The Plant Window – The most successful of all terraria is the plant window. It is essentially a window with an external pane or panes of glass (doubled-glazed to provide winter insulation) and an internal fully-glazed door which can be opened to get to the space within. At the base of this space is a tray filled with gravel in which the pots are housed and then hidden with damp peat.
Plant windows are a feature of many homes in Germany, Scandinavia, Holland and parts of the U.S – but are a rarity in UK houses. This type of display is generally built at the time of house construction – it is a difficult task to construct one on to an existing building.
The plant window floor is generally 1,5 – 2,5 ft wide and there are a number of basic features which must be provided. Some form of shading will be needed if the window faces south, and a ventilator is usually essential. There are all sorts of optional extras – fluorescent lighting, piped water supply, under- floor heating, automatically controlled humidifiers and ventilators, etc.
A plant window can truly be a thing of beauty. The atmosphere is even better than that in a conservatory for exotic/water plants. Here you can grow Orchids, Anthuriums, Bougainvilleas, Columneas, Caladiums and Acalyphas to perfection, but a lot of work is involved. Careful watering is essential and ventilation must be regularly adjusted to prevent misting. Plants must be groomed and the glass must be cleaned at regular intervals.