GVZ Glasshouses Ltd recently completed the construction of a Venlo hoop-roof greenhouse at Bridge Nursery in Battlesbridge, Essex.
From the foundations to the base of the roof, it is a Venlo design. From there up, it is a hooped structure. Rather than using glass, a special thermal shading screen covers the top. The walls are constructed of netting which prevents plants from being exposed to damaging wind.
The roof screen repels insects, though the walls do not. Even so, the incidence of insectum is less likely than it would be if there was no barrier at all.
The purpose of this Venlo “house” is to provide a large hardening off area for plants. This will make the transition from the glasshouses where they’re grown to the outside world less abrupt. The thermal shading screen will make the air inside flow better and keep the environment drier than a traditional glasshouse. Some rain will get through, but it will be much less than it would be if it was open to the sky.
Bridge Nursery – a family business
Bridge Nursery is located in Battlesbridge, Essex. It supplies high quality perennials to garden centres throughout the United Kingdom.
The family business began life in 1952, when Doug and Win Lodge created a nursery to grow produce for their greengrocer business. The site where Bridge Nursery is located now was bought in 1979, and it was run concurrently with the original nursery for many years thereafter.
After gaining experience in Holland, son Steve joined the company in 1998. In 2005, his twin brother, Pete, also came on board following a year at a nursery in America and time as a grower in the UK.
A few years later, their wives gave up their jobs as well so that they could devote their time to the Nursery.
Bluey, a Labradoodle, has been working at Bridge since 2013. The unusual moniker was given by his original Australian “parents” who thought it would be humorous to give him a name that described the opposite of his reddish coloured fur.
All plants sold by Bridge Nursery are grown on site. The compost used is a homemade-blend that consists of 30% English and Irish peat, and coarse bark which together improve air circulation. A chemical control safeguards plants against sciarid fly (fungus gnats) and vine weevil, and a slow-release fertiliser that feeds plants has also been added.
These ingredients give their plants the best possible start in life.
The company produces custom-made plant labels for all of its customers – one of the few in the industry that does.
This is the third structure that GVZ has built for Bridge. The other two were a traditional Venlo glasshouse and an office block based on that design.