Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts




Top left to right: Bespoke Glasshouse – Forest Side Hotel & Restaurant Cumbria, Bespoke lean-to with wider glass panes – Wiltshire / Bottom left to right: Lodge Glasshouse – Dorset, The Grange Greenhouse– RHS Chatsworth Flower Show

Imagine being able to access an abundance of absolutely delicious vegetables and fruit every time you step into your garden? Thanks to our British climate, this wouldn’t be consistently possible for those growing outdoors, but for those who own a Hartley Botanic Glasshouse or Greenhouse a constant supply of home-grown, fresh produce is achievable.


Historic Glasshouse and Greenhouse manufacturer Hartley Botanic has a reputation beyond compare in the horticultural world. They have been making their beautiful and elegant handmade, made-to-order horticultural buildings for over 80 years from their original factory at the base of the dramatic Pennines’ Chew Valley in Greenfield, Lancashire. They have unrivalled knowledge and expertise and are an authority on both Greenhouse growing and Greenhouse ownership.  Amongst their customers, a desire to ‘grow their own’ is always a leading motivation when it comes to Greenhouse ownership but Hartley Botanic has seen this become even more relevant in recent years, thanks to veg-based diets and an increasing desire to be self-sufficient.


Aside from trend-led influences, the improvement in taste and quality of fruit and vegetables when you grow your own is well-known and has recently been taken up by hoteliers keen to upgrade further their dining offer. Both Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire and the Forest Side Hotel & Restaurant in the Lake District own Hartley Botanic Glasshouses to provide their chefs with the very freshest and most delicious ingredients.


To help you understand what all the fuss is about, Hartley Botanic provides a taste of just some of the edibles that can be grown in a Greenhouse.


Huge variety of edibles

Probably one of the most common things grown in British Greenhouses every summer is a superabundance of incredibly tasty tomatoes. But there is a vast variety of other easily cultivated edibles to grow. From off-season lettuces to big, ripe aubergines; from hot little chillies to heavy bunches of big, golden muscat grapes, a Greenhouse can be a reliable source, not just of home-grown food, but of the choicest, tastiest and most sought-after luxuries.


A Greenhouse is the stepping off point for outdoor vegetable production. As well as raising tender crops including courgettes and outdoor cucumbers, you can kick-start runner beans, brassicas and even such root crops as carrots and beets. And you can use a little spare space to ‘chit’ seed potatoes, i.e. expose them to light and warmth to encourage their shoots to begin growth prior to planting. A wide range of tender vegetables can be raised in your Greenhouse. Your difficult decision will not be what to grow, but what to leave out, since space is always limited, and you’ll have some hard choices to make.


Year-round production and supply

Your Greenhouse will enable you to be significantly more productive in your growing year, than if you were purely growing outdoors, especially if you know the right growing techniques. For example, with strawberries, if you use specially designed containers with planting pockets down their sides the plants could produce fruit in May and again in November. Summer broccoli, sown in January, may be in production by late June and, if you sow your first runner beans in February under glass and plant them out in May, they’ll crop from late June to September. With tomatoes, even with modest croppers, if you grow your plants well, you’ll always have surplus and nothing tastes quite so delicious as a fresh-picked home-grown variety.


Winter greens and salad

Out-of-season food is something supermarkets have helped us to become accustomed to, and with a Greenhouse you will be surprised and delighted at what can be grown. On Greenhouse beds, after the tomato crop for example, you could grow pak choi or other Chinese greens. They mature fast and if seed is sown in cell trays in August and the crop planted out in early September you should have succulent, leaves and stems by late October. Lettuce or rocket also grows speedily in autumn and winter, but will be less dense and more drawn up or ‘leggy’ than if started in spring or summer. Salad crops such as lettuce can be grown in large pots or growing-bags if there is no border soil. Most seed companies also produce mixes of ‘cut and come again’ salad greens. These can be harvested a little at a time, and if sown at regular intervals, will produce greenery all year round.



While many herbs are hardy and grown in the open garden, some herbs from subtropical regions perform more reliably in the warmer, more humid conditions of a Greenhouse. Many others, such as sage, rosemary and thyme can also be grown in pots in a frost-free Greenhouse over winter to provide you with a continuous supply of aromatic leaves. Basils, of which there are more than 30 different types listed for sale in the UK, revel in warm conditions and have a range of distinctive flavours from aniseed to citrus and are used in a wide range of dishes. The additional warmth of a Greenhouse will also help stimulate the production of the aromatic oils that make the taste of basil so distinctive. They are easily raised from seed or cuttings. You can also experiment and raise your own lemon grass, root ginger, galangal or cardamom. All are easily grown from root divisions, which you can get from specialist greengrocers.


Fruit production

In the day of the great Victorian estates, Glasshouses were used to produce all manner of off-season and exotic fruits, from figs, peaches and apricots to bunches of big, luscious grapes and even pineapples. Even if you don’t have a vast, stately Glasshouse, you can still produce a whole range of delicious fresh fruit crops.


Grapes – The quality of grapes grown under glass in Britain is greatly superior to any harvested outdoors. Extra close attention given to your vine will reward you with superb grapes on large, well-shaped bunches. Ideally, the vine rootstock is planted outside, with the main stem fed through into the Greenhouse. This enables the roots to quest for nutrients and water over a wider area while the remainder of the plant is cosily inside where the ripening fruit benefits from the longer, warmer growing season. But vines grown completely within a Greenhouse will grow almost as well and you can even take modest crops from vines grown in large pots.


Wall fruits – In lean-to Greenhouses, provided their high back wall receives enough sun, fruit trees – usually fan-trained – will be amazingly productive. Peaches, nectarines, apricots and figs are the best ones to try if you have the wall area. In limited space, dwarf trees can be grown in large pots to produce more modest crops. In summer, such little trees can be lined up or arranged outside.


Citrus – Producing your own crops of lemons, kumquats or calamondin oranges is a real possibility under glass, but the sweet-scented flowers on these evergreen trees and shrubs are reward enough. Grow lemon ‘Verna’, lemon/ orange hybrid ‘Meyer’ or calamondin orange in pots, with a minimum winter temperature of 5°C.


For more Greenhouse gardening help and advice, Hartley Botanic’s online magazine offers a wealth of information and the manufacturer’s ‘Hartley’s Owner’s Guide to Greenhouse Gardening’ is very comprehensive and can be downloaded free of charge here:  https://hartley-botanic.co.uk/guides/hartley-owners-guide-greenhouse-gardening/


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.


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‘Why Hartley?’

Unrivalled. Unparalleled. Unique. There are Glasshouses, and there are Hartley Botanic Glasshouses. Combining inspired design with enduring quality, nothing quite enhances your garden like a Hartley Botanic. The manufacturer prides itself on five key pillars of service which sets it apart:


  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, means customers don’t have to go anywhere else to find the widest range of beautifully crafted, high-quality Glasshouses.


  1. Structurally superior

Every Hartley Botanic Glasshouse is handmade in the North of England to customers’ exact requirements. They are made of the finest materials with unparalleled durability, safety and beauty. All of their sections have a structural purpose. They never take short cuts by ‘sticking’ aluminium to glass for aesthetic reasons. They are so confident of the structural integrity of their Greenhouses; they offer a 30 year Lifetime Guarantee.


  1. A reputation beyond compare

Hartley Botanic’s brand heritage and reputation has been built on trust for over 80 years. Hartley Botanic has 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.


  1. Unrivalled knowledge and expertise

With a wealth of knowledge and expertise built into every Hartley Botanic Glasshouse, generations of customers have put their trust in the hands of the manufacturer’s expert, time served, highly skilled craftsmen. Hartley Botanic creates Glasshouses of distinction from decades of knowledge and care.


  1. Exceptional delivery of service

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


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Notes to Editors:

For press enquiries please contact:

The Hartley Botanic team at WADE PR

on: [email protected]

or call: 0797 067 9437 (Caroline)


About Hartley Botanic


Hartley Botanic is an English Glasshouse and Greenhouse manufacturer based in Greenfield, Lancashire. The company was founded in 1938 by brothers Vincent (RHS fellow) and Norman Hartley following their groundbreaking aluminium Greenhouse design, the first time (to our knowledge) aluminium had been used in Greenhouse construction and marking a huge improvement on its wood and wrought iron Victorian forerunners. Today, Hartley Botanic’s reputation has been built on over 80 years of English craftsmanship, creating Glasshouse and Greenhouse structures known for their enduring strength, quality and performance. It is the Greenhouse manufacturer of choice for leading horticulture organisations, institutions and designers in the UK and worldwide with Hartley Botanic commissioned by the RHS, the National Trust, Kew Gardens, Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Oxford Botanical Gardens, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Blenheim Palace, The Lingholm Estate and Hampton Court Palace…to name a few. In February 2017 Hartley Botanic became the only aluminium Glasshouse and Greenhouse manufacturer to be endorsed by the RHS.


Company approach

Hartley Botanic combines modern advances in design, engineering and technology with old fashioned values and techniques which enhance its products and customer experience. Despite using cutting-edge machinery in its Greenfield factory all Hartley Botanic Greenhouses are still ‘handmade,’ being assembled entirely by hand with precision parts still being made using traditional, hand-operated equipment. The customer service experience is also both hands-on and highly personal with Hartley Botanic providing 360 degree support, from the Greenhouse design phase through to installation. Vincent and Norman Hartley’s vision in 1938 of lasting quality and ambition in making the finest Greenhouses money can buy remain key pillars for the company. Customers purchasing a Hartley Botanic Glasshouse or Greenhouse are making an investment which will stand the test of time, span generations and be robust enough to travel well.



Greenhouse products

Hartley Botanic’s Glasshouse and Greenhouses are all made to order and range from small patio models to imposing Glasshouses. Designs are available from 3 product ranges (Victorian, Heritage and Modern) with all models available in a variety of colours and sizes, along with options for ‘glass to ground’ installation, free-standing or lean-to and internal glazed partitions. Standard for every Hartley Botanic Glasshouse and Greenhouse are:


– 30 year ‘lifetime’ guarantee which covers both the structure and installation*

– Bespoke solutions to suit particular horticultural requirements

– Full installation service or choice of self-assembly for select designs

– Polyester powder coated paint finish

– Top hung opening lights for advanced, efficient ventilation*

– Single glazing in BS6206 tempered safety glass

– Glazing in individual frames

– No glass to glass or glass to metal contact in glazing

– Unique clear span roof design (no internal support to impede space)*

*not relevant to the Patio Greenhouse


Accolades and awards

In 2017 Hartley Botanic’s entire product range was endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS.)

The manufacturer’s RHS Flower Show tradestands are award winning, year after year:

  • RHS Chelsea Flower Show – Awarded the Director General’s Linley award for the last two years (including in its inaugural year), awarded 5 Stars or the Silver Gilt Show Garden award every year since 2014, awarded Best Tradestand in 2014
  • RHS Hampton Court Flower Show – Awarded 5 Stars in 2018
  • RHS Chatsworth Flower Show – Awarded 5 Stars since the show’s inauguration in 2017
  • RHS Tatton Park Flower Show – Awarded 5 Stars in 2018