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ABOUT WINTER GARDENS

Everybody dreams about a winter garden.  A technically perfect winter garden can enlarge your dwelling space and can serve as a year-long relax facility.

In terms of technical description, a winter garden is a glass construction joined to a building. It is also defined as mostly or completely bordered space creating a transition between the indoor and outdoor environment.

A winter garden represents a significant architectonic element enriching the external appearance of a building due to its building construction, material and colour options.

 

 

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Winter gardens throughout history

o-zimnych-zahradach 29

The technical solutions bringing glass into buildings are relatively new. However, the idea of protecting plants from cold came to light as early as in 1st century AD when Romans grew exotic sorts of fruit and vegetables in wooden boxes even in areas not perfectly suitable for such plants.


They would hide the boxes in caves in order to protect their crops from cold and it is also known that the gardens of Tiberius disposed of hotbeds for growing cucumbers. In the Middle Age, these methods of growing were forgotten..


The creation of the first botany garden dates back to the 16th century. In the same period, the ideas of plant protection appeared. In order to realize these ideas, the first building to protect plants was built in Pisa in 1543 followed by other buildings in other parts of Europe.

In the 17th century Netherlands, orange orchards were placed into brick, wooden or stone buildings with south oriented vertical windows framed in steel. These simple constructions gradually developed and resulted in arched windows used in France and by the shapes of the German baroque style. The main tendency was to orientate the windows of all greenhouses to the south and to heat it by coal and by turf burnt in steel stoves. At the beginning of the 18th century, a new greenhouse with slanting glass surfaces was constructed in order to provide orange orchards with more light.


Functions of modern winter gardens

 

o-zimnych-zahradach 21Any winter garden should meet four basic functions. The first of them consists in the aesthetic function aiming at making your dwelling space more attractive, which can be achieved by incorporating the winter garden into the original building.



 

o-zimnych-zahradach 22The second function rests in the winter garden utility, which is understood as the improvement of the house comfort. The third function is related to the second one and brings the enlargement of your dwelling space.




 

o-zimnych-zahradach 23And the fourth function? Just due to any winter garden we get closer to the nature. It is therefore a place where the man and the nature are brought closer to each other. This function is the best followed by winter gardens on wooden basis accentuating the natural character of the space.

 


 

Categorisation of winter gardens according to their purpose

 

Winter garden used for growing plants – greenhouse
Subtropical winter garden intended for growing the plants typically occurring in subtropical climate zone represents the basic type of winter gardens. It is not suitable for a yearlong usage be people. During the winter time, the plants hibernate here, during the summer time; they are moved to balconies and terraces. These plants involve kinds such as: acacia (Acacia),rosebay (Rhododendronsimsii), (Araucaria), (Bougainvillea), citrus (Citrus), ivy (Fatshedera), gardenia (Gardenia), (Gerbera), jasmine (Jasminum), oleander (Nerium oleander)and some sorts of bamboo.

The yearlong tropical winter garden is the most fascinating of all. It is suitable for growing pineapples(Ananas), bananas (Musa), dracaena (Dracaena), (Cordiyline), ficus (Ficus),philodendron (Philodendron), coffe-tree (Coffea), croton (Croton), (Columnea), (Platycerium), (Anthurium), (Cyperus), (Strelitzia) and a variety of palms, brackens, orchids, penguin plant and carnivorous plants.A water winter garden is rare and due to high level of humidity it has to be well separated from residential areas. The most suitable plants to be grown here are: Ardisia crenata, Pistia stratiotes, Myriophyllum, Soleirolia, Hydrangea, Spathiphyllum and Dipteracanthus.

Winter garden as an energetic system
The system profits from greenhouse effect and serves as hot air collector, but requires the orientation to the south, steep glass surfaces, enough space over two floors and directed air flow. On the ground of calculations and results of measurements in the houses with winter gardens, energy economy of 7 to 40% has been calculated in comparison with the same houses without winter gardens. All of the results must be judged and assessed according to the particular objects whereas no general conclusion may be drawn out of these calculations.

Winter garden as a residential area
Considering the current status of exotic fruit delivery from tropical and subtropical countries, as well as low energy and passive buildings possible to be build for acceptable prices, the usage of winter gardens only for growing plants, exotic fruit, sometimes for producing heat can reasonably appear as money wasting. A winter garden should be a full value residential area providing the space for eating, reading or relaxing and spending time with one´s family. The space undoubtedly involves the plants grown here and when the garden gains the energy it consumes, there comes the customer satisfaction. Stable climatic conditions are the basic requirement for a residential winter garden. In other words, any winter garden should be designed for use during a hot summer day and during a cold winter evening.