When creating heart plants, I wondered what kind of environment would be best to visually show them in. I wanted to have a greenhouse but also have areas where other plants grew and areas where scientists/doctors could do routine checks on each status of the hearts.
I thought that greenhouses and conservatories were the same. I was surprised to know they aren’t.
- Seasonal Extension
- Protects crops from diseases, common field pests
- Can grow virtually anything. The best are tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, delphinium, lisianthus, and snapdragons
- Need to ensure the plants are parthenocarpic (doesn’t require insect pollination to set fruit) and; gynecious (all flowers are female)
None of these relate directly to heart plants, but having this knowledge still informs that type of environment I’m drawing and trying to depict. Any flowers or plants I want to use, I’ll keep this in mind.
Official Greenhouse (mostly)
I came across the Royal Greenhouse of Laeken. During the 19th century, right when metal and glass was finally usable as construction materials, Alphonse Balat was sent after to create a greenhouse for Belgium leader King Leopold II. Balat was set to design a greenhouse complex that complemented the castle of Laeken. It was meant to emulate a glass city and was inspired by Art Noveau.
The incredible thing about this greenhouse, besides the stunning architecture, is:
- Some plants of the original collection still exist
- Current collections respect the spirit of the first
- Still has large amounts of rare and valuable plants
Every year, during Spring, the greenhouse is open to the public for three weeks–a tradition for over a century. This year it will be from April 21 to May 11.
Looking up the definitions, they both convey the same idea: structures where plants are grown. Even so, they are still quite different.
- Conservatories are often extensions of the homes whereas greenhouses are separate
- Conservatories are a living space with the heavy accents of plants in the design whereas greenhouses are more utilitarian
In a way, parts of the Royal Greenhouse of Laeken is a conservatory. The Winter Garden, for example, was used for royal receptions.
With that in mind, I wanted to use this example as my influence for the conservatory within my own story.