The greenhouse or glasshouse came to prominence in the late 1800's and quickly became a symbol of grand living, sophistication and success. Estates had an army of garden staff to manage and maintain a steady supply of fruit, vegetables and cut flowers to impress the guests of the estate.
Once head gardeners had mastered the limitless combinations of heat, humidity, water, nutrient, ventilation and day length the race was on to cheat nature and grow an ever increasing range of exotic flora from around the world.
These wood, steel and iron structures were grand in detail, design and size and by the early 1900's horticultural prowess was well established; under gardeners would specialize in specific crops, propagators would uncover new ways to germinate seed, successfully grow plants from cuttings and graft a desirable plant onto a vigorous root stock.
A coveted master diary was recorded which identified planting dates, pruning techniques, harvest methods and year after year this information was refined to assure plant success. Strawberries could be grown out of season, exotic fragrance could be experienced in the depths of January.
By the Mid 1900's many of the early greenhouses had not given the required care and maintenance and they literally fell apart. Aluminum structures gained popularity being stronger, more resistant to decay and requiring less up keep.
Today, in the 21st century some of these structures are abandoned and unused and are available to those with imagination and the ability to relocate them. Fortunately there is renewed interest in growing plants in a greenhouse but owning a greenhouse is half the battle. Many of the skills and techniques established 100 years ago have been lost and diluted to an alarming degree.
A properly operated greenhouse will provide the ideal growing conditions to grow the widest range of plants available. Many plants are not available to buy growing in pots, but they can be grown from cuttings or seed in a greenhouse. Ian Cooke has the skill and experience to breath life into your greenhouse. He can write the 12 month production plan, train your staff and assemble a unique plant collection from specialist suppliers.
The greenhouse is the pumping heart of the garden and with the right training and plan it can once again come to prominence.