Sunday 16 October 2016

New Gabriel Ash coldframe

I'm sure you know that my wife Jane is a comper - and that she wins the occasional prize... Well this time she has won something very special for me - a coldframe. Not just any old coldframe, but an "Upright Coldframe" from Gabriel Ash.

This is a high-quality product, carefully made with good materials. Something like this doesn't come cheap (price £699), but when you see it you soon realise that it is fairly priced. The wood is Western Red Cedar, not cheap Pine. According to the Gabriel Ash literature "Naturally occurring extractives in the wood make it very resistant to fungal decay and insect attack." For this reason it does not need to be varnished or treated with artificial preservatives. The wood has a lot of different colours to it, many of them most attractive. The company says that as the wood weathers the red will eventually fade to a silvery grey.

Earlier this week I had the coldframe assembled for me by a local handyman. In normal circumstances I could have done it myself, but as I mentioned yesterday, I have injured my arm and currently find it difficult to lift things - and some parts of the coldframe were pretty heavy. In any case, a professional person who is doing this sort of stuff very frequently (and has all the relevant tools) is always going to be able to do it better than me! As it happens, the assembly job didn't take too long, because the parts were well-engineered and didn't need any local adaptation like so many self-assembly items. All relevant holes were pre-drilled too, which saves a lot of time.

The coldframe comes with two shelves, one of which is only half depth (meaning that it doesn't completely block light from plants down below), and these can be fixed at whatever heights you want (so no pre-drilled holes here).

I chose to have the bigger shelf set quite high, so that there is room underneath it for some fairly tall plants (chillis maybe?). The shelves will be just right for holding smaller potted plants and seed-trays.

As you can see, the coldframe has a pair of sliding doors at the front and a roof that opens upwards too, so providing adequate ventilation and taking plants in or out should be easy enough.

Although long screws are provided for fixing the coldframe to a base if desired, I believe that the weight of the item itself means that it will be very stable and is not likely to blow away in conditions that are anything less than a hurricane. I currently have it positioned with the back close to the wall of the house, so it is in a fairly sheltered position anyway. If I subsequently want to move it, it will be at least a 2-man job!

My thanks to Gabriel Ash for giving away this fabulous piece of gardening equipment as a prize, and to my lovely wife Jane for winning it! I'm sure it will be a most useful asset for years to come.


  1. The images aren't appearing for me Mark.

    1. Thanks for the warning, Andy. I think I've sorted it now!

  2. I imagine that you are over the moon. It's more like a mini greenhouse than a cold frame.

  3. Oh mark it's beautiful and could not have been won by a more deserving couple. Enjoy and look forward to the posts

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  5. That frame is a thing of beauty, looking forward to seeing what you fill it with...

  6. What a fantastic prize. I must enter more competitions over the winter. Enjoy!

  7. Well done to your wife, I'm sure you will get many years of use from it, it looks great as well as being practical.


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