Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Christmas in a tropical like Greenhouse

Paperwhite Inbal

There is something magical about Christmas in a greenhouse. Paperwhites are in full bloom, mixed with rich red poinsettias against a backdrop of greenery. To me, white, red, and green are the colors of Christmas, so a greenhouse is ideal for celebrating this season. For those who aren’t big fans of paperwhites’ classic fragrance, there are paperwhite varieties with a much more subdued scent. One is paperwhite Inbal, which has clusters of beautiful, large, snowy white flowers, typically growing on multiple, compact stems.

Of course, just because it’s Christmastime you aren’t limited to traditional Christmas colors. In December, my greenhouse usually has sunny yellow cymbidium in bloom, as well as vibrant pink mandevilla climbing overhead on vines. This colorful, warm, and humid ambience, so alive and inviting, presents a stark contrast with the bare, cold, winter landscape just outside the glass.

If your greenhouse is large enough, consider holding a small Christmas party there, or even an intimate dinner with a few close friends. String some twinkling Christmas lights in the rafters, put a small Christmas tree in one corner, and set a table on the tiled floor using festive Christmas linens. Then just turn up the heat and enjoy the environment you’ve created. It’s sure to evoke some special memories, particularly if a gentle snow is falling softly outdoors.

christmas dinner party in a greenhouse
Holiday table setting for a greenhouse

The easiest greenhouse in which to hold a Christmas party is one attached to your home, but your guests can still enjoy the season in a freestanding greenhouse. If you live in a snowy area, let the drifts pile high on either side of the path leading to your greenhouse, making its lights and colors all the more enticing at the end of the walkway. When your guests enter, let them soak in the warmth, the flowers, and the fragrances, drinks in hand, until you’re ready to serve whatever Christmas fare you’ve planned.

If your greenhouse isn’t large enough to hold a party in, your Christmas guests can still enjoy a stroll through its lush environment before returning to your house for a buffet or sit-down meal.  With a little imagination and some beautiful lighting, you can display to best advantage all the plants you’ve worked so hard on throughout the fall. Also be sure to bring some of those plants indoors to decorate your home for the season. Doing so is one of the wonderful rewards of greenhouse gardening.