installed in the early 1960s), so are an excellen investment for not only yourself but also your family and the environment. Greenhouses are an excellent place to teach children about how the world works and why things grow. As they have a natural hunger for all things living, you could find yourself starting off a lifelong interest and hobby for not only yourself, but also the people who you introduce into your greenhouse.
As any gardener knows, no one can control mother nature, with changing seasons, surprise droughts and unwelcome pests and disturbances, only greenhouses offer you the opportunity to curb every one of these hindrances. However, if you’re new to gardening and are not quite the Bob Flowerdew of the gardening world, it may be an idea to start out with a mini greenhouse. Mini greenhouses, or patio greenhouses as they are sometimes known, are excellent devices to test yourself out on whether you have the patience and eye for greenhouse gardening. The great news is that they are relatively cheap, and when you decide to upgrade to a full garden greenhouse, they can be easily sold or lent to family and friends who may be thinking of starting their own greenhouse.
Now that you’ve got yourself your brand new greenhouse and you’re raring to go, besides plants and vegetables, what else can go in it? Throughout the greenhouse world there are various accessories and gadgets that are essential for any blossoming gardener. Greenhouse heaters are essential for those warm weather plants or when you a wanting to maintain the heat of summer all year around. Often available from 1kW to 4Kw, they are brilliant devices for stimulating that warm summer sun, even after the last leaves have fallen.
You may be also interested to know that within your greenhouse, you could also store an underground water tank that is perfect for those days when the weather is too cold (or hot), and you can’t be bothered walking or driving in the car to the nearest tap. Of course, some areas of southern England have a tendency to suffer from the harshest of droughts during summer, which makes underground water tanks perfect for those hot summer months. Not only do they make ease your time in the greenhouse, but they also offer spectacular peace of mind; ensuring you a water system all year long.
Besides the two accessories covered, there is a whole range of exciting gadgets that you may wish to introduce yourself to such as vent, opening leavers, grow lights and roller shades which are available from some of the best green house manufacturers.
About the Author
This guest article was written by Clive Woods. When Clive’s not in the garden he’s pottering around in the greenhouse. Since he has retired from teaching he has taken up gardening as a vocation. He is an active member of the Aireborough Civic Society campaigning for better urban planning and the preservation of green belt land.