A Winter Garden within Reach

Let it snow. With living herbs filling your home, summer’s flavors and scents are just a few steps away.

| October/November 2008

  • Indoor favorites include potted bay, snow rose and coffee (on chair).
    Rob Cardillo
  • Reader Becky Short showers her indoor garden with attention and frequent misting.
    Rob Cardillo
  • Potted pleasures: Before moving plants inside in October, Becky gently trims back foliage and inspects for insect pests. Clockwise from top: Prostrate rosemary, coffee and Cuban oregano await a final check before their move.
    Rob Cardillo

It began innocently. Like many gardeners, Herb Companion reader Becky Short couldn’t bear to part with the flavors and fragrances of her favorite herbs when frosts arrived at her Macungie, Pennsylvania, garden. After years of digging and potting rosemary, scented geraniums and other plants each fall, she decided to take the next step: Becky created a winter garden indoors—an entire room devoted to potted herbs, tropicals and other treasured plants.

“It’s my favorite place to be in winter,” Becky says. “Surrounded by the scents, green leaves and oxygen they release—it’s like being in the garden. I love it.”

Growing Under Glass

People have been building shelters for protecting, or conserving, plants in winter for centuries. Early conservatories sometimes were called “orangeries” because they often housed citrus and other tender fruits. At first, only British and French nobility enjoyed them, but in the 20th century, conservatory sunrooms became more affordable and popular. In contrast to a three-season patio sunroom, a conservatory sunroom is constructed for year-round use—generally with a separate heating and cooling system, glass walls and a glass roof.

Designed and built by British Conservatories in 2004, Becky’s 14-by-16-foot attached conservatory provides ideal indoor growing conditions. The room receives bright southern light and is completely covered with glass overhead. Temperatures range from 55 to 80 degrees. In summer, she opens the roof and side windows and runs a fan to keep daytime temperatures from rising too high; at night, when temperatures dip, wall heaters kick on to remove the chill. A brick floor allows generous, worry-free misting and watering.

A Taste of the Exotic



September 12-13, 2019
Seven Springs, Pennsylvania

Fermentation Frenzy! is produced by Fermentation magazine in conjunction with the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. This one-and-a-half day event is jam-packed with fun and informative hands-on sessions.


Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds

click me