The attention bestowed by gardeners of this country to plants introduced from every quarter of the globe has made it necessary to erect buildings for their preservation and culture such as conservatories; and to so great an extent has the means been carried by the scientific, to create and govern artificial temperature, that many exotic plants and fruits have arrived at a perfection with us, rarely known to the country whence they were obtained. Being compelled by the variableness of our climate to study their nature and make means to cherish them, Horticul- turalists have proceeded in their exertions, and at length, have arrived at results, beyond the products of nature in the most congenial climate, unless assisted by the studies and labours of man, which not being necessarily demanded they have in general failed to receive. The transactions of our Horticultural Societies show plenty of testimonies of these facts, and satisfactorily illustrate the experiments and results obtained by enlightened theorists, and by practical men on these subjects, and thence supply an plenty of source of activities no less beneficial to society than interesting to the individual whose leisure allows the prosecution of such studies.
The propogation of heat, and the application of it to all the purposes of horticulture are now well understood; and although every year adds something to the great fund of knowledge collected on these subjects, they are frequently the efforts of the ingenious to economise in fuel and building, rather than to introduce new methods of cultivation. This branch of the science is, possibly, near to its perfection, and its improvements are fully communicated to horticulturalists by the publications of the Societies' transactions, these benefits are not only felt and appreciated by this country, but are eagerly sought for by others, and there is good reason to expect that their influence has produced useful results in every country in Europe, notwithstanding the Societies both of London and Edinburgh are yet of recent establishment.
To the transactions of those societies the studious are referred for the latest and best information on horticultural subjects. The conservatory is a building contradistinguished from forcing houses of every description, and as its name implies, is chiefly used for the preservation of plants, although vines are sometimes trained within it. The means consist in the capacity of allowing shelter to delicate plants from the winds and rains; in equalizing the temperature of the seasons, and of the day and night-in the summer it is rather devoted to display than to protection, but in the cold months, the stoves provided to create artificial heat are occasionally brought into action, and whether heated by smoke flues or bysteam, thebuilding possesses a suitable and equal temperature - and so the conservatory seems to be privileged against the severer laws of nature, and its inmates flourish in one eternal spring.
The subject of the pictured plate is a garden building, the centre of which forms a small conservatory, to which the alcoves at each end serve as approaches, being separated only by glass partitions, and having glass terminations at each end, ornamented by small portions of coloured glass. The front of the building ought to be situated to the south, and the back towards the kitchen garden, whence it receives the attentions of the gardener and prevents the occasional litter that would otherwise happen in the walks and lawn.
The application of iron to the formation of hot houses has certainly done much towards perfecting them; the bars and supports are thence so small as in the least possible degree to intercept the rays of the sun; and unless its frequent expansion and contraction by whichthe glass would suffer - its liability to oxidation, or tendency to transmit heat, be not found by experience to diminish its present reputation, iron will be generally adopted for the frames of garden buildings.
The conservatory is a very desirable addition to the mansion itself, and forms in such cases, one of its most interesting apartments; indeed, it presents such an endless source of amusement at all seasons and all times, that its frequent adoption may be well expected: coloured glass may be introduced in several parts of the conservatory with admirable effect; and if the aviary, small fountains of water, and basins of gold and silver fish, are introduced as decorations, the conservatory may be rendered as ornamental as any part of the building.