We are delighted to finally tell you about one very lucky competition winner. Back in 2017 in association with the BBC Gardeners World 50th Year Anniversary celebrations Gabriel Ash partnered with the magazine and the first prize was one of our RHS Rosemoor Greenhouses.
The lucky winner was Anne Tucker and on discovering she’d won, Anne said “I am both stunned and delighted to have won this prize. My two aluminium greenhouses were both second hand and are beginning to look untidy. A new greenhouse will be a most welcome resource.” When the phone call first came through even though Anne could remember entering the competition she believed it was a scam. Only after calling back to the office did the reality start to sink in and she finally started to believe it was true, not a joke being played by her friends.
The prize could not have gone to a more worthy winner. Seeing the greenhouse in its new home and in full use we are delighted that it will have full use to grow a range of produce from a very experienced greenhouse gardener. Anne’s journey into greenhouse gardening started when she was just 12 years old. Her Dad got her a second hand timber greenhouse and she instantly fell in love with growing. The problem was this greenhouse was very old and in a poor state of repair so at age 16 Anne purchased her first and only (until this point) brand new greenhouse. She bought an aluminium 6×8 greenhouse from Asda for the princely sum of £99.00.
Anne has continued to have greenhouses ever since in each of the homes she has lived in. These have always been second hand buildings that she has either inherited or purchased off friends. Anne always wanted a new greenhouse and had been looking to purchase a new one for some time. She wanted to go back to where she started her greenhouse journey and have a new timber greenhouse.
Seeing the competition in the magazine Anne thought why not give it a go and try and win one! She recalls the question was a link between Tomatoes and Onions with the answer being ‘Ailsa Craig’ a variety of onion and tomato.
Following the good news, Anne was left with the job of preparing the site for the new greenhouse. This involved removing an old greenhouse on the proposed new site and preparing a greenhouse base. The project also evolved and the whole area has had a revamp including the installation of new raised beds for growing a variety of crops.
The greenhouse installation was booked for one weekend in March. Anne was, however surprised to see one of the Gabriel Ash installation teams on her doorstep the morning of the proposed date. The previous night there had been one of the worse snow falls in the area and she thought the installation would be cancelled. Undeterred the team set about the project and the greenhouse was soon up and ready to use.
Anne has now had the pleasure of using the greenhouse for several months through one of the hottest summers for years and she commented “originally I wanted a wooden greenhouse because of the aesthetics”, she had fond memories of her first greenhouse and still loved the look and feel of a cedar greenhouse. “I am however in the fortunate position to have two greenhouses, one aluminium and this beautiful cedar greenhouse. On the hottest days this summer I could quite happily work in the Gabriel Ash Cedar greenhouse in the heat of the day at 12 noon. I often pop in to remove side shoots from tomatoes and water. In the aluminium greenhouses however I had to wait until past 8pm in the evening before I dare enter.”
Since seeing the benefits of using a cedar greenhouse first hand in the extreme conditions Anne reflected “ The cedar frame to the greenhouse and the extra height inside all helped to keep the greenhouse cooler in the summer months and I am looking forward to seeing how these thermal properties help to keep the greenhouse warmer through the cooler months of winter.”
The greenhouse has helped to produce a great crop of tomatoes and Anne stated “I have had the best crop of cucumbers ever even though now they have got signs of mildew on the leaves”
The greenhouse will mostly be used to grow food with chillies, peppers and aubergines on Anne’s list for next year. The chickens also appear to like the new building and Anne has to ensure her five chickens, Dotty, Mary, Nell, Hayley and Esme don’t get in too often because they have a real liking for tomatoes.