Sunday, November 6, 2011

Orangery oasis ...

It can be called a greenhouse or a conservatory, but I'm going to use its centuries old moniker of 'orangery' to describe that architecturally stunning, sunny, enclosed space where citrus trees and tropicals spend their winter months.

Image by French photographer Fran├žois Halard.

Renaissance gardens of Italy were the first to introduce orangeries following the revolutionary development and manufacture of large glass expanses. By early in the 17th century, the finest residences across Europe added orangeries.

Image via Eclectic Revisited.

While offering tender plants protection from harsh winters, the orangery also incorporated much needed light into what were often rather dim and dismal quarters. These glass galleries provided a place to receive and entertain guests as well.

Image via Dumbarton Oaks.

It seems every historic castle and fashionable residence boasted an orangery as a status symbol, and our desire to add these glass rooms to contemporary homes hasn't diminished much (even though few of us grow our own fruit at home).

Image via Bombay Designs.

Orangeries are architecturally beautiful to me.

Designed by architect Peter Marino

With the technological advances of climate control in our residential environment, glass enclosures are far easier to maintain for comfort and energy efficiency.

Image via Home Design Love.

I'm convinced that dining amid the greenery and dappled sunlight is a great way to spend an afternoon. Even artists are drawn to the classic elegance of the orangery's image.

Art entitled, Orangery at Kew Gardens by Ashley Cecil.

Funny, the Kew Gardens orangery is 10 miles from central London and adjacent to the river Thames, but this artwork reminds me of New Orleans for some reason.

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