Greenhouse vs conservatory, and N-facing garden

Do-it-yourself projects such as greenhouse or shadehouse builds and related topics.
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edstar500
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Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:01 pm

Greenhouse vs conservatory, and N-facing garden

Post by edstar500 »

i am moving house, currently i have 6x8 greenhouse in a south facing garden.

i had been factoring into my house search the need for a big garden so that i can build a fairly large greenhouse (e.g 6x20). however, i am now also considering just bolting some kind of conservatory or garden room onto the side of a house. so, first question is what are the pros and cons of greenhouse vs conservatory. I like the idea of a conservatory/garden room as it feels like it would be more stable, less risk from storms and high winds.

i have seen a house that i like but it is north facing. so i'm interested in other people's experiences growing in a north-facing environment. would i be ok if i put a north-facing conservatory onto the back of the house - am i going to get enough light to still grow a good variety of cacti and succulents?

the house is a victorian property in SE london
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cactushobbyman
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Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:01 pm
Location: Sanger, California

Re: Greenhouse vs conservatory, and N-facing garden

Post by cactushobbyman »

If the room is adjacent to the house and its footprint is not that deep, full sun exposure could be lost. Years ago I had a lean-to greenhouse facing north and house plants did great. The roof was clear so the upper shelves were okay for cactus, however, the house was in San Jose, CA and there were very few days over 100 degrees and rarely below freezing.
edstar500
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:01 pm

Re: Greenhouse vs conservatory, and N-facing garden

Post by edstar500 »

Thanks ... It would be adjacent to the back of the house - I am thinking 8 to 10 foot deep
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CACTUSCANADA
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:07 pm

Re: Greenhouse vs conservatory, and N-facing garden

Post by CACTUSCANADA »

edstar500 wrote: Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:07 pm i am moving house, currently i have 6x8 greenhouse in a south facing garden.

i had been factoring into my house search the need for a big garden so that i can build a fairly large greenhouse (e.g 6x20). however, i am now also considering just bolting some kind of conservatory or garden room onto the side of a house. so, first question is what are the pros and cons of greenhouse vs conservatory. I like the idea of a conservatory/garden room as it feels like it would be more stable, less risk from storms and high winds.

i have seen a house that i like but it is north facing. so i'm interested in other people's experiences growing in a north-facing environment. would i be ok if i put a north-facing conservatory onto the back of the house - am i going to get enough light to still grow a good variety of cacti and succulents?

the house is a victorian property in SE london
I can help you answer some of your concerns, I'm in Canada and have to deal with a considerable amount of variables with growing cacti - especially cold weather, similar to the U.K.

The lean-to you mention (conservatory)
-Temperature modulation is more stable
-Cheaper
-Easier and less work
-More convenient

Free standing greenhouse
-More liberty to do as you wish with customization, location, design.
- Storms and high winds are not a risk if it is properly made - A kit will be more flimsy than a DIY, but even most permanent pre-fab structures have a minimum wind rating of 100km/h.

North facing is not ideal but some things to consider are what your growing? Are there ancillary obstructions like trees in the horizon? Do you have translucent walls on all three sides? Contrary to popular belief many cacti genera do not want full sun exposure, in the wild they grow under the protection of shade plants.If you have solid E and W sun exposure it becomes less of a concern.I have burnt cacti in a north facing location with shade trees. I would not expect a N facing location to not be problematic for your cacti but if all variables remain equal otherwise, S facing is ideal.

It's funny reading that you are factoring this into your house search. As am I! My wife just doesn't understand it.
Goodluck,
CC
:D
phil_SK
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Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2006 10:47 am
Location: Stockport, UK

Re: Greenhouse vs conservatory, and N-facing garden

Post by phil_SK »

In the heat of summer, you'd want to leave all the doors and windows open to keep your plants cool, which could be a security issue for a conservatory unless there were lockable doors in between. I think conservatories mess up the view from the house.
The far end of a longish north-facing garden could be quite sunny when the sun is high in the sky, depending on how tall the house is. Lack of sun in winter is more tolerable.
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