Community greenhouse and garden


A new design for the Dartmouth Community Greenhouse has been agreed by the trustees of Dartmouth Green Partnerships and greenhouse designer, Hartley Botanic Ltd. It means that the greenhouse can be built in autumn of 2021 in the Dartmouth Community Garden by the riverside.

We are very excited at the prospect of at last realising our dream of building a community greenhouse for Dartmouth. We have been fundraising for the project for several years and though we have raised a considerable amount, it was not enough to build the bespoke pyramid design devised to our specification by greenhouse designer, Hartley Botanic Ltd.

We realised that completing the funding would be even more difficult due to the demands of the pandemic on likely sources, and so our trustees discussed alternative possibilities with Hartley Botanic using the funds that we have already raised. They offered us their Victorian Grand Manor design, which is an attractive, rectangular, gabled greenhouse 4128mm x 11194mm in size, and we agreed. The photo above shows an example of this greenhouse in a landscaped setting. We are now making preparations for the build.




Dartmouth Green Partnerships is raising funds for the Dartmouth Pyramid Community Greenhouse designed by Hartley Botanic Ltd which will become an attractive feature of Dartmouth Community Garden on the river front, and a community asset.

It will be a new, important tourist attraction – another reason to visit Dartmouth, and thus will help improve the local economy. We will use it to raise plants for use in town displays, and it will also become a Centre for Horticultural Excellence for use by different groups of all ages, linking health and horticulture.

The first phase of the project – site preparation and detailed drawings was completed in 2018. It was  funded in 2017 by a £20,000 grant  from the People’s Postcode Lottery a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and £7,000 from local sponsors.

A second grant of £20,000 from the People’s Postcode Lottery was awarded in 2019. This has enabled us to pay for the specially toughened glass for the greenhouse. With more funds raised from sponsors, we are now nearly half way to raising the £108,000 for the greenhouse. Hartley Botanic are allowing us to pay in instalments – we need the full amount before the aluminium superstructure  can be manufactured.

It will be a 9m x 9m, low maintenance, aluminium framed structure on supporting brick walls, with a ridge height of 6030mm. Access will be from two large porches each with double doors. Toughened safety glass will be used and there will be 30 opening vents, in the roof and the vertical glass panels. Inside there will be perimeter and central staging work areas, with wheelchair access all around.

The new greenhouse and community garden area will be used to grow-on seasonal floral displays for the town which are prepared by volunteers under the guidance of DGP – such as the hanging baskets done by the Brownies. There will be space for gardening education for all ages and abilities. We aim for it to become a Centre for Horticultural Excellence, and to demonstrate the value of gardening for health and wellbeing. The existing demonstration potager and beds in the community garden show what can be grown in Dartmouth’s special microclimate and provides food crops and cut flowers.

You can donate to the greenhouse fund by contacting us: details and more information about what we do see ‘Contact us’.



 The photos show the site – where we have a small temporary greenhouse at the moment.




Dartmouth Community Garden (see Green Spaces for more information)

The new greenhouse and garden area, will be used to grow-on floral displays for the town which are prepared by volunteers under the guidance of DGP. There will be gardening education for all ages and abilities, memory cafe days, and vegetables and cut flowers for community use. We aim for it to become a Centre for Horticultural Excellence, and to demonstrate the value of gardening for health and wellbeing. The existing surrounding potager beds provide food crops and cut flowers from which the public can help themselves. The greenhouse will be open so the general public can see DGP’s work.


The site is that of the old council depot.  The land in front of it will continue to be used by DGP  including raised beds for our demonstration potager and cut flower beds, the olive bed, the poppy bed and the herb boat. The vine has been preserved outdoors, supported by a trellis along the hedge.

cutting bed      Potager


Potager3     Poppy Bed




The old greenhouse had to be demolished in early 2013 as the site was needed for a car park. For the past 10 years it had been used by Dartmouth in Bloom. We used a temporary greenhouse of scaffolding and plastic sheeting to raise lots of plants in 2013, and to store plants over the winter.

Tim and Brian fixing the 'RHS Finalist 2013' banner to the temporary Dartmouth in Bloom Greenhouse

The temporary greenhouse

We planted up the town’s many hanging baskets with help from local  Brownies, and stored them in the greenhouse prior to placing them around the town.

The storms of 2013 and the cost of scaffolding meant that the temporary greenhouse  had to be taken down. Since 2014 we have managed to plant baskets and troughs by storing plants in a nearby nursery.

DSC_0911Now this site is part of a new car park and we are working to build a new community greenhouse on the adjacent site which was the old depot.




Historical note

Greenhouse postcard

The Dartmouth Greenhouse was built in 1905 on the riverfront as part of the original layout of Royal Avenue Gardens, shortly after the area known as the ‘Newground’ was reclaimed and turfed. It can be seen on the old postcard above, along the front to the right of the moored paddle steamer.

The development of the grounds continued with flower beds, tree planting and gas-illuminations. In 1911 the present cast iron bandstand was built, considered at the time to be the finest in the South West. When first built the greenhouse had ‘fancy glass’ to the front. The centre portion was used as a conservatory for exotic plants and was open to the public. At the north end was what was erected as a potting shed and tool house, also housing the stokehole for the coke boiler. This is in what is now part of the Council depot.

The Greenhouse was originally used to grow the plants for the Gardens and flowers for the Council offices etc. The seed order for 1915 was 14 shillings! This use of the greenhouse (plus the other more recent greenhouse, now demolished) continued until just a few years ago.




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