Arisaig Centre

Conservatory + Greenhouse Blog

Conservatories, part III

As we’ve mentioned before, it’s a big decision when it comes to picking the right conservatory for your home. Size, style and purpose are all extremely important factors. They all translate into a potentially large investment on your part. There comes a time when you come to the following dilemma: is your conservatory a home for plants or a comfort you leave for yourself? That’s not to say you can’t have both – this is why conservatories are amazing and are usually a good choice if you don’t want to fully dedicate yourself to growing (greenhouses are better suited for this purpose), yet you still wish to keep some green friends around. The answer to this questions has some implications.
First of all, the materials used will be the first consequence. Whether or not you’ll want your conservatory to be suitable for plants will affect the construction decisions – some to greater extent than others. Taking a look at flooring, you’ll have to know that carpets and wooden floors aren’t exactly the best idea if you want to have a lot of plants inside your conservatory, unless you have only a few of them. Tiles and stone plates are very good choices if you decide to have a lot of potted plants, or ones that require a good amount of management. The aspects to take into consideration when thinking about flooring are first and foremost practical (will your plants be better off if you use a certain type of material?), but also a design decision (will the colours and materials complement the plants and vice versa?). Some plants thrive in different types of environment, while others are somewhat unaffected by something like flooring. If you grow cacti, for example, you’ll be less constrained, as they are not as pretentious as other plants. If you want to go for a more exotic look, you can even check out ways of implementing sand in the design of your conservatory – and this is only an example, there are virtually unlimited variations when it comes to making such choices. Of course, glass types and wall materials are also of great importance to your plants. Thickness, potential to keep the room at beneficial temperatures, as well as the possibility of filtering sunlight and other things are to look out for when considering these. Orientation of your conservatory is pretty important too. If you opt for a south view to get the most sunlight possible, you’ll want to also take into account the fact that this will heat up the room much more. There are types of glass that are made specifically for this, so you will want to look into that as well. It’s essential to note that all these variations are dependant on what kind of plants you plan on growing, as with the rest of the materials.
Another thing to consider is how you plan to have your plants interact with other people who might come into contact with them. This is to say, if you decide to have the conservatory as a social room as well, the abundance (or lack thereof) of plants will affect how you arrange them, for example. If you want your plants to be admired and looked at by your friends and guests, it’s good to have an idea of how it will all look and how you plan to showcase your gardening achievements.
Some design choices will leave a lasting impression on people and at the same time will benefit the plants. You want to aim towards a balance between having a good habitat for your little garden, while also maintaining a nice view of what you grow. Of course, it’s your decision how much you want to lean towards practicality, versus showing off your collection of plants.

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