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September 15, 2010

Meet Me In The Orangery

If you have no idea where or what the orangery is pay attention. According to the dictionary, an orangery (also spelled orangerie) is a protected place or a greenhouse for raising oranges in cooler climes. The word dates back to around 1664, which means greenhouses have been around for a lot longer than I suspected.

A little research tells me our ancestors have always been keen gardeners. Not surprising, given they couldn’t walk down to the corner store for their weekly groceries. They ate what they could either grow or trade with others.

The orangeries were built with south facing windows to let in the light and tall doors. The plants and trees were grown in tubs, which made them easy to move outside during the warm summer months. During the really cool months, the gardeners used straw for insulation around the windows or small braziers to heat the inside and keep their plants alive.

The Victorians were big gardeners and plant hunters or explorers scoured the world, searching for new plants and seeds to send home to England.

Many of the historic homes and castles in Britain have orangeries including Kensington Palace, one that I’ve visited myself.

As well as oranges, the gardeners grew pineapples, bananas, lemons, and pomegranates.

I added an orangery to Castle St. Clare since Rosalind, my heroine required some lemons to make a tonic. I think an orangery sounds like a great place for an assignation. It’s warm and dry and oranges smell nice. There are lots of possibilities for a couple who’d prefer privacy.

The Spurned Viscountess comes out next week and my tour starts today at The Romance Studio Blue where I’m discussing marriages of convenience. My hero didn’t find the marriage very convenient at all!

Do you think you’d like a tryst in the orangery or would you choose another place?

Source: Oak Conservatories


  1. Nessa

    I love the idea of an orangerie too. I have been putting off reading so i could write but i think it’s depressing me so i getting your book as soon as it is out.

  2. Shelley Munro

    Thanks, Nessa. I swear it’s something in the air at the moment. My writing progress is only slightly faster than the pace of a snail at present! I hope you enjoy The Spurned Viscountess.