We use cookies on this website. To use the website as intended please accept cookies.

Wednesday September 22 , 2021

Blue Daisy Blog

Blue Daisy blog written by Nicki Jackson & Jules Clark - for news, views, garden design, gardening and plant observations and thoughts.

Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Glasshouse

Great British Garden Revival - Episode 6

Posted by on in News & Views

Diarmuid Gavin - Glasshouses 

kew-glasshouseOur love of glasshouses began in the 17th century as exotic foods such as citrus fruits were brought back by explorers and plant hunters.  They used purpose-built cloches which created miniature environments allowing the plants to survive the journey.  It was the Victorians who began to collect, cultivate and master nature and built the glasshouse at Kew containing the most expensive and expansive collection of plants.  It was the ultimate in horticultural bling!

Diarmuid visited the Botanical Garden of Wales which is set in 560 acres, has over 8000 plant species and has the largest single span glass house in the world, filled with all manner of exotic species.    He also visited a very important historical Victorian Glasshouse at Wentworth Castle in Barnsley which fell into disrepair and through fundraising, has been restored to its former glory.  It was one of the most important glasshouses of its day and is said to have had electric lighting before the Royal family did!  It is now a temperate glasshouse and showcases plants from 5 different continents. 

Having a greenhouse or glass house can extend the type of plants we can grow in our gardens and homes rather than having to grow the same types of vegetables and plants every year.  If you are considering buying a greenhouse it’s advisable to:

  • Buy the biggest possible that you can afford or fit into the available space because when you start growing, you’ll want so much more space!  
  • Have shelves or workbenches on one side so that you have somewhere to work and a place to store newly filled seed trays and plant pots.  
  • Have a border on the other side of the greenhouse so that you can plant straight in the ground with the added benefit of protection from the elements.   
  • A lean-to type structure is smaller but is cheaper to buy and holds the heat better.  
  • A greenhouse needs to have plenty of light and be positioned in a sheltered place with access all the way round to clean and repair.  
  • Many now come in polycarbonate but toughened glass is beneficial because if it breaks it doesn’t shatter and is therefore a safer option for children and animals. 
  • A wooden frame looks very traditional and natural whereas aluminium frames are maintenance free. 
  • In any greenhouse or glasshouse you need to ensure there is good air circulation and the ability to add heat either from a paraffin heater or if you are lucky and have an electric socket a plug-in heater. 

The type of plants you want to grow will determine the environment you require, either hot, humid and jungle-like or warm, dry and sunny.  A temperate house has lots of light and often made from glass, is kept free from frost and well ventilated.   If you opt for a tropical house with a jungle display it will need to be humid and kept moist by regularly damping down.  You will also need to train and keep on top of climbing plants so they don’t begin to swamp others out. 

If you don’t have space for a greenhouse you could consider cold frames or small Edwardian glass cases, dishes or bottles.  If you opt for the latter, you could grow a range of plants for example carnivorous plants which will keep children entertained!  Cold frames are often used to warm the soil and/or protect seedlings so that by planting earlier, you can get ahead of the typical growing season.  

Regardless of what type of environment you create, you can be sure that it will begin a lifetime of gardening passion and interest that has captivated people for centuries. 


Matt James - Shrubs

shrubsMatt is passionate about shrubs.  They are the unsung heroes in gardens.  They provide privacy, fragrance, backdrop, colour, texture and structure.  From Magnolias through to the humble Cornus, they deliver by the bucket load and at the moment Matt believes they are ignored and under-loved.  He says every garden needs shrubs, they are a permanent fixture, bringing a sense of order and brightening up every season. If you’re still not convinced, they also offer cover, shelter and food to our native wildlife! 

Croome Park, designed by Capability Brown, is said to be one of the best 18th century designs and was very famous for its huge shrubberies. The shrubs were indeed the stars of the show because back then we had very little native flora that would impress so people travelled for miles to visit the vast collection.  Around the beginning of the 20th century, people began to develop a fear of shrubs thinking they were difficult to handle and were concerned about pruning them wrongly so they soon fell out of fashion.  As a result, Croome Park’s shrubberies fell into disrepair; the shrubs, trees and wildflower meadows were ploughed up and the land used for arable agriculture.  The National Trust took over in 1996 and using the extensive archived documents, surveys and maps, the team begun to replant trees and vast swathes of shrubberies and today the park has become popular once more.

Matt also visited the Harold Hillier Gardens in Hampshire which began as a small nursery in 1864 but is now famous for its extensive collection of plants and seasonal displays which include many shrubs as well as still being a thriving plant nursery.  

Shrubs are the backbone of any garden.  They create sustainable gardens, they are beautiful in their own right, they are not difficult to care for and are indeed the stars of the show.   If you are still in any doubt, have a read of a few of Nicki’s favourite shrubs for the garden here.


Hits: 4293 0 Comments

Blog Categories

Tag Cloud

HNC basil pollinating insects spring bulbs Ashwood Nurseries roof garden Rachel de Thame Decking Bamboo Achillea April garden Urban Heat Island Effect Highgrove drought topiary Moss Bank Park Joanna Lumley Chris Beardshaw surfaces gravel roof gardens sunflowers composting birch hard landscaping Charlie Dimmock garden design bulbs plant pots March garden garden focal points RHS Malvern sweat peas water butt structure summer garden Herb garden Sophie Raworth Geranium kitchen garden watering can paving May garden Seed sowing garden room Shrubs Greenhouse herbs Blue Daisy Crocus Perennial build scented shrubs legacy gift Hosta Trees recycled materials form water patio pond Daffodils Jekka McVicar Lawrence Johnston reclaimed materials grow your own Alan Titchmarsh Wildflowers wild flowers Stoneleigh Spring shrubs timber kerb-side appeal hydroponic Events & Shows Cloches London James Wong Fleece wildlife contemporary cottage gardens Futurescape Mrs Loudon Wisley repetition lawn care heatwave grey water garden advice at home Birmingham Library Winter shrubs Berberis Nicki Jackson Hidcote Kelmarsh Hall movement in the garden doddington hall career in horticulture garden spring garden herbaceous borders productive garden garden design trends Glasshouse Absorb pollution Chelsea Physic Garden house plants snow Joseph Banks Joe Swift RHS Chelsea Ilex Malvern Spring Show Carol Klein New York Highline NSALG bulb display June garden edible garden show rainwater harvesting poppies January garden Kensington Roof Garden saving water John Massey elm blue courtyard Prince Harry Capability Brown Euphorbia autumn garden Horticultural HTA traditional style ash Taxus Acuba Lantra Alys Fowler Floating Paradise Gardens of London Tom Hart-Dyke RHS Tatton Park February garden CorTen steel bees winter garden gardening on tv winner watering alpines women and work award August garden Coastal plants green spaces Cambridge botanical garden water feature pollinators CorTen Urban Heat Island Great British Garden Revival Briza maxima ornamental grasses Selfridges Roof Garden Stone Lane Gardens November garden Chelsea Flower Show July garden Echinacea stonemarket rococo GYO Malvern Hills Cut flowers eco-friendly Levens Hall Horticulturalist Gardeners World February plants Herb Matt James Narcissus Monty Don September garden ha ha Berginia National Trust garden design tip Garden Planning cottage garden deer terracota planning your garden Cosmos astrosanguineus pests rock gardens vertical garden sorbus BBC water conservation Kew Gardens colour in your garden Snowdrops Phyllostachys nigra acer show gardens cyclamen front garden Horticulture National Gardening Week December garden hosepipe rosemary October garden Laurel Toby Buckland sound in the garden RHS unity Buxus twitter RHS Hampton Court

Welcome to Blue Daisy Blog

Our Promise

promiseWe work hard to keep our customers happy.  We work to a voluntary customer charter.

Peace of Mind

simplybusinessWe take our responsibilities seriously so we're insured through Simply Business.

Click on the logo for our Garden Design insurance details. For Gardening details see our gardening services page.

Proud Members Of...

landscapejuicen... The Landscape Juice Network where we interact with other professional gardeners, designers and landscapers.