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The orangeries and glasshouses that stand in the gardens of many stately homes help to tell a three-century story of garden fashion. They reflect both the architectural and social trends of their time, but above all show an increasing ability to tailor the buildings to the needs of the plants within. Starting with the Restoration fashion for cultivating pineapples, oranges and bananas within palatial orangeries, Fiona Grant then explains the development of glasshouses through the eighteenth century into the heyday of diversification and specialisation that charaterized the Victorian period, to the eventual decline of great glasshouses after the First World War. The role of the glasshouse as a display of status and of an interest in botany, technology and architecture is explored, and the book is colorfully illustrated throughout.

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