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The greenhouses

Let it be said straight away: I am deeply fascinated by greenhouses. So much so that I have written a couple of books on the subject and made television shows about amazing glass houses. For it is pure magic that just a few rays of sunshine on a greenhouse can raise both the temperature and one’s mood by several degrees.

I have no less than three houses myself of thirty, forty and fifty square meters respectively. They are first and foremost indispensable for growing plants in and for winter storage of more delicate plants (two of the houses are heated during winter.) Another big advantage of having the greenhouses is that they add a lot to the atmosphere of the garden.

The Victorian Greenhouse

This thirty square meter greenhouse was the first one I built. On one of my early trips to England I fell head over heels in love. It happened at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, where many English greenhouse manufacturers were represented. The selection was impressive, but when I came to Hartley Botanic, I immediately fell for this medium sized Victorian green house. It fitted my needs perfectly. And this brick-based model fulfilled my wildest dreams.
The greenhouse was ordered and back home again I found a mason who erected the base behind the house, and when this base was ready, the house arrived from England. It was delivered partially assembled on a small truck, and the driver and the one passenger not only handled the transport, they were also the ones to erect the greenhouse. In the span of a few days the house was ready to put to use, and I must say that it is one of the best gifts I have ever given myself.

The Greenhouse Studio

Behind the house, in the northeastern corner, we had a parking space to begin with. But as the number of pots and containers grew, the cars had to give way and were instead parked down by the road. At the same time, I decided to cut down some old Thujas that had been growing there from long before we moved in. When the trees were felled, I soon realised that here we could place a third greenhouse.

When I get an idea, I am quick at putting it into action. The idea about the new greenhouse was conceived in the summer of 2012. And the following spring the house was completed.

This time I chose to commission a greenhouse company to be responsible for the entire design and build process. Drivadan got the assignment. This company are great experts at building with steel constructions and they are a large supplier to e.g. garden centres who want a glass covered shopping area.

My good friend and sparring partner Kjeld Slot suggested that I build a pyramid shaped greenhouse, and he drew up the design. Kjeld did the sketching, and Drivadan drew up the final plan. This worked perfectly.

The house was to be forty square meters, and I chose that it should be possible to heat it during winter and therefore the house was equipped with triple layered energy saving glass, and heating was installed.

From the beginning I realised that this house was meant more for people than for plants. I had glass shelves put up and soon the greenhouse was decorated with vases and ornaments from floor to ceiling. In everyday speech I call the house my studio, for this I where I can make all my flower arrangements and be creative. It is a wonderful universe, and when, during winter, I light a fire in the open fireplace, it is particularly cosy.

Finally, I want to mention that my gardeners are also frequent users of this house. When it is too cold to sit outside, they have their lunch and coffee breaks here. It is pure luxury to have such a room.

Already after the first couple of seasons I outgrew the Victorian greenhouse, so soon I wanted an even bigger house – a bigger nursery. It should be possible to heat it during winter, so I could store less hardy plants here in the cold season.

The Nursery

On a spot in front of the house next to the forest I had some hot beds that I happily gave up to make space for yet another greenhouse. The space allowed for the house to be a full fifty square meters, if I utilised it to the max. And I did … For seen against the large house it was important that this new greenhouse would not look too small.

I wanted a wooden greenhouse, and I knew from the beginning that the house should be unique and created especially for this space. Therefore, I contacted an architecture company that I had worked with before, and they came up with many excellent solutions. Amongst other things they suggested that the roof should consist of a metal frame with double glazed windows, while the rest of the house – including the glazing bar windows – should be built from timber.

During winter an electric fan heater keeps the temperature between five and ten degrees which is just perfect.

The garden rooms

Today there is no lawn left in the garden. And who really needs grass? I do not; and neither do the insects that benefit from all the flowers in the garden. The subsections here give an impression of how the garden rooms and the greenhouses look.