The Sun Lounge and Conservatory

In so far as the plants which are grown in them are the same, the sun lounge and conservatory are virtually synonymous, but of course there are certain differences which make the use of the two terms meaningful. The term sun lounge invariably refers to a light, airy, very glassy structure attached to a modern house whereas the word conservatory is usually applied to the heavier structures (rather more wood or cast iron and rather less glass than in the sun lounge) attached to older houses. Moreover, whereas the sun lounge is very much a room, the old-style conservatory is likely to be very much more a greenhouse-type structure complete with staging and heating pipes. It is another case of changed fashions and different living patterns.

A sun lounge extension to the house can be a great joy. If it is on the south-west or south-east side of the house it becomes a sun trap and a place where all the family can sit and enjoy the sunshine when it is cold and windy out of doors. As my house is on a hill with open country for miles around it is possible that I get more pleasure from such a room than the average house owner, because of the shelter it provides.

But not only is the sun lounge an ideal place for sitting in. it is also ideal as a growing room for many plants, and likewise of course, the conservatory. We have no heating in our sun lounge except on very frosty nights when we bring in a small electric fan heater. This keeps the temperature just above freezing point and allows us to leave Regal and Zonal pelargoniums, Fuchsias and a fruiting lemon there during the winter months. Also there are various ferns and Begonia rex which look a little tired in the very cold weather but soon pick up as conditions improve.

The beloperone or Shrimp Plant, the variegated ivies and the tradescantias are other plants which I find useful for this indoor ‘garden’. Foliage plants, such as Grevillea robusta, are ideal throughout the year. Coleus are splendid summer plants for such conditions, making excellent specimens with brightly coloured foliage because of all the additional light they receive.

Perhaps I should mention here that we have no shading of any kind for our sun lounge. If one chooses one’s plants carefully it is unnecessary and in any case the whole idea is to allow as much sunshine to enter as possible.

In fact, so well do many greenhouse plants grow in modern sun lounges that the tendency is to crowd too much in. This is certainly so in my case. One must always remember that this is a room which should be pleasing to the eye and the plants should be arranged as decorative features. In addition to table level displays. There can be the added attraction of one or more colourful hanging baskets, and large specimen plants can be stood directly on the floor.

A sun lounge and a cool greenhouse may both be in your possession and in this case it will be possible to have a certain amount of cross movement from one to the other. Plants which need a little more heat than a sun lounge or conservatory normally provides can be brought into top condition in the greenhouse and then moved for short periods to the sun lounge. Such juggling with the available facilities greatly adds to the fun of gardening.

01. March 2012 by admin
Categories: Featured, Greenhouse Gardening | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on The Sun Lounge and Conservatory

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