A Greenhouse Full of Flowers

This bench with the surrounding stone outline is where Elizabeth’s greenhouse once stood. Today we call it a conservatory but it worked in the same way. Glass windows prevent heat from escaping to protect the tender plants from frost over the winter months.

Victorians loved to customise their homes with a conservatory as its geometric windows added beauty to the garden.

Conservatories and greenhouses use sunshine to help plants grow. Sunshine can also be used for clean energy to power our homes. We need to stop using fossil fuels like coal and oil as they are heating the planet.

Heating Up

Central heating did not exist in the 1800s so Elizabeth had to use the resources that were available to her. Heat from the stove in the kitchen was fed through a pipe into the conservatory during the winter months, enabling the family to grow flowers and plants such as roses, camellias, carnations and crocuses through the colder months.

What does the Crocus flower symbolise?

Crocus border at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Elizabeth writes that she had ‘plenty of crocuses’ in her conservatory. They were beautiful decorations for the Victorian garden in their white, yellow, cream and purple. Victorians valued these plants as symbols of youth and cheerfulness.

#Jokebreak What flower gives the most kisses on Valentines Day?… Tulips

Try this at home

Harness the power of the sun at home! Your windowsill can act as your own conservatory as the windows let through the sunlight required for your plants to grow. Simply place your plant pots on your windowsill, water them daily, and watch your flowers grow.

Did you know that houseplants can help to reduce pollution in our homes?

Growing plants on a window sill at home

I'm afraid we must do some shopping

Elizabeth Gaskell 1863