Since the early seventeenth century, when the cultivation of exotic plants and fruit became fashionable in northern Europe, glasshouses have offered an artificial climate in which they could flourish. At first these structures were within reach only of the very richest, and growing one's own oranges, orchids, pineapples or bananas was a sign of great wealth; but by the mid-nineteenth century manufacturers emerged to cater for a growing middle-class market. Glasshouses became increasingly sophisticated, with different types tailored to house specific crops, and manufacturers competing with one another by developing their own house styles, leading to a wealth of designs endlessly fascinating to the garden or architectural historian. In Glasshouses, Fiona Grant provides an illustrated introduction to the subject, including the twentieth century decline and recent attempts at restoration.
Fiona Grant is a garden historian with a particular interest in productive gardens and the role of glasshouses in supplying food throughout the year. She is one the founder members of the Walled Kitchen Gardens Network and advises on the restoration of both gardens and glasshouses.
Introduction / The Orangery / An Age of Experimentation / Early Iron-framed Glasshouses / The Paxton Effect / The mass-produced Glasshouse / Restoration / List of Manufacturers / Places to Visit / Further Reading / Index