Sunday, February 19, 2012


An Orangery is a glass house or conservatory originally built to over winter tender citrus trees, a practice that became fashionable and prestigious in 17th century Europe. At Smith they have filled a glassed in hallway with many fragrant plants which were all just beginning to bloom. There is nothing like the smell of a citrus blossom- so sharp, floral, lemony, buttery, billowy... It is so distinct and so pleasing. There were numerous fragrant orchids, rhododendrons, and the fragrant-less camellias in full bloom all along the sensory promenade.

This Rhododendron cubitti was in perfect form, with its silky, large, white blossoms, emanating a sweet jasmine-like scent. This specimen is one of 300 species of the Vireya Rhododendrons originating in the cool mountains of New Guinea, Sumatra, Borneo, and the Philippines.

Coelogyne cristata 'Mt Cuba'
I know little about the vast and varied world of orchids, but I do know that this one captured my attention. It was a prolific waterfall of flowers and fragrance.


  1. Oh, to have an orangery! Such wonderful decadence. Pretty little post, Helen.

  2. Oh Helen, you have us kicking ourselves. We were going to head to Tower Hill today and didn't make the trek. This post reminds me why we wanted to go in the first place. Their Orangery is delightful this time of year.

  3. Tower Hill is on my must-see list and I did not know they had an orangery. I hope you are able to re-schedule and head that way soon- just to breathe deep the scent of citrus!