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I am preparing a sort of "winter garden" in our conservatory which has no heating


By Vsavage

United Kingdom Gb

Thank you for all your helpful suggestions for my "winter garden". Yes I think the citrus fruit trees idea is nice except it will be all trees. I will have to look up some of the other suggestions as they do need to be hardy. I think the conservatory stays at or above freezing - at least we never have ice on the inside of the windows but it does get very cold. The olive trees are OK down to -15 apparently. I live in the middle of the country near Milton Keynes in a fairly sheltered valley. The conservatory has the house on one long side and the drive on the other which has a high wall next to it. It gets the morning sun all year round. The plants would have to be free standing ie not climbers and I ideally I want to keep it going through the winter and maybe have a change after the spring. Just needs to be ready by 22nd Dec.
In the meantime I will look up all your suggestions. I think something grassy about 2 feet high is what I really want. I like the idea of things I can put out in the summer too.
Thanks again



You could try some Citrus, Orange, Kumquat or Lemon, Etc.

4 Dec, 2011


First may I welcome you to GOY Vasvage looking forward to the many photos.

4 Dec, 2011


Are you interested in climbers? There's Plumbago which is very mediterranean, plus Mandevilla. :-) How about Hoya carnosa or Clivias, too?

I grow Cymbidium orchids - as long as the temperature in the conservatory doesn't drop too low, they'd be flowering by then, I'd have thought.

4 Dec, 2011


Or red Cordylines. These will be fine indoors overwinter and can be put outside in summer. Grevillea rosmarinifolia is a lovely shrub with feathery leaves and curly, tasselled pink/red flowers at this time of year. There are also some tender Rhododendrons for indoor use (contact Leonardslee Nursery in Sussex) and Camellias.

6 Dec, 2011


Just a thought, but where in the uk are you? Mediterranean plants may find life hard in an unheated greenhouse, where temperatures drop below freezing? Alot of olives died last winter. There is no telling what this winter will bring either. Your idea sounds lovely, and could be great all winter, but there is no guarantee it will last if the weather turns on you. Do you want a one-off display for 22 Dec or something more long term?

6 Dec, 2011


I agree an unheated conservatory isnt ideal for things like orchid, plumbago or anything meditaranian. You would probably be fine with things like chloroptum sp!(spider plant) a lemon or calomondi orange even geraniums and begonia,s I have an oil filled radiator that I set for frost free it comes on if the temp drops to 5deg :
you will get leaf drop if the temps drop to freezing and plants arent cheap, what you really need is to look up a good houseplant book and look for things that are easy for cold rooms as that is what you are going to have. I tried to keep plumbago and borganvillia both expensive mistakes.

6 Dec, 2011


Sorry I double posted.

6 Dec, 2011


Colourful evergreen grasses at this time of year would include festuca - elijah blue, but low growing; miscanthus senensis is a taller recommendation, including 'zebra grass'. Also, any of the striped, rainbow or purple leaved phormiums, which originate in places like New Zealand.

7 Dec, 2011

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