Lean to Greenhouses

Lean to Greenhouses

Lean to greenhouses are a great way to fit a greenhouse into a tight space against a house or garage or even on a balcony if you live in an apartment. Lean to greenhouses are also used as sunrooms and can simply become additional living space when attached to the house. A very warm and sunny bit of living space for you as well as your plants !

Vitavia Ida Lean-To Greenhouse 3300 Green 8×4

From the smallest 4×2 lean to greenhouses which can fit on your balcony or squeeze into the corner of most gardens or yards, all can be used to enjoy the “grow your own” experience. Whether you’re into flowers or veg even a mini lean to greenhouse can allow you to maximize your growing seasons. Whether you have a tiny balcony or a large patio area, there will be a lean-to to suit your needs.

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Small Lean to Greenhouses

Even if space is tight there are some cracking little lean to greenhouses out there to get you growing. One of our favorites is the Vitavia  Ida 900 small lean to in 2ft x 4ft size. This little lean-to comes in silver or a nice deep green colour. You get a single sliding door and an opening roof vent to keep the greenhouse cool in hot weather and a choice of standard greenhouse glass or toughened safety glass glazing. You can place the greenhouse on a timber frame base or better than that Vitavia offer a galvanized steel base tailor made for the Ida 900 which gives great rigidity and strength.

vitavia ida 900 lean to green greenhouse

Vitavia Ida 900 Lean to Greenhouse

Vitavia offer this lean to in 2ft x 6ft also. The Vitavia 1300 lean to greenhouse gives a bit more width and almost doubles the growing space over the smaller Ida 900 as it has a central sliding door giving clearly defined growing space on either side.

Vitavia Ida 1300 lean to 2x6

Brand new for 2013 Vitavia have introduced some larger Ida Lean-to’s that are 6ft Wide (Deep) for those of us with a bit more space. These new Ida’s have double sliding doors at the front that can be separated into two single doors to place on either end of the greenhouse if that’s better for you. You get standard horticultural glass sides and a 4mm polycarbonate roof for safety and plant protection.  The new Ida lean to is available in 6×8, 6×10 and 6×12 and is shipping now at Greenhouse Stores.

vitavia Ida 5200 6x8 lean to greenhouse

Vitavia Ida 5200 Lean to Greenhouse 6×8

Halls Silverline Curved Eaves Lean to

This is a slightly unusual, but non the less attractive greenhouse from Halls. The eaves section at the front of the greenhouse is nicely curved. This is done by using clear acyrlic glazing rather than glass as it’s tough, flexible and UV resistant so it won’t discolour over time. The Silverline Lean-to is available as a 6×8, a 6×10 and a 6ft x 12ft model in silver or green powder coated finishes.
halls silverline lean to 6x8 greenhouse
Here’s a close-up of the curved eaves section on the greenhouse:
Halls Silverline Acrylic Curved Eaves

Large Lean-to Greenhouses

If you have the space then a larger lean to greenhouse can offer you the opportunity to have a nice warm extension to your house for growing your plants and can also be used as a place to relax, like a sun room or conservatory !

A great example of a modern large lean-to is the brand new Vitavia Helena Lean to Greenhouse. It’s 9ft wide and is built from thick section aluminium for superb strength. It features double sliding doors that can be positioned on the front width of the greenhouse or at either end, whichever suits you best. Glazing is 4mm float glass and the roof is made from 10mm thick twin wall polycarbonate for safety and plant protection. The Helena is available in 9 x 11, 9 x  13 and 9 x 15 sizes.

Vitavia Helena 8600 9ft x 13ft Lean to Greenhouse

vitavia helena lean to greenhouse

Vitavia Helena 8600 lean to

Greenhouse Safety Considerations

One important point to remember is that it’s generally accepted that if you are entering the lean-to from your house rather than from outside you should use toughened safety glass to ensure the very best safe conditions for your family when entering the greenhouse from the house.

Buying a Lean-to Greenhouse

Buying a lean to greenhouse is particularly straightforward today, given that you can choose the best model for you and buy a lean to greenhouse online from retailers like Greenhouse Stores who offer a huge range of lean to greenhouses with free UK home delivery service.

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Mini Greenhouses

What do you do if you’re limited on space in your garden, yard or allotment yet you still want to be able to raise plants and keep them sheltered adverse weather and pests ?
The answer may lie in one of the many mini greenhouse solutions that are on the market. Whether you are looking for something to fit in a small corner of your allotment or back yard or a mini greenhouse to fit under a window or next to your shed or on your balcony, there will be a mini greenhouse for you.
The smallest true freestanding mini greenhouse available today is the Elite Compact greenhouses  in 4ft x 4ft. This greenhouse is ideal to fit into any cramped corner of your garden, yard or allotment. It features sliding doors, one roof opener and a low threshold base for safety and ease of access. The Elite Compact also features an eave height of 5ft2” giving a surprisingly spacious gardening experience.This greenhouse is ideal for the beginner or modern styled garden where space is at a premium.
Elite COMPACT 4×4 Greenhouse

Another option worth considering is the Gardman Growhouse and Coldframe range. All products in this range are constructed from pre-treated wood and feature 4mm Twin Wall polycarbonate glazing for superb insulation.
The Gardman Wooden Growhouse comes in two sizes, both feature opening front double door and roof. The Gardman extra large wooden growhouse features 3 shelves rather than 2 in the regular model as well as being 1.2m wide rather than .75m. Both feature all round 4mm twin wall polycarbonate aprt from the floor which is open. These growhouses are excellent for bringing on seedlings and raising plants of all kinds as well as serving as handy winter shelter for less hardy plants.

The Gardman Wooden Coldframe range is of solid timber construction and again features 4mm twin wall polycarbonate for superb insulation and light transmission.  There are three sizes, one of them being a raised wooden coldframe which is 1.05m high to save those of us with bad backs !
Another option are the Gardman Growhouses with reinforced PE covers. These growhouses are available with 3, 4 and 5 Tiers and there is also a growbag variant for shielding your tomatoes from the elements as well as a couple of walk-in growhouses if you have a little more space. All growhouses feature front zip access flaps. These growhouses are constructed from reinforced PE and can be easily taken down and moved or stored in the winter.
For the grow your own enthusiast the choice is excellent with many different solutions on offer quite cheaply.

Which greenhouse: Glass or polycarbonate?

Glass or Polycarbonate ?

One of the most frequent questions asked by greenhouse buyers who are new to greenhouses is “What’s best glass or polycarbonate?”. Traditionally greenhouses have always been glazed in glass both in the UK and abroad. In Germany for instance they have used frosted glass as it has the added feature of difusing UV rays !
However times are changing and so is the way we glaze our greenhouses. On the continent it has been common to use polycarbonate instead of glass and increasingly that is becoming the case here in the UK.

Polycarbonate Glazing for Greenhouses

The main advantage of polycarbonate over glass is its durability and strength and hence its safety benefits. Most greenhouses are glazed in 3mm horticultural glass which can be dangerous if broken as it breaks down into large shards which are extremely sharp. It is generally recommended that if the greenhouse is sited in a public place (allotment) or certainly where children or elderly people may be present that Toughened Safety Glass (to BS6206) or polycarbonate be used. Whilst toughened safety glass can still smash it breaks down into small pebbles like car windscreens or telephone box glass which is less dangerous that the shards of sharp glass with 3mm horticultural glass. Find a full range of leading brand toughened glass greenhouses at Greenhouse Stores.

greenhouses for sale


Polycarbonate glazing is highly recommended if you have children or animals running around your garden as any impact will merely result in the child or dog/cat bouncing of the polycarbonate panel or at the worst popping a panel out which can be put back in place simply and quickly. A collision of this type with a glass greenhouse or coldframe would result in serious injuries.

Grow Master 8×6 Greenhouse with 4mm Twin Wall Polycarbonate

Grow Master Greenhouse

Glass versus Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate greenhouses are also ideal for allotments and many local authorities now insist that allotment tenants use polygarbonate greenhouses rather than glass as part of their health and safety policy. Unfortunately greenhouses in gardens and allotments can also fall victim to vandalism and this is where polycarbonate has a very clear advantage over glass in that the cost of replacement polycarbonate is far cheaper and easier to source than glass. Generally speaking polycarbonate doesn’t smash so whether the wind has blown out a panel or a local vandal has knocked out a panel then it can simply be put back in and be secured with clips or glazing strips.
The insulation properties of polycarbonate are excellent. The most popular form of polycarbonate and by far the most effective greenhouse polycarbonate is 4mm twin wall polycarbonate sheet. This polycarbonate has a thermal insulation “R value” of around 1.42 whereas horticultural glass has an “R value” of around 0.93.
4mm twin wall polycarbonate also out performs glass where protection of your plants from harmful scorching UV is concerned also as it effectively diffuses light coming into the greenhouse whilst maintaining 80 to 85 % light transmission.
Polycarbonate greenhouses are becoming cheaper to buy with the advent of the “grow your own”  trend and it’s possible to get yourself set up with a polycarbonate greenhouse from around £200. All major greenhouse manufacturers now offer polycarbonate glazing as an option on their greenhouses and some manufacturers such as Gardman and Palram specialize in polycarbonate greenhouses.

Palram Harmony 6×4 Greenhouse with Clear Polycarbonate Glazing

palram harmony 6x4 greenhouse

Toughened Glass Greenhouse

A toughened glass greenhouse is the perfect choice for many greenhouse gardeners that live in temperate climates like the UK where the greenhouse may be exposed to high winds. Because toughened glass is supplied in one sheet (long pane) that goes from floor to eaves it is nice and heavy, it’s also generally thicker than normal greenhouse glass at 4mm. The extra weight in toughened glass gives your greenhouse much greater resistance to high winds and will stop your greenhouse frame from moving and twisting as the heavy glass keeps each section “square” under wind loads. Of course the biggest advantage of glass over polycarbonate is that you can see inside the greenhouse from the outside, therefore you can be looking down your garden from inside your house and still gaze lovingly at your tomatoes ripening !

Vitavia Jupiter 8×12 Toughened Glass Greenhouse

Vitavia jupiter 8x12 greenhouse

Aluminium Greenhouse

Aluminium Greenhouse

The modern greenhouse comes in a few different configurations. Different frame materials are available, as are differing styles and sizes of greenhouse. Of course largely people are driven by the amount of space available to site a greenhouse or with a particular use in mind. Weather conditions in your location can also play a part in the kind of greenhouse you go for.
The most practical choice of frame by far are aluminium greenhouse frames. Aluminium is popular for many reasons. Chiefly, that it is entirely unaffected by adverse weather like rain and snow in as far as that it will not rot and need yearly maintenance like a wooden greenhouse. Aluminium frames can also be anodised. Anodising is a process the aluminium goes through to keep it looking pristine throughout its life. In other words it stays looking shiny and silver rather than going a dull grey colour as many aluminium greenhouses do and it will also never rust. Anodised frames are standard on some brands such as Vitavia greenhouses (see below).

Vitavia Orion 5000 Greenhouse 8×6 Silver

Many greenhouses today are available in a range of colours through the application of a powder coated factory finish. Green greenhouses seem to be the most popular colour for garden greenhouses as any train ride through suburban Britain will confirm ! Some greenhouse manufacturers offer a wide choice of colours such as white, brown and black on their powder coated frames. One such manufacturer is Elite Greenhouses who offer a choice of 5 colour options at an extra cost on all of their greenhouses from the smallest lean-to to the 12ft wide and up to 40ft long Elite Classique.

Elite High Eave Greenhouse 8×6 Silver

Though aluminium is a light weight metal it is extremely strong and hence it is suitable for carrying all available glazing options such as horticultural glass, toughened safety glass and polycarbonate glazing. Of course the major advantage of aluminium greenhouses over wood or steel is the total lack of maintenance needed  as they don’t rust and will never need painting.

Aluminium’s light weight also means that they are now shipped flat packed which means they are easier to transport and much easier to erect than steel or wooden greenhouses. Aluminium greenhouses popularity also means that the prices for these greenhouses are very reasonable indeed. There are many entry level greenhouses today at the sub £300 price level that are ideal allotment greenhouses featuring twin wall polycarbonate glazing and powder coated frame and steel bases. A very popular range are the Gardman green greenhouses in sizes 6×4, 6×6 and 8×6.

Aluminium Greenhouse Manufacturers

There are some very well known brands manufacturing aluminium greenhouses for the UK market today. Perhaps the best known is Halls Greenhouses who have been making aluminium framed greenhouses since 1936 here in the UK.

Swallow Wooden Greenhouses

Swallow Wooden Greenhouses are bucking the trend for aluminium greenhouses and taking the greenhouse back to it’s roots where British craftsmanship and a passion for handmade timber buildings is at the core of their philosophy.

Swallow Greenhouse 8×6
If you want a beautiful timber greenhouse that is hand made in England and then delivered to your door and erected for you by the same skilled hands that made it then look no further than Swallow Greenhouses.
All prices for Swallow Greenhouses include delivery and erection of the greenhouse in your garden.
For further information call UK Greenhouse Sales on 0800 032 0643.