Tel: 020 8450 8318 or Email: roberts@londonediblegardens.com
 

Victorian Greenhouse_2

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Above: A Hartley Botanic Greenhouse












































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History of Victorian Greenhouses

In the 19th century, In order for many of the newly identified exotic species to flourish in Britain, came the necessity to build glass greenhouses, or 'glasshouses'. This had been restricted by the existing glass tax and window tax that was enacted on all properties with more than 8 windows. With the abolition of the glass tax in 1845, the window tax in 1851 – and the recent invention of plate glass – came the birth of the great Victorian Glasshouse, the most renowned being the Palm House at Kew Gardens in London [and of course, Syon House, see below.]

With the design and development of the Victorian glasshouse came a number of innovations regarding boilers to heat the vast greenhouses that enabled the cultivation of fresh vegetables, fruits and flowers all year round. The Victorians experienced self-sustainability to its greatest extent utilising their amazing glasshouses to grow home-grown produce that would be served to family and guests. They were often used as a place to socialise... READ MORE >
 



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A Place to Socialise

The Victorian greenhouse was also adapted as a place to socialise, inviting friends for afternoon tea, pondering and marvelling at the display of exotic exhibits, was a chance for Victorian’s to show their wealth. The greenhouse would be decked with magnificent ornate cast iron furniture; it could be adapted as a place to carry out hobbies and interests – painting for example or embroidery activities – due to the abundance of natural light. Children were also encouraged to explore, study or play in the elaborately designed glasshouses again adding to the idea that the greenhouse could be adapted as an additional room in which to entertain.
[In keeping with this tradition, the greenhouse at the London Syon Park hotel will include a Chef's Table where hotel guests can dine in unique surroundings.]

SOURCE: www.victoriana.com

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Modern conservatories
 
Today a more common word is the conservatory, stemming from the Victorian glasshouse influence over a century and a half later. Some greenhouse designers nowadays replicate the Victorian notion of creating a garden room experience and luxuriously furnish Victorian style glasshouses, with blinds, ornate furniture and exotic plants and flowers. There is a wonderful sense of reminiscence about this styling of a greenhouse – hot summer days, friends in the garden and the children picking fresh tomatoes and fruits for lunch.

The greenhouse is considered as an economic alternative option to increase living space providing a tranquil retreat from the stresses of 21st century life; but more importantly, the greenhouse is leading the revival of self-sustainability and home-grown produce. We have a lot to thank the experimental Victorian gardeners for.

The Victorian influence on the gardener’s experience today is steeped with nostalgia. Without the ‘plant hunters’ and explorers of the Victorian era the vast array of plants, fruits and vegetables from all corners of the globe would not be available. Their influence is everywhere, from common bedding plants, to the London Squares, the numerous walled gardens throughout Britain and of course the elaborate glasshouses at Kew, Crystal Palace and Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. The Victorian Joseph Paxton was involved in the design of both Crystal Palace and Chatsworth conservatory and was one of the first people to sell small greenhouses to the general gardening public.
 
SOURCE:  Hartley Greenhouses

 
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