Orangeries are Ideal for House Plants

Homeowners can take care of their house plants during the winter months by placing them in orangeries.

Nancy O'Donnell, of the Albany Times Union, reported that houseplants have been popular for thousands of years but often suffer in winter because homeowners are unaware of how to keep them.

Ms O'Donnell stated that orangeries are becoming more popular as they are the ideal way to care for houseplants during cold weather periods when the dangers of frost and damp are prevalent.

She wrote: "With all of these exotic plants being raised indoors with minimal light, heat and humidity, a better way to tend them was needed. The predecessors to today's greenhouses and conservatories, 'orangeries' were invented."

Ms O'Donnell advised plant owners to look at certain danger signs before deciding whether to place their flora and fauna into orangeries before any condition turns terminal it becomes too late to resurrect the plant.

"Some tell-tale signs include fading leaf colour, leaf drop, bending or stretching toward a light source, smaller new leaves, or no new growth during the growing season. Should any of these occur, just move your plant and watch," she wrote.

Orangeries became fashionable across Britain in the 18th century as a growing number of wealthy people purchased the extensions in order to house exotic plants in luxurious surroundings.

While primarily constructed to care for plants, orangeries soon became status symbols that included fountains and grottos as prestigious people liked to show off the extensions architecture to visiting guests.

Famous orangeries currently exist in Kensington Palace, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Margam Park and are visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year.

An architecture firm has won planning permission to build an orangery style extension on a gallery dedicated to the work of textile designer, artist and writer William Morris.

John Pringle, director of the architecture firm, said: "The original concept had large windows and was more like an orangery. A lot of Georgian structures did have orangeries, but the windows were reduced in size in response to those concerns."

Waltham Forest Council approved the £3.75 million extension on the Grade II listed building and work is expected to be completed in time for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Kevin Allen, from estate agents John D Wood & Co, recently told the Daily Mail that orangeries were becoming increasingly popular with homeowners who could not afford to move but wanted to improve their property.