Lying in the grounds of Bitton House it is believed to have been built in 1842 in the classical style which it has retained, as an adornment to the main house. References exist of Lady Exmouth’s (wife of Admiral Pellew) keen love of gardening and her “new greenhouse”.
Sadly over time the Orangery fell into decay and by 1979 it was in a derelict condition under threat of demolition. Wide opposition from the general public led to the formation of the “Friends of Teignmouth Orangery” and eventually resulted in the restoration of the building by the Council in 1985. Since then the ‘Friends’ have thoughtfully made the Orangery a “mini Kew” as one impressed visitor described it.
Though small the Orangery hosts a wide range of plants from different climate zones. Most striking as you enter and turn left is the imposing Brugmansia with its large, yellow trumpet-like flowers. Also known as “Angels’ Trumpets” the Brugmansia is native to sub-tropical regions of South America. Consumption of Brugmansia is an important aspect of the shamanic rituals noted among many indigenous peoples of western Amazonia!
Also originally from South America, the Bougainvillea has strong drought tolerance which makes it ideal for warm climates all year-round. It also has a high salt tolerance, which means that it is a natural choice for colour on coastal regions, especially around the Mediterranean.
These larger warm-climate plants mix with the like of ferns, hibiscus, clematis and many other smaller plants.
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