London (change)
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07/06/2013 at 05:38



Total novice but loving my new garden.  I'd like to get a coldframe by autumn.  We haven't got any room for a greenhouse.  The only possible position is against the back of the house and it could be up to 2 ft deep and 3-4ft wide max, I don't think height is much of an issue.   We have small people who enjoy a little football in the garden. I think the main uses would be to overwinter tender perennials in pots and young plant seeded in autumn plus providing more space to germinate once weather improving. The way I'm going I might need quite a bit of room!!!


Ive looked on the Internet a little but thought you wonderful people might be able to offer some advice re features and particular suppliers.  The position only gets sun to mid morning but it really is my only option.


Looking forward to hearing your recommendations and advicI.


Thanks in advance, Kathryn.


07/06/2013 at 05:39

Oh, budget up to £200 at the absolute maximum!!!

07/06/2013 at 05:56

And again, now I'm back in garden, height max Just over 3ft. 

07/06/2013 at 06:52


How handy are you?  OH built mine from planks of wood and a sheet of double glazed polycarbonate about 10 years ago and it has been brilliant.  If you are interested I will take some photos for you to copy.  You can then make it whatever size you like.  He based it around 3 of the really large seed trays you can get.  It does not have a base - just sides and a hinged lid.  Hope this helps

07/06/2013 at 06:57

Very helpful, not very handy but if you could post some pics would give me an idea? Thanks. 

07/06/2013 at 06:58

And start collecting saving sheets of discarded polystyrene now - it'll be useful in the winter to insulate the coldframe if you're over-wintering tender plants 

07/06/2013 at 06:59

Cool, thanks Dove

07/06/2013 at 08:54

Hi Chicky

I'd be interested to see the photos too as I am thinking of going down the same route. Bought my OH a Workmate last year. It would be nice to give him something to do with it 

07/06/2013 at 09:23

My other half is going to make me one this weekend woo hooo he's very handy

07/06/2013 at 09:40

I don't have a greenhouse so do all my growing in cold frames, they aren't the traditional on the floor types, more like sturdy  mini greenhouses with shelves so you can move things about. OH made them out of bits of wood etc covered with thick plastic sheeting so they can be closed.

07/06/2013 at 09:42

Good news Daisy, I wouldn't be with out mine. I started with one and the collection seems to have grown

07/06/2013 at 12:52

I saved some secondary glazing units which were made redundant by double glazing. These are ideal for use as coldframes as they already have a strong frame and have toughened glass. I have a variety of sizes including a couple of door sized panels which will make Monty Don sized coldframes. Just need to clear some space in the garden for them now.

07/06/2013 at 20:22

Will post pics tomorrow - just about to slump on the sofa now !

08/06/2013 at 12:27

ok here goes:

 The top is stuff you can buy cut to size at B&Q/Homebase, and you can also buy the white trim to finish the edges.  The hole has been drilled so that I can stick in a bamboo cane to stop the lid blowing shut (sophisticated !!) - I am sure there are lots more things you coud do to allow it to be open half way.  I have been very happy with my two options (ie open/shut !).

As I said, it is now in about its tenth season, and still going strong.

Hope this helps - shout if you need anything photo'ed closer up.

08/06/2013 at 13:06

Hi chicky, that look just like mine.

The top stuff is called twinwall polycarbonate sheet (10mm thick by the look of yours) and it's important to put those end trims on otherwise spiders etc get inside the 'tubes' and you can never clean them out.  It's really strong and long-lasting stuff.  Mine is at least 15 years old and still going strong.  I don't know what I'd do without mine - now full of young plants which had to be removed from the greenhouse once the tomatoes went in.

08/06/2013 at 14:53

Bet yours doesn't have the bamboo cane opening system !!  Unique, that ....

08/06/2013 at 16:53

Nice pics Chicky. Does it have a floor / base or do the trays / pots just sit on the ground?

PS Have you thought about patenting your hold-open system and taking it on Dragon's Den? I'm sure the lovely Peter Jones would offer to invest 

08/06/2013 at 20:14

Not sure I could face Peter Jones !

And no, it has no base - I have chucked in a load of gravel to try and deter the weeds and mice from coming through, and then the trays just sit on top of that.

09/06/2013 at 19:40

Thanks Chicky - might have a go at copying yours & am defo copying the bamboo cane idea. 

Simple things are best (at least that's what I keep telling my OH!)


02/10/2013 at 19:37

Bump for Matty and Mrs G   Hope this helps with some ideas

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