I wrote recently about my decision to get a glasshouse. My main challenge was deciding which model greenhouse to get. That was partially decided for me when I spoke to the main Irish agent for one of the more popular brands of greenhouse. You can “want” model X all you like, but if it’s not going to be available for 6+ months then you’re going to have to choose a different model. That’s not really a problem anyway as once you start digging into the designs there aren’t huge differences between them. Sure, budget definitely comes into play, with prices ranging from a few hundred Euro up to a hefty 5 figures for some of the more elaborate models with brick and wood. After a long and very helpful conversation with one of the guys in A1 Greenhouses I had a much better idea of my options. My choices were reduced down to a handful of models and eventually after mulling it over for a few days I decided on which one I wanted.
The model name of the greenhouse I chose doesn’t really matter. Companies give products silly names all the time.
But first, a linguistic interlude.
Cos I’m weird that way, I thought I’d delve into the the difference between “glasshouse” and “greenhouse”. There doesn’t seem to be much difference in meaning between the two words. Personally I’ve been using the words interchangeably but surely there was a difference in meaning between them?
According to the Collins Dictionary:
A greenhouse is a glass building in which you grow plants that need to be protected from bad weather.
Okay, so what about a “glasshouse”?
A glasshouse is a greenhouse, especially a large one which is used for the commercial production of fruit, flowers, or vegetables.
So the main difference is really size, though the Collins Dictionary lists glasshouse and greenhouse as being synonyms of each other. Help!
I thought I’d check how often the words were used, so enter Google trends:
So apart from Australia where they seem to use both words a LOT, most people in the English speaking world talk about greenhouses, not glasshouses.
Back to the greenhouse ..
So far I’ve only ordered the greenhouse. It’ll be several weeks or longer before it is delivered and assembled.
I chose to get a Vitavia Phoenix. (There’s no sign of any mystical birds or flames, so I’m not sure why they chose that name for it). Anyway it’ll be 8′ x 14′ (English company, so the dimensions are in feet!) which is the largest model they have. That gives a total growing area of about 11.5 m2. They come with roof vents and guttering. I’ve also ordered a couple of staging shelf type things that can go at the gable end for plants in pots or planters etc.,
I’ll need to get a concrete base of some kind put in before installation and I’m opting for a “picture frame”, so that I’ll be able to plant directly into the soil rather than having to rely on beds if I went with a completely solid concrete base.
The most logical position for the greenhouse is on the side of the garden that gets the most sunlight, so that means closest to the main road, which is the same side as the current position of the garden shed.
It’ll look something like this:
I’ve been reading up on what you can do with a greenhouse and what kind of plants you can grow in one, so I definitely have options. What could be interesting to explore is extending the growing season. I’ve also been looking into the myriad of accessories you can get for a greenhouse. Ultimately if I’m able to grow some of my own vegetables, herbs and fruit it’ll be quite satisfying. Who knows where it’ll lead!
With a bit of luck the weather will improve and we’ll all be able to spend more time in our gardens – it’s not like we’ll be getting to see much else for the next while!