The Limonaia


The Limonaia, or Lemon House, creates the southern border of the Winter Garden. It was opened in late 2010. The Limonaia was designed by Centerbrook Architets and built by Cutler Construction. The cathedral-like interior of the cool-temperate Limonaia expands the display of non-hardy plants, augmenting those in the pre-existing Orangerie. Like the Orangerie plants, most of these go outdoors for the summer, so the Limonaia is primarily a winter display.

Traditionally, an orange or lemon house was built so the windowed south wall would allow sunlight to reach the back, or north, wall. This limited the depth of the building. The dimensions of the Limonaia reflect this tradition, although with its polycarbonate glazing overhead this was not strictly necessary. The polycarbonate provides the added benefit of retaining 50% more heat than standard glass.

Photos of the Limonaia

Camellias : Our indoor collection contains over thirty-five camellias and twenty different cultivars, many of which came from Isabella Stewart Gardner and Nathaniel Dexter’s personal greenhouse collections. Not hardy below Zone 7, they can thrive as potted shrubs indoors and be moved outside during the warmer summer months. When outside these glossy-leaved shrubs prefer partially shaded, sheltered areas with moist but well-drained soil. They often bloom from January to March and make a stunning late winter display.
Golden Chalice Vine : (Solandra maxima)
The Golden Chalice Vine is native to Mexico and Central America. These remarkable flowers are about six inches across and four inches deep. The blooms have a subtle fragrance that is different to each person: it has been described as coconut, banana, sun tan lotion, vanilla and bread  pudding! Although it isn’t edible, it is in the same family as tomatoes, potatoes and nightshade. Grown indoors the Golden Chalice Vine can be trained as a shrub or allowed to climb.
Bird of Paradise : Strelitzia sp., a breathtaking flower worthy of its name. A native of South Africa, where it is known as the Crane Flower, the genus is named after duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The tropical leaves are reminiscent of banana foliage. They need bright light, and the soil must be kept evenly moist throughout the year, with high humidity. It is not a cold tolerant plant, best kept at 60F or above, and may be grown outdoors during the summer--just don't expose it to direct sunlight until the plant is acclimated to the summer sun.
2012_01_10_09 : An interior view of the Limonaia in January
2012_01_10_08 : Inside the Limonaia on a cold January day.
Tower Hill's Limonaia (Lemon House) : Gorgeous lemons, camellias, palm trees, flowering maples, hibiscus, and many other plants thrive in their winter home at Tower Hill--the Limonaia
The Limonaia
Inside the Limonaia : The Limonaia, opened in 2010, houses the bulk of the Garden's Camellia collection, but is also home to lemons and other citrus plants.