New conservatory advice

Considering people and plants before you build a new conservatory...

Before and during the building process, many practical points need consideration to help your new conservatory work best for you. The following points are well worth thinking about as they will directly affect the buoyant atmosphere in which you and your plants will be living.

When air is exposed to sunshine through glass , it heats up and also dries out. A certain amount of this is a wonderful advantage, but at the height of summer, the very hot dry air is stifling to live in and if it is uncomfortable for you then it will be both unpleasant and detrimental to your plants.

Reading  the following points will help you to understand and plan the requirements of your conservatory and fullfill your desire for the most successful glass structure.

1) Ventilation
Roof vents are essential in all glass structures to release the build up of hot air. Additional vents at a lower level will allow the exchange of fresh air into the room as hot air rises out of the roof vents. This keeps the cooler and moist breathable air flowing past plant leaves and people making a lively atmosphere that is uplifting to be in.

2) Shading
This is essential in south facing structures to protect both people and plants from the glare of the strongest sun. Blinds of any sort are a major expense, so consider carefully just where in the building they are needed.

3) Heating
There are very many ways to heat your glass structure in the winter months. You need to consider how much of the year you wish to use the conservatory and how sensitive to the cold are the species of plants you wish to grow ? As a general rule, the winter temperatures that are most comfortable for people tend to be a little too warm for plants but there are many ways around this anomaly.

4) Types of Glass
Some forms of glazing contain solar filters as an integral part of a glazed unit. These filters are generally to preserve valuable heat in winter and reduce heat gain in the summer which are both beneficial attributes. However, these filters can also affect the behaviour of your plants by cutting out various percentages of light which exists in certain spectrums. This in turn, can reduce the amount and quality of the flowers produced over the season and we find that Bougainvilleas are especially sensitive to these filters. We are currently monitoring this type of glass and its effect on plants and can share our observations with you to date.

5) Planting Beds
Pots and containers are only one way to grow plants under glass and they have their drawbacks as they restrict root runs and require much more input in terms of correct feeding and watering. The single most beneficial decision you can make to help you grow plants of the highest quality and most vigorous nature is to incorporate planting beds within the floor of your new conservatory. These must meet up with the ground beneath for maximum benefit. The Victorians did this as a matter of course , knowing that their plants would thrive to reach their full potential. This tends to give luxuriant plantings which are easier to keep watered and fed and more resistant to attack by plant pests.

All of these points and many others will require your consideration and this in turn will assist you in your endeavours to create the finest of structures for both plants and people. If you wish to discuss any of these points then please do contact us.