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Conservatories, Sunrooms - Your questions Answered
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Please note: Most of the answers we feature here are from 1999 - early 2002. We endeavour to keep all links etc up to date, however if you spot any errors please let our webmaster know at It should also be noted that some replies may change in light of changes to legislation especially with regards to Planning Permission and Building Regulations. To submit a new question or to query an existing question visit

Question submitted by Jon

I was wondering if you provide free-standing "greenhouse" style garden buildings, such as the Victorian ones I have seen elsewhere on the web (There's a firm in Surrey but I can't remember their name). The building would be used as a conservatory but it would be positioned in the garden, as opposed to attached to our house. This is due to two reasons - 1) we are in a conservation area and it is very difficult and time-consuming getting planning permission for a conservatory. (I imagine that I wouldn't need permission for a greenhouse, even though I was to use it as a conservatory!) 2) The sun disappears behind our house after midday leaving a conservatory in shade for the whole afternoon. In the garden, it would remain in the sun for much longer.

This question answered by the Conservatories Online editorial team - One company you could try is: HARTLEY BOTANIC
Their address is
Greenfield, Oldham,
Lancashire OL3 7AG,
Telephone: +44 (0) 1457 873244 Facsimile: +44 (0) 1457 870151

Web Address:

RE: Planning Permission - we suggest you speak to your council. We think it fairly like that permission will be required.

Click here for a brochure requestQuestion submitted by Guildford Resident

I would like a tropical 'feel' conservatory with large plants, but don't know what will survive in a 4x4m s/sw facing victorian style conservatory (this has been built and will shortly have the glass in). I have bougainvillaes, passion flower and plumbago as well as palms from my previous unheated conservatory. Will they survive unscorched without roof and/or window blinds? Can I have tree or stag horn ferns and what else can you suggest?

This question answered by Louisa Poulton - You will need some shading for height of summer. Keep well sprayed with water on hot days and check for red spider mite. This appears as tiny white cobwebs on leaves, in between joints.

You could grow the palm Phoenix canariensis in a large pot. It is also possible to grow small peach trees, perhaps standing them out on the terrace in the summer and bringing in during the winter. Just imagine, picking your own peaches!

Tree ferns are rather large in diameter and stag horn ferns prefer shade. Perhaps try pineapple broom, cytisus battandieri and mixing the blue and white plumbago together. Also bottle brush plants, callistemons, and large pots of beautiful phlox chatahoochee. Cannas grow well in pots, along with species geraniums and pelargoniums.



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