Coldframes and greenhouses are two essential elements of any serious gardener’s arsenal, especially if you are growing fruit or vegetables, or are propagating young plants and seedlings. If there’s space, many gardeners will choose to have both, but if space is an issue, a coldframe is a great option. Much more compact, a coldframe can sit snugly in the smallest of spaces, offering gardeners the chance to propagate and protect more delicate crops and plants, and also to harden off tender plants prior to planting out once the risk of frost has passed.
In spring, you can grow seedlings of broad beans, sweet peas and, as summer come along, use your coldframe to protect more tender crops such as chillies. In the autumn and winter your coldframe can help protect more tender plants from colder weather, although unlike a heated greenhouse they won’t protect against very heavy frosts.
Coldframes are also easily moved if you need more sun or more shade in which to grow a particular plant or crop, and as they are unheated, unlike a greenhouse they won’t impact on your energy bills.
Essentially a wooden frame with a glazed lid, coldframes are available in a range of sizes. All Gabriel Ash frames are built from tough Western Red Cedar and sit on an aluminium plinth to protect them from moisture from the soil. Our most compact frame is the Essentials cold frame, which is 113cm wide and just 70cm tall, perfect for the smallest of gardens or tightest of spaces. The Baby Grand is slightly larger at just over 110cm wide and 90cm high, and has a toughened glass lid and sturdy frame. The glass can be removed if needed, as the weather gets warmer. The size is perfect for smaller gardens. Larger again at 170cm wide, but still only 90cms tall is the Grand cold frame.
We also have two larger upright models, the Upright and the Grand Upright. Both are free-standing units designed to sit against a wall, and have much more room than the compact models. They are a really good substitute for a glasshouse if you don’t have the space.
The Upright is 138cm tall and 128cm wide, and comes with two removable, adjustable shelves and a hinged lid with toughened glass, as well as double doors for easy access.
Larger again is the Grand, which is the same width as the Upright but stands at 180cm tall. Three shelves are provided, and the hinged lid is split in to two for versatile ventilation. Both the Upright and Grand Upright are backless, but you can add a wooden backboard as an optional extra. Door runners and sills are made from durable powdered aluminium.