A conservatory is a glass and metal structure traditionally found in the garden of a large house or public park. Modern conservatories are smaller, can be made of PVC, and are often added to houses for home improvement purposes.
The traditional nineteenth century conservatory was a large greenhouse used for growing tender and rare plants, or, less often, for birds and rare animals – sometimes with the plants and animals living together. An orangery is similar to a large greenhouse or conservatory and was used originally to winter citrus trees and house exotic plants.
Many cities, especially those in cold climates and with large European populations, have built municipal conservatories to display tropical plants and hold flower displays. This type of conservatory was popular in the early nineteenth century, and by the end of the century people were also giving them a social use (e.g., tea parties). Conservatory architecture varies from typical Victorian glasshouses to modern styles, such as geodesic domes. Many were large and impressive structures and are included in the list below.
Smaller garden conservatories became popular in the second half of the twentieth century, as places which are part-greenhouses, for conserving plants, and part-recreational, as a solarium or sunroom. They are often used as an extra room rather than for horticulture.
In the UK, a conservatory can also refer to a smaller glass enclosure attached to a house. In other parts of the world this is referred to as a sunroom.
See also Edit
- Roof lantern
- Tessellated roof
- History of the Conservatory A longer history, including the pioneering work of Sir Joseph Paxton.
- Used Conservatories Why it is a bad idea to buy a used conservatory and other advice
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