Hartley Magazine

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



Villa Derbyshire
Hartley Botanic Victorian Villa Greenhouse – Derbyshire

Historic Greenhouse and Glasshouse manufacturer Hartley Botanic has been helping its customers make the most out of their beautiful, handmade structures for over 80 years. Founded in 1938, the company is one of Britain’s oldest and most trusted Greenhouse manufacturers and its entire product range is endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society. Here, the Lancashire-based company shares some ways Greenhouse owners can minimise their heating use over the winter months.


It is not possible to make a cold Greenhouse completely safe from freezing if outside temperatures full substantially below 0 degrees centigrade – tender plants will be at risk. As a rule of thumb, you can expect the difference between the minimum outdoor temperature and that within an average cold greenhouse to be approximately 2ºC. Each degree of temperature near freezing is critical for plants, but good management will help and it needn’t be costly – to you or the environment.


Keeping potted plants drier will protect roots, enhancing winter hardiness. Select plants for over wintering carefully, growing only (or grouping) those of similar temperature requirements. At the very least, invest in a propagator with electric bottom heat if you don’t have one already (those with thermostatic settings will give better temperature control.) Even if you provide no other heat source, this will help keep vulnerable plants frost-free.


You can reduce heat-loss by installing winter insulation over glazed areas. The most effective method is to use bubble wrap polythene, cut to size and fixed on the inside of the Greenhouse, close to the glass. This is a fiddly task, since the material has to be cut to fit, and it may take more than one person to install the insulation. Furthermore, the insulation is best occasionally removed during the warmer months to admit more light and to facilitate cleaning. Suppliers of greenhouse accessories will stock clips designed to fix the insulating material to the glazing bars. You’ll need a pair of large of sharp scissors to cut the polythene to shape.

Partial insulation is also possible. If you wish to protect plants in part of the house, but don’t want the arduous task of cladding the whole interior with bubble-wrap, section off part of the structure. You can separate it from the remainder with a polythene sheet, or a bubble-wrap curtain, and put vulnerable treasures inside the enclosure.


Greenhouse heating systems range from providing background warmth against frost to constant heating. Remember that each degree rise in ambient temperature carries additional cost and with global concern about carbon footprint it makes sense to use as little artificial heat as possible. Here are some ways you can keep your heating use to a minimum:


In a Hartley Botanic Wisley 8, six pane greenhouse, a 2.5 kilowatt electric fan heater can be set low, so that heat comes on only when the temperature falls dangerously low. You will need to take a few days to work out the ideal setting on the dial of the heater and to match this with overnight minimum temperature. To do this you will need a reliable ‘max and min’ thermometer placed among plants on the staging or fixed about a metre above the ground, well away from the heater.


A night minimum of 4º or 5ºC is a safe temperature to maintain if you want to be safely buffered against severe snap frosts. If you want to run your heating on a tight budget, have horticultural fleece available to spread over vulnerable plants during excessively cold spells.


One of the most economical heating systems is simply to warm soil, either in a bed, or propagation bench. Soil-warming cable provides heat where it is most needed, at the roots, so even if top-growth is cold-damaged, the roots will survive. Cable is safe and easy to install and, with a thermostat, lets you control soil temperature more accurately. It is particularly useful for protecting young plants in cold times of the year. Its performance depends on the cable type, prevailing temperatures and how the system is installed, e.g. a 6m cable consumes 75 watts and correctly installed will sustain temperatures between 15°C and 25°C per square metre of covered bench. Cover plants with fleece or a canopy of translucent sheeting to retain heat.

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/


Why Hartley Botanic?

What makes Hartley Botanic Glasshouses the finest money can buy?

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

2/ 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 Lifetime Guarantee.

3/ 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.

4/ 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.

5/ 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.

All Hartley Botanic’s Greenhouses and Glasshouses 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.

– Ends –

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 Greenhouse and Glasshouse 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 Greenhouse and Glasshouse 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 ‘Hartleys’ 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 Greenhouse and Glasshouse 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 Greenhouse or Glasshouse 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 Greenhouses and Glasshouses 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 Greenhouse and Glasshouse 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 Tradestand for the last two years, 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