Friday, 22 January 2010

Conservatories & Orangeries

A conservatory is a glass and metal structure traditionally found in the garden of a large house or public park. Modern conservatories are smaller and are often added to houses for home improvement purposes. The traditional nineteenth century conservatory was a large greenhouse used for growing tender and rare plants, or, less often, for birds and rare animals – sometimes with the plants and animals living together. An orangery is similar to a large greenhouse or conservatory and was used originally to winter citrus trees and house exotic plants. Orangeries were first built within Europe in the 17th century, once glass making technology enabled the possibility to produce large areas of sheet glass. Northern Europeans traditionally used orangeries to cultivate citrus fruits such as oranges, limes and lemons hence the name. (HERE is an excellent article in Southern Accents Magazines) Orangeries were popular amongst the royal and aristocratic residences and were considered a status symbol, as peasants were not able to afford the expensive materials needed to build the Orangery. A grand place, for entertaining, relaxing with friends and family, or for just those delicious moments of private contemplation, an Orangery – with or without the plants and flowers that long ago flourished in these sheltered greenhouses – adds a treasured space to your home. Smaller garden conservatories became popular in the second half of the twentieth century, as places which are part-greenhouses, for conserving plants, and part-recreational, as a solarium or sun room. They are often used as an extra room rather than for horticulture. I think all that's changing. I see a huge shift in peoples' desire to grow house plants and more. In fact, I believe growing vegetables and flowers inside your own home is becoming quite trendy and acceptable. Exquisite.


Kitty said...

What a beautiful post! We had considered building a conservatory at our house and never got around to it. Now in the midst of a painful separation, I don't think it will happen, so I will have to wait for spring. Bummer!

Rebecca@Harmony and Home said...

Hi Patty! I just did a big post on conservatories and orangeries myself on December 21st. They are beautiful to look at, aren't they?

lisaray said...

Your conservatory is just Fantastic! Very elegant, the most beautiful I've ever seen!
I can image myself sitting there with a cup of coffee.