Greenhouses and conservatories have a long and distinguished history. Starting in ancient China and the Roman Empire, the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries saw them housing rare and treasured spices and fruits from the colonies that were quite literally worth their weight in gold. Some of the most spectacular examples were commissioned by kings and queens, like the stunning organgeries at Versailles or Victoria's Crystal Palace that housed the first International Exhibition, symbolizing the glory and pride of an era. Olivier de Vleeschouwer's fascinating text examines the role of greenhouses and conservatories, in public and in private gardens, from their beginnings to the present day. For some they are a private kingdom dedicated to the world of plants, for others an extension of the family living space, flooding their home with light. The author invites you to discover the greenhouses of well-known lovers of gardens past and present, such as Cecil Beaton, Victor Hugo, Andree Putman, or Sarah Bernhardt, and for those inspired by their example, offers a full practical guide to the best places to buy and furnish a greenhouse of your own.
Filled with beautiful illustrations and original photographs, the marriage of soaring, light-as-air glass and luxuriant vegetation makes this book a sumptuous visual treat and a source of inspiration for anyone interested in the art of gardening under glass.