Latest posts by greenlove

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Best way to lay a large base for greenhouse and summerhouse

Posted: 08/05/2017 at 17:12

Loana, thank you very much. I will have a look at that one. It is indeed a big task but it needs to be done. I do tend to have a skill for landing myself in big projects. My original idea was to actually design and build the summerhouse myself. Instead of using the type of wood that yours is made with I thought about building a frame like the ones they build for drywalls and then using featheredge or some type of wooden planks that overlap, fill the middle with insulating material and then use plasterboard or plywood sheets on the inside. In terms of doors and windows I am currently about to fit new windows and doors in my house so I thought to use the back door for the outhouse and the glass from my old double galzed windows to make simple windows for the summerhouse. It would be probably about 1/3 of the price.

Raisingirl, the current concrete path is the right height but it follows the dips and peaks of the ground and as such is very uneven. I could leave it as it is and just pour concrete over it but that means that there's only going to be about an inch of concrete on the highes part of it.

Another option might be to lay a concrete border about 10" wide all around the perimeter of the area and then fill the middle bit with sand and paving slabs on top? That may be slightly more cost effective but also makes it easir to dismantle in the future if plans change in the garden?

Best way to lay a large base for greenhouse and summerhouse

Posted: 07/05/2017 at 23:02

@Loana: your summerhouse is absolutely stunning. May I ask where you got it from?

@hogweed: the way the ground is in my garden I dont think I need to escavate at all. The garden at the moment has a 6' wide patch which is soil and then a 2' wide concrete path and then the remaining 15' are lawn. The greenhouse and summerhouse will go over the 6'+2' side. The first picture shows that area. In the 6' area the soil is about 3-4" below the concrete footpath (you can see that in the second picture. The concete path is where the orange bucket is). The reason why I mentioned hardcore was to do with the fact that I am conscious I have to concrete a rather large area which will need a lot of concrete so I was thinking that filling with hardcore will mean less concrete needed.

@raisingirl: unfortunately the mixer truck is not an option because there is no access to the back garden and using a wheelbarrow would be a nightmare due to the layout of the house/garden, etc. So in my case one of those small cement mixers would be the only option if I went down the concrete route.

Slabs is another option but it would mean that I would have to break down the 2' wide concrete path which would be a nightmare.

Best way to lay a large base for greenhouse and summerhouse

Posted: 07/05/2017 at 01:51

My back garden garden is 59' x 23' and I am thinking of locating a greenhouse and summerhouse on the East facing side. The greenhouse will be 14' x 8' and the summerhouse about 20' x 10'. The problem I have is that the garden on that side is quite uneven. The soil is quite clayish too so no intention of keeping the soil surface inside the greenhouse. What's the best way for me to create a base? Buld a low frame around the perimeter and fill the inside with rubble and sand and flag it or fill it withh rubble and concrete it? Or is there another way? Any advice would be very much appreciated.

Buying a greenhouse. Any advice please?

Posted: 25/04/2017 at 18:49

Topbird, thank you very much. That clarifies a lot of things.

I will look to get a 10'x12' or 10'x14' depending on price. Plain aluminium and wont bother with the paint. Automatic vents and side louvres. Toughened glass.

In terms of electricity; my outhouse will be about 10' away from greenhouse and it does have a fusebox in so I will extend a line from that.

Outside tap is nearby so that's sorted.

Inside I intend to have raised beds on both sides in order to plant. The reason for this is that the soil in my garden is quite heavy clay.

I am also thinking of preparing a nice flat concrete base because the garden is uneven.

I assume the function of the guttering is simply to gather the rainwater (as opposed to offering protection? If that is the case then I am not bothered about guttering.

Buying a greenhouse. Any advice please?

Posted: 25/04/2017 at 11:28

In regards to powder coated aluminium, what are the benefits of it? Is it worth paying a £500+ premium compared to standard alumimium? Or should I just buy standard aluminium version and paint the frame before putting together with a suitable protective paint (if one such thing exists)?

Buying a greenhouse. Any advice please?

Posted: 25/04/2017 at 11:11

I am planning to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, runner beans and similar things. Would 8' be sufficient width or do I need to go for 10'?

Ladybird4 are the automatic vents worth it?

Buying a greenhouse. Any advice please?

Posted: 24/04/2017 at 20:10

I am looking to get my first greenhouse ever for my garden and  was wondering if the more experienced members can guide me in the right direction please. I dont want to buy someething that would rot or collapse after a year or two and at the same time dont want to "go mad" and buy stuff that I dont need.

My initial thoughts are: apex roof, 10foot wide. Where we live the trees and buildings are scarce so not much protection from wind.

Budget is no more than £2000 for the total.

I am aiming for a length of around 16-20 feet however getting a green house at that length is very expensive so I will go for two smaller greenhouses (i.e. instead of one 10' x 20' I will get two 10' x 10').

Going for aluminium frame. I assume this is the best option?

Powder coated or bare aluminium? I have noticed that the powder coated option on a 10'x10' adds a good £500 to the price. Is it worth it?

Out of the three options toughened glass seems to be the best one. Is this correct?

Should I get side Louvres? Should I get auto openers for side and roof vents?

Anything else I need to bear in mind?

And finally any recommendations in terms of where to buy from? Trustworthy companies with good products and customer service.

Any advice would be very much appreciated.

Himalayan birch and ginkgo biloba advice

Posted: 29/08/2016 at 16:36

By the way, does anyone happen to know an online nursery that sells decent size Ginkgo Biloba "Chi Chi" variety? By decent size i mean at least 6 feet tall. Or even a nursery in the Cheshire area where i can go an pick up.

Himalayan birch and ginkgo biloba advice

Posted: 20/08/2016 at 23:03

Dilly3 says:

I have a Ginkgo it's nearly 20 years old and it's not much bigger than when we bought it,but  the leaves do turn a lovely shade of yellow in the autumn .

 it was in the ground for a few years then because it hadn't grown much we put it in a large pot and moved it to a different place in the garden but that didn't really help . It is just one main stem and a small branch of that so any tips on getting it to grow a bit more . 

See original post

 I intend to keep the ginkgo in a large pot (probably 100 L). I do adore those leaves when they turn yellow.
Rainbowfish says:

There are a ocuple of young himalayan birches in our neighbours garden. They are only young but they are enormous. Must be nearly the height of our house but very slim. I could not imagine pruning to try and keep the shape but on a smaller scale. you would lose alot of the elegance of the tree.

I would agree with obelixx. Are there any other birches that would be suitable but still keep that white bark?

We alway drool over the specimen japanese acers at the garden centres.

See original post


I am not aware of any dwarf varieties with white bark existing but I could be wrong. I assume if I bought a tree which is around 2-3m tall and cut the tip of it that would encourgae side branches to grow and that would create a nice oval slender crown. A bit like those olive trees that you see at nurseries where they have cut the trunk to a height of around 1.5-2m and a load of side branches have sprouted.

Himalayan birch and ginkgo biloba advice

Posted: 20/08/2016 at 19:38

Thank you very much for your replies everyone. Very grateful.

I need to clarify that the reason why I have chosen these two trees is for their uniqueness. I.e. shape of the leaves of the Ginkgo and the way they turn yellow in autumn before they fall. By the sounds of it the Ginkgo seems to be a slow grower and as such i believe i can keep it in check. I shall certainly follow the advice and get a male tree.

As far as the himalayan birch is concerned i have chosen it because I have always loved its beautiful white bark and i plan to plant it as a centre piece surrounded by ferns and hostas which i feel would look rather stunning. The plants I was looking at are sold here:

I think the £200 reflects not only the height of the plant but also its age. The reason why I am considering the birch's age is because the white  bark develops after the plant is a few years old (apparently). Nevertheless I will shop around on the web to see if I can find a better price for one.

I dont mind growing the plant from coppicing or even buying a younger plant that would cost less. However I am not sure how long they would need to develop a nice bark colour or a trunk(s) that is at least 8cm in girth. Dont get me wrong, I am a very patient person and have grown many plants in my garden. However these two young trees (especially the birch) are intended to create that focal point and I would rather spend a bit more for a more developed tree than wait 5 years to get the desired effect.

I have a cherry tree in my garden which for the last five years I have prunned rather hard and every year it releases new shoots and so far all's been good. I have included a picture below of it now:

This is what i intend to do with the birch although not prune it as hard. Now if i increassed the intended max height of the tree to 4-5m would that be better?

Last edited: 20 August 2016 19:39:17

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