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Glasshouse Trends Set to Be Big in 2020

Historic Greenhouse and Glasshouse manufacturer Hartley Botanic has been making horticultural buildings for over 80 years. Founded in 1938, the company is one of Britain’s oldest Greenhouse manufacturers and its entire product range is endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society. Using their experience and feedback from their own customers, Hartley Botanic has revealed the Greenhouse and Glasshouse trends set to lead the way in 2020.


In 2020 we will see more Greenhouses and Glasshouses in UK gardens with a contemporary or architectural look. Greenhouse ownership is becoming far more diverse (see point 4 below) and the image of Greenhouse gardening is changing, ushering in additional, less traditional Greenhouse consumers. This is partly down to a consumer zeitgeist which has made grow your own of the moment (thanks to environmental and health concerns) but is also being driven by a more design-led approach to gardening in general. An increasing number of Greenhouse owners are seeing the value of displaying their colourful and intricate plants in structures which offer cleaner lines and larger windows. Tom Barry, Managing Director of Hartley Botanic said; “We launched our Magnum Opus Glasshouse at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 2019, due to a marked new demand for our Modern Horticulture range which offers customers cleaner lines and concealed engineering. There is definitely a sense that the appreciation homeowners had for design inside their homes is now moving into their gardens too. Their Greenhouses may have a functional purpose but customers also have a very clear design aesthetic with contemporary and architectural styles more popular than ever.”


In terms of colour palette, we believe that 2020 will see a move away from Greenhouses in light grey and light stone tones, to more darker graphite shades such as Hartley Botanic’s Manganese Graphite (dark grey) and Bronze. Tom Barry said; “Heritage Greenhouse colours such as Forest Green and white will always be very popular, but for those opting for a more contemporary look, grey tones will definitely become much darker.”


Over the last 3 years the average size of structures we have been selling has increased and we expect this to continue into 2020. A trend for larger Greenhouses and Glasshouses has been influenced by the fact that customers are increasingly using their Greenhouses for both horticultural requirements and other ‘lifestyle’ uses. Tom Barry said; “From our conversations with customers, the vast majority are using their Greenhouses for horticultural reasons, as you would expect – for growing edibles, raising seedlings etc. However, many customers, who are still serious gardeners, are using their Greenhouses in a more multifaceted way. We do see customers introducing ‘living’, ‘relaxation’, ‘dining’ and ‘lifestyle’ elements into their Greenhouse use. Most commonly however, we are seeing a trend for Greenhouses to be used for al fresco dining and as a space for morning and evening relaxation.”


In 2020, Greenhouse owners will be blending classic, nostalgic looks and styles with modern innovation. Although many Greenhouse owners love the classic look of a period Glasshouse (the Victorian range is still Hartley Botanic’s most popular) they are keen to combine this style with the latest technology to save time and reduce cleaning requirements: “We will be seeing Greenhouse structures that look like they are from the 19th century, but which have engineering and design features firmly embedded in the 21st. Think a classic Victorian Glasshouse with ornate finial cresting and decorative spandrels but with self-cleaning glass and automatic roof vents” said Tom Barry.


The traditional ‘Percy Thrower’ Greenhouse gardener, with a focus on production, is still very much present but 2020 will see an increasingly diverse range of consumers take up Greenhouse ownership. The burgeoning Greenhouse market amongst families with young children will continue to grow, driven by concerns around air miles, food provenance and organic production – along with the educational benefit of teaching kids about food. A new type of Greenhouse owner will also continue to emerge who is driven by growing, but also by aesthetics and design. These gardeners are styling their gardens like their homes and see a Greenhouse as a perfect centrepiece to their gardens or a way to show-off their stunning plant collections. A trend for secondary ‘lifestyle’ uses will also add to the breadth of the Greenhouse consumer, as they are purchased for a whole host of reasons, in addition to traditional gardening.


The benefits of getting out into nature is well-documented, but in 2020 we will see gardeners investing in Greenhouses as a way to help maximise the mental wellness potential of their gardens. This is particularly apparent amongst the growing number of medical professionals who are investing in a Hartley Botanic Greenhouse specifically for this reason, and who now make up many of their customers. Professors Fiona and Simon Carley, bought a Hartley Botanic Victorian Villa this year to help them switch off from their highly charged daily work as consultants in Ophthalmology and Emergency Medicine at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and Royal Infirmary; “We look to the garden very much as a way to switch off after work. It allows us to do something entirely different and, as such, is extremely therapeutic. Our new Hartley Botanic Greenhouse is providing a fantastic motivator to ensure we are drawn into the garden every day. Whether it’s our strawberries, chillies, geraniums or chrysanthemums, there is always something to do and now we can be out in all weathers. We generally have the radio on in the background and have already spent many contented hours peacefully pottering around.”

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This story was published on: 09/01/2020

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