Har­ness the power of the green­house ef­fect

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - DAYS OUT -

I asked house­plant or­a­cle Jane Per­rone (lis­ten to her ex­cel­lent pod­cast On the Ledge) what she would grow in a green­house.

“I have a pot­ting shed-cum­green­house. It’s un­heated so I over­win­ter my hardier suc­cu­lents: some aloes like Aloe aris­tata and

A. poly­phylla, plus my agaves that will sur­vive to -5C if they’re kept dry. I also keep ten­der peren­ni­als like salvias and scented gera­ni­ums un­der glass. With more space I’d plant a cac­tus and suc­cu­lent desert gar­den, but they’d need good ven­ti­la­tion and heat”.

Per­rone re­minded me that cit­rus hate com­ing into a cen­trally heated house where they’re prone to sooty moulds, scale in­sects and white­fly, and pre­fer a cooler spot. Meyer lemons and grape­fruit are the hardi­est, but keep fleece handy for more ten­der fruit if the tem­per­a­ture plum­mets.

Con­tainer-grown man­gos, pomegranates, av­o­ca­dos and lo­quats (from rare-ex­otic-plants. co.uk) can all over­win­ter in a green­house. I’d also grow car­damom, climb­ing Vanilla plan­i­fo­lia and black pep­per, ginger (Zin­giber of­fic­i­nale, be­low) and lemon grass (from spice sotic­plants.co.uk): all are wildly ex­otic, and use­ful for cook­ing.

A tra­di­tional walled gar­den with a mod­ern green­house in ac­coya wood and alu­minium by Cul­ti­var WORK­ING AT HOMEA Wis­ley green­house by Hart­ley Botanic; pot­ter­ing with plants can be a great stress buster in win­ter HOT­HOUSE A green­house can pro­vide ex­tra liv­ing space for peo­ple as well as plants

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