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Conservatory

This isn't really a problem post, more I need opinions and ideas. Background: New extension to house, which leaves me with a 'conservatory'. It's in quotes because only one side is glass, facing west. The other sides are glass doors into the dining room, a brick wall and a wall with three doors into what used to be outhouses, but are now indoors. There's a glass lantern type window on the roof, but that will be shaded all morning by the house.

What do I do with it? It's definitely earmarked for plants I can't grow outside, so half hardy, not below zero specimens. It doesn't have it's own heat, no radiator, so I think fully tender plants are a bit of a risk. Also, it's connected to the house so high humidities are also out (the fish tank creates enough mould as it is). We have a Springer spaniel, so anything extremely delicate is out (Poppy enjoys shoving her nose in and having a good sniff).

What do I like? As it turns out, what I like inside is totally different from what I like outside. I'm thinking variegated and big leaves. Plants that don't need regular pruning, but just get on and grow to fill the space. Preferably no prickles or thorns. Bright flowers, but flower shaped, not like bird of paradise or proteas. I have a lemon that has been carefully nursed through the winters and that will be moving in.

The wall. It's a flat, south facing solid brick wall. OH planned on leaving it as brick, I kind of assumed brick painted white and am now contemplating plastering it and putting a leaf print wallpaper up. Suggestions?

And so we come to the major question, plant recommendations. There's not too much room for hanging baskets and trailing plants, so I was thinking a climber on the wall, but it wouldn't be able to come too far forward. Otherwise it's shelves and smaller plants. Help please.

Posts

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,154
    Dimensions?
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 7,736
    edited 4 April
    And picture , pretty much perfect
     Our last conservatory was west facing. Fantastic for plants and people, it was our dining room,lots of plants, dehumidifier going at night in winter. Essential. We started out with a portable electric heater,then hubby added a radiator. Frankly, I can't think of any plants that fit your needs and not a problem with your dog. 
  • seacrowsseacrows Posts: 210
    pansyface said:
    Dimensions?
    2m x 3m, the 3m side is the glass.
  • seacrowsseacrows Posts: 210
    And picture , pretty much perfect
     Our last conservatory was west facing. Fantastic for plants and people, it was our dining room,lots of plants, dehumidifier going at night in winter. Essential. We started out with a portable electric heater,then hubby added a radiator. Frankly, I can't think of any plants that fit your needs and not a problem with your dog. 
    A picture at present would show a concrete floor, brick walls and no roof, windows or doors. Builders say 12 weeks. 

    Dehumidifier. Why didn't I think of that? We have two just sitting in storage from when we had chinchillas. That extends plants to include those that like sitting on wet gravel.
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 7,736
    I have Anne Swithinbanks book The Conservatory Gardener. Huge range of plants, for all aspects and temperature ranges. Difficult to advise until we know the temperature ranges you are going to be working with. My friend has a big tropical fish tank, dreadful black mould,BUT she does have her heating on 23.5 in a south facing lounge,and wearing a t shirt.  I recommend a dehumidifier, mine has a clothes drying setting.
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 7,736
    Pictures not loading, have trawled book: specimen plants,low temperature/light requirements. Prostanthera, Australian mint.Hibiscus.Brunfelsia.camelia.Leptospermum.Myrtus.For your climber,white jasmine. Sorry none of the pictures loaded you'll have to look them up
    Unless you're going to have heating,I personally would avoid wall paper. Our back bungalow wall in the conservatory is painted white,but it's north facing. The dwarf walls are brick, have nagged the old man to plasterboard,but with the furniture and plants, they are barely visible.  I collect the dehumidifier water and use it on the plants.
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 7,736
    Not sure if you want plants with big variagated leaves which also have flowers, selection I have given you,was just flowers. There are plenty with variagated leaves,I can add
     
  • seacrowsseacrows Posts: 210
    Ooh, how did I not remember hibiscus? Love these flowers.
    Jasmine. This can be a bit strongly scented in the garden, does it not get overpowering in an enclosed room?
    And one I remembered, tradescantia. I've wanted one of these since I read about the father and son plant hunters, John Tradescant, when I was a child. 

    I think you're right about wallpaper though, not a good combination with increased humidity.
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 7,736
    I have a whopping tradescantia in the bathroom,not large leave though. Needs some faff,gets scruffy quickly. 
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