Lemon grass may grow in a conservatory

Conservatory owners may look to plants such as lemon grass for a "cosmopolitan" touch to their garden, it has been suggested.

Gardening expert Alan Titchmarsh notes the importance of having such a structure if exotic plants are to be grown successfully.

He tells north-east publication the Evening Gazette: "You cant grow lemon grass outside because its too tender.

"Its best grown indoors at room temperature in the winter, but it can be put in the conservatory or out on the patio in summer."

Meanwhile, Thai basil is recommended as being suitable for growing in a greenhouse – although pots need to be sprinkled with seeds every few weeks to maintain a crop.

He adds that, while such plants may seem exotic now, in the past sweetcorn and courgettes enjoyed a similar reputation.

Seeds supplier Thompson & Morgan echoes the advice, claiming that lemon grass should be grown in a greenhouse or conservatory where temperatures are always above 7 degrees C.