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The popular orangery has been a place of recreation and relaxation among greenery for centuries. While in the past only the richest could afford such a luxury, today an increasing number of investors decide to organize a winter garden. Invariably, this is an expensive investment. How to go about it?

Legal conditions

Winter garden is a cubature building, which increases the attractiveness of the property. Polish law provides for the possibility to build such a structure without a building permit (Journal of Laws 2007, no. 191, item 1373, text of the Journal of Laws 2018, item 1202). However, we should remember that:

  • a construction notification applies,
  • it applies to gardens with an area of less than 35 m2,
  • the number of such objects can not be greater than two per 500 m2 of land.

Location of the conservatory

Attractive winter garden is the one that fits well with the style in which the house was built. Therefore, its project should be created at the stage of designing the entire property. It is worth to consider well the location of the orangery:

  • on the south side we will probably be able to grow citrus,
  • location on the north side will force the cultivation of slightly less exotic plants,
  • the east zone is an opportunity for beautiful and sunny mornings,
  • the west zone is conducive to evenings at sunset

Constructing a conservatory

In addition to choosing the side of the world, you also need to take care to build your conservatory on a stable and durable foundation, ventilation, rainwater drainage and most importantly a proper roof structure that is strong enough to hold the weight of snow in winter.

Of what material should the conservatory be?

First of all, the cultivation of plants in the orangery requires that the interior has the right amount of light. Therefore, the best choice is a roof glazing on a large area. A good idea will be a wooden structure with glazing made of insulated glass (with argon or dry air inside) having anti-reflective coating (will provide comfort on extremely hot days). PVC or aluminum profiles can also be used. The roof must be made of glass with high strength. The best solution is to use traditional or electric floor heating. The structure is fixed to the building with stainless steel dowels. It is important to do this directly to the wall, not to the outer layer of insulation.

How much does a conservatory cost?

The price depends on the materials chosen. A square meter of orangery area can cost thus:

  • 550 zł – for PVC construction,
  • 900 zł – using glued softwood,
  • 1500 zł – using aluminum profiles,
  • 1900 zł – using exotic wood

Plants for winter garden

The choice of vegetation for winter garden is dependent on two basic factors:

  • location related to insolation (from which side of the world the orangery is located),
  • the presence or absence of heating.

It is very important to create a coherent composition of plants. In such cases it is worth to take advice from people well versed in the subject. Of course, unless the garden is to have an eclectic character

The location of the garden and vegetation

Having a winter garden located on the given side of the world, we should choose plants such as:

  • south side: ficus, oleander, ficus, ficus, coleus, kalatea,
  • north: ivy, hydrangea, funkia, fuchsia
  • east side: philodendron, fern, hydrangea, anthurium,
  • west side: sweeping lilac, horsetail, ivy, sepulolia.

Heated gardens

They are especially suitable for cultivation of exotic plants. Various palms look great in a conservatory. There is also place for coffee and citrus plants. Other recommended plants are orchids or banana plants.

Unheated gardens

Cacti, hibiscus, rhomboleaf cissus, clematis, feathery asparagus or Indian azalea, among others, will fit in a sunny but unheated conservatory.

Photo: Huy Phan/Pexels

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Lilliana Ross

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