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By Fiona Grant
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.
Shire Publications, 2013, softcover, 72 pages, many B&W illustrations.