Written by Juliana 07 Jan 2021 11:24

The greenhouse is the garden designer’s winter hibernation

Garden designer Dorthe Kvist is currently using her greenhouse for wreath arranging and winter storage, and she has made this exotic plant bloom wilder than ever before after a few winters in the greenhouse.

In the past, Dorthe Kvist kept all her exotic plants in the basement when winter came, but in recent years she has taken the greenhouse into use. Besides the fact that it pleases her husband, who now does not have to help drag heavy pots down into the basement, the plants are also quite satisfied.

“They are much better off standing in the greenhouse. My olive trees get a little non-woven fabric around them, and then I keep an eye on the weather forecast, so I can take especially delicate geraniums, houseplants, summer flowers, and whatever else I have out there, inside, or cover them if the temperature should drop completely, "says Dorthe Kvist.


Death threats made her agapanthus bloom

Another of the plants that Dorthe Kvist has good overwintering experiences with is agapanthus - or African lily. For a few years, they had not really shown flowers, but then something happened 

“I scolded it. It was told that if it did not get started, it would be thrown out. The following winter I kept it in the greenhouse and the following summer a single flower appeared. After another winter in the greenhouse, it went completely crazy. I don’t think I have ever seen it bloom so much. 

Whether it is the verbal beatings or the winter storage in the greenhouse that is to blame for the vigorous flowering is perhaps difficult to say, but at least the overwintering works surprisingly well also in relation to exotic and more delicate plants.

Wreath arranging and relaxation

In addition to a winter hotel, Dorthe Kvist's greenhouse also serves as her workspace. At Christmas time, it is especially wreath arranging that is on the program, and the Greenhouse is the perfect place to be when you, like Dorthe Kvist, have a good worktable out there.

“It is a perfect space for the things you just can't bear to do in the living room. I use the greenhouse for both wreath arranging and if I have to transplant something.”

If Dorthe Kvist had a larger greenhouse, she would decorate it with a wood stove, soft furniture, rugs, fur and lanterns.

“There are so many opportunities in the greenhouse - even in the cold and dark months. It is also beautiful when people hang string lights up in the greenhouse, so it looks like a light sculpture in the garden.”

But even though space is limited, it happens that she puts in a couple of chairs and makes room for her and her husband to enjoy a cup of coffee. 

“In that way, we get a shot of vitamin D. That is what is so amazing about a greenhouse - it is possible to sit in the shelter and get some light in the dark months. Even though our greenhouse is not heated, it's nice to sit out there with a blanket and a sweater - and otherwise, a couple of lanterns or candle lights can also give a little warmth, as long as, it is not colder than it is at the moment," says Dorthe Kvist

About Dorthe Kvist

Danish garden designer and author. She also blogs about botanic love and garden nerdery.