During February 2011, after a long search for the right model, I finally decided to purchase a Polycarbonate Greenhouse from Waltons Garden Buildings. That weekend, whilst awaiting the delivery, I decided to go on a ‘garden-centre-crawl’ to look at other models currently on offer. To cut a long story short, I was horrified by what I saw.
Practically all of the examples of polycarbonate glazed greenhouses I found were not of a good standard. Some had not even withstood the winter and their frames were twisted, with panels missing or broken. This was mainly due to poor construction – thin aluminium frames with inadequate methods of securing the panels.
I saw clips burying and cutting into the polycarbonate. Poor connections between the panelling and frame allow moisture and moss to grow within the glazing. My heart sank that weekend. I nearly cancelled my order.
My Waltons polycarbonate greenhouse arrives!
Monday morning came, as did a cluster of bundled boxes containing my new greenhouse. I impatiently opened them to see if this model would make the grade. To my relief, the frame was a lot heavier and thicker than any of the others I had seen.
Review: Glazing in groove!
I was really impressed with the designed method for securing the glazing onto the greenhouse. Unlike the many examples I have seen, this greenhouse held the polycarbonate in via channels running throughout the frame. This means, no clips, no panels getting chewed up. This provides a secure moss-free connection between panel and frame.
I have to admit, it was a struggle to put up. The instructions were clear, but patience and precision is definitely required. You have to make sure all of the various beams and plates line up correctly. There are template widgets in the pack to help you. Even so, I did have to adjust the build a couple of times until it was right.
TIP: I would recommend using silver glazing tape when constructing the greenhouse. Place strips of it at the exposed ends of each panel to avoid moss, moisture and debris from building up inside the glazing.
I should point out, we haven’t had any big storms yet. I have spent a lot of time in my greenhouse during a blustery gale. The greenhouse didn’t even creek!
I now have a lovely 8×6 polycarbonate greenhouse in a sheltered but bright, south-facing position in my front garden. I have already filled it with this year’s bedding plants. I am not claiming that my polycarbonate greenhouse is the best in the UK, or the finest money can buy. It certainly is better than any example I have seen in other garden centres.
Weather update, December 2016 – Waltons Greenhouse still standing!
5 years on and my polycarbonate greenhouse is still going strong. I live in Dawlish, in South Devon. The storms of 2014 hit Dawlish very badly, destroying our railway and flooding out town. We even made it to global news. You may remember the images of a railway track suspended in mid-air?
During the peak of the storm, my greenhouse lifted 5 feet off the ground and moved to the other side of the garden! A single panel popped out. Although it was slightly creased, I managed to push it back in where it still remains, nearly three years on.
This is a tough little greenhouse and I couldn’t recommend it more. The only thing I have had to do over the 5 years is replace the roof panels. They became quite weathered and brittle. To replace all roof panels, you are looking at about £40.
All in all, I am very happy with my purchase and feel that it is money well spent.
If you are interested in buying the same greenhouse, then visit the Poly Carbonate Greenhouse page on the Walton’s website.
Update, June 2021 – Greenhouse still good
The remaining original polycarbonate sheeting is now starting to look a little long in the tooth and cracking in places. I will need to replace much of it at the end of the year. However, the frame is as good as the day I bought it over ten years ago! Very solid and no rust whatsoever. Great value for money.