Orangeries in Bloom.Published on 21st February 2014
Oranges are not the only fruit to enjoy life under glass, although they are, we think, the only plant to have a building named for them. After the last few tempestuous months, no one should really need reminding that the British weather is somewhat unpredictable, but with the first day of Spring (20th March 2014) shining enticingly before us the seeds of hope are beginning to germinate.
Even now, with the rain driving, wind howling and the occasional flurry of the white stuff, it’s possible to discern a handful of spring time heralds; snowdrops are bowing their heads, hazel catkins are beginning to emerge and crocus buds are peeping amongst their spiky leaves. If you’re not brave enough to venture out into the weather just yet though, there are plenty of things to be getting on with indoors to ease those green fingers out of hibernation.
February is the optimum time for planting chillies. Although the fiery little fiends do need heat to fruit, they have a long germination and growing period, so the earlier you start the better the crop, and they are far happier when grown indoors.
If you’re looking for veg to start inside and relocate when the weather is warmer, cucumbers, artichokes, tomatoes, and aubergines will all do well if sown now.
For the floral fanciers now is the time to sow your sweet peas. The sumptuous scent will swamp your garden in summer if you give them a February start. If grown along with aquilegia, cornflowers and dahlias, you’ll have yourself the perfect little cottage garden by June.
For a cut flower garden you might want to consider chrysanthemums, nicotiana, penstemon, rudbeckia and scented phlox. Or, for instant indoor colour and scent your local garden centre should currently be stocking bowls of hyacinths and daffodils, they will love a cool, bright spot.
Although a windowsill is enough to start a few seeds growing, if an orangery or conservatory makes up part of your home you are at a distinct advantage. With controlled temperatures and masses of natural light, you can grow almost anything. And with our bespoke design service, an Apropos orangery or conservatory can be planned with growing in mind. There’s also one benefit over having a separate green house; you don’t have to brave the outdoors every time you want to check on your seedlings!
Whatever growing space you have available though, take heart that spring is near at hand; the rain can’t continue forever!
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