Why choose to buy or build a conservatory? Why not just have a large greenhouse, especially if you want to grow lots of plants? The answer is that not only does conservatory look more elegant and give you somewhere sheltered to sit and admire the garden. It also requires less heating than a greenhouse as will generally absorb and retain heat from the house itself and the heating system for a conservatory can be run from the house central heating.

 The proximity of the house means that it is far more likely to be used and hence become somewhere that you can relax in beautiful surroundings, especially when it is fairly warm and sunny but not quite warm enough to sit outside. With plenty of indoor plants, lush ferns, early flowering bulbs or lilies in pots, tropical orchids and tubs stuffed full of bedding plants you can create your own indoor paradise.

 As less heating is required than in a normal greenhouse you can easily afford to maintain a higher temperature thus enabling you to grow a large range of unusual plants and climbers.

There are masses of  flowering subjects that can be featured in a well placed conservatory, as well as citrus fruits and even olive trees. In addition  a conservatory makes a very good link between the house and the garden itself, affording shelter from a sudden rain shower or a late frost when tender pot grown plants can be dragged under cover for the night.

With the right conservatory dining set you can turn your under-glass oasis into somewhere to enjoy a sunny breakfast or entertain friends to lunch or dinner. When buying furniture though do make sure you leave plenty of room to walk round it so that you can easily tend to and water your plants. Synthetic rattan furniture is often best as it can be used indoors or outside in the garden during the height of the summer. 

There are a wide range of conservatories available now in designs that vary from the ornate Victorian reproduction style to much more modern simple styles. They may also be purpose built to suit the age and architecture of your home. In order to make full use of your conservatory it will be necessary to make an out of the way area within it for over-wintering plants and possible storage.