15th January 2020 • General • Daniel Carruthers
It’s true to say that most gardens in the UK are long and thin. These lend themselves well to traditional greenhouses that have a door in the gable. Longer gardens can accommodate longer greenhouses. But if you are lucky enough to have a wide garden the options are greater. You could for example opt for a greenhouse with a porch which allows access to the structure from the side. Such greenhouses are generally ornate in nature, commonly Victorian, and occupy a position in the garden of focal interest. As you might expect such greenhouses are more expensive than the more traditional type but exactly how much do such greenhouses cost ? These greenhouse are often custom made but a number of suppliers have these in their range so we thought it would be helpful to compare similar size models from Britain’s most popular suppliers.
The latest company to be offering a greenhouse with a porch is Cultivar. Available in a range of sizes their most attractive greenhouse (as pictured) measures 10’ 7” (3218mm) by 18’ (5492mm). Accessed from the side through a generous porch this Victorian Greenhouse is available to go on a dwarf wall or with Accoya boarding. The Accoya boarding solution simplifies the base construction, in this instance all that is required is a flat level base. Generally speaking and in every instance herein the cost for preparing the base is down to the customer and is in addition to the greenhouse price. You should bare this in mind when setting a budget for the greenhouse. So coming back to the point a flat level base will be simpler and less costly than constructing a brick wall on which to mount the greenhouse. The above cultivar greenhouse comes as standard with 4mm toughened safety glass, full length automated ridge ventilation which works in conjunction with low level vents running down the length of the structure. It also has manual vents running the full width of each gable, that’s a lot of ventilation which will make for a healthy growing environment. Staging, shelving and shading is optional so this has not been included in the price. At the time of writing (January 2020) the above model costs in the region of £16,904. The dwarf wall model will be cheaper but you need factor in the additional cost of constructing the wall. This cost includes VAT, delivery and installation on a base they ask you to prepare. If you’re in a position to get to the garden shows to buy your greenhouse then you may well benefit from an offer such as free fitting which will bring this price down. Interestingly they offer a modern version which has less of the fancy trimmings but the same facilities as the Victorian greenhouse and as you might expect this is a little cheaper.
The Hartley Botanic porch range is not available with a boarded base option so you will need to budget more for the base construction on this range. We opted for a similar size to the cultivar greenhouse and this model measures 11’ (3366mm) by 19’ 1” (5860mm). Like the others this greenhouse is accessed from the side through the porch. With most of these companies there seems to be a sale price and a list price but offers seem commonplace so we’re using the sale price in each instant in order to draw a fair comparison. The show offer price for this model as taken in May 2019 is in the order of £21,000. This cost includes VAT, delivery and fitting on a base they ask you to prepare. Bare in mind that constructing a dwarf wall will add significantly to this cost.
Perhaps more eye watering than Hartley the price of the range of models from Alitex is not for the faint of heart. The smallest and most basic model with a porch measures approximately 2600 x 4000mm and starts from £16,000. The next size up which is smaller than the greenhouses offered by Cultivar and Hartley is 2900 x 5100mm and as a basic model comes in at £21,450. As with the models from Hartley Botanic you will need to cost in the construction of the dwarf wall.
The Grand Portico from Gabriel Ash measures 3512mm x 6060mm and can usually be purchased as a show offer for a little under £20,000 which is a little cheaper than similar size models from both Hartley and Alitex. Although cedar greenhouses will perhaps not last as long as the Accoya Greenhouse from Cultivar these models come with the option of a wooden base so there is a potential cost and time saving since you will not have to build a dwarf wall.
So now you have an idea of the cost of these luxury greenhouses from some of Britain’s best suppliers you have to make up your mind which greenhouse works for you. My advice would be to get to one of the garden shows, like Hampton Court, where you will see up close the build quality, features and merits of each greenhouse and perhaps even haggle a little on price. I cannot recommend the Chelsea Flower Show on the basis that space is limited so there is not the selection of greenhouses there that you might get at some of the other larger shows like Hampton Court.