Selling Victorian-style greenhouses, or any other style for that matter, is all about our customers, what they need, and how best we can help them. If they like what we can do and we can satisfy their requirements, then everyone is happy.
We really enjoy working with our customers. Those of us at Dovetail Greenhouses who have worked in other industries, find that dealing with people who love their gardens is somehow quite different and very special. This marketplace is quite unique, and my belief is that the customers we deal with now are the best. I suspect that most of them are serious gardeners and that they are people who value the beautiful things they grow and the benefits of growing their own vegetables. They are probably also the same people that value quality stylish products along with valued service. Without our customers, we would have no business, and without their expectations, we might lack the encouragement to develop and improve our range of greenhouses. It is true that when a customer presents us with a problem, as my old boss used to say “this is not a problem but simply an opportunity”. I admit that on occasions when this was being said to me that my thoughts towards him were not always very generous because I had the distinct impression that I was being dropped in it! Nevertheless, there is a deep truth within this statement that we here at Dovetail Greenhouses have fully embraced. And so, if we are presented with a new problem to solve, this challenge can often lead us to a new development which has in the past enabled us to offer a new style of greenhouse to all of our customers.
This was the case when we were first presented with the challenge to fit a Lean-to style greenhouse into a space where there was not enough height in the adjoining rear wall. For our customer, this was the only workable space they had in their garden for a greenhouse. If all we could offer our customer was only going to be the conventional Lean-to style of greenhouse, we knew that this design would be totally unsuitable and would result in a greenhouse that was too short for them to work in. We knew too that we would not sell them a greenhouse and this would be an unsatisfactory outcome for us both.
The problem was solved when we considered taking the glazed side out of a conventional free standing greenhouse and devising a way of fixing the non-glazed side to the adjoining wall. By doing this we were able to fit a greenhouse into the only space available within our customer’s garden and create a safe and strong greenhouse with a good height for working and growing. Here is an example of two such greenhouses.
The ideas did not stop here. Having seen how successful this idea was in solving a problem, we considered how we might develop this idea further. The Victorians were very clever gardeners and they created a design which was a Lean-to greenhouse but not as we had been marketing it. This very old fashioned design, using a two thirds or three quarter type roof, which has the ridge of the greenhouse offset nearer the rear adjoining wall than the glazed front of the greenhouse, could be made in the same way we had just devised. Our offset roof design was born, and a completely new range of buildings were developed. Here are a couple of examples:
Maybe in our next posting we will consider how our customers have led us into new and interesting projects and designs.