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Plants in the Alpine House or Cold Frame: Alpine House design and requirements

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Started by: Alex Spence

Alpine House design and requirements

Go to latest contribution by Martin Rogerson, 28 August 2012, 19:01. Go to bottom of this page.

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Alpine House design and requirements I'm at the stage of starting to build an Alpine House and I'm looking to learn from other peoples experience. Can anyone one help - links to photos of different designs would be very helpful. Thank you, I'm a new membe

Contribution from Martin Rogerson 28 August 2012, 19:01top / bottom of page

Alex, there are many types of Alpine House. As long as you stick to the basic requirements you won't go far wrong. 1. Get the biggest house you can accommodate (they are never big enough). 2. Ventilation. As many roof vents, preferably with automatic openers, as can be fitted in the structure and as many bench level louvre vents as can be fitted. 3. Sensible height plunge beds that can be filled with sand.

After that you are into options such as electricity, so you can have fans running to improve air circulation. I haven't got this option and with this Summer's damp weather quite a few plants are showing early signs of grey mould. If your garden is less sheltered and shaded than mine this may be less of a problem.

Shading. I simply use coolglas painted on in late April and removed late September but you can get a lot more sophisitcated if you so desire.

Type of glasshouse. For easy, cost effective purchase both my alpine houses are standard Aluminium framed commercially bought greenhouses with as many roof vents and louvre vents as could be fitted to the design. Mine are both by Robinsons but there is plenty of choice. My plunge benches are prefabricated Aluminium benches made by Two wests & Elliott. A picture of my newest house can be seen at

sorry, I can't do that as a hyperlink or on one line.

If you search John Richard's 'Northumberland Diary' entries on this website you will find many pictures of John's Alpine House with benches constructed from breeze block and timber with,I think, soil warming cables to protect bulbs in the worst of th eWinter weather.

I hope this helps, please ask any supplementary questions you have and I'll attempt to help.

Apologies for the slow busy in the Alpine House!

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