Over the last three years we have dug hundreds of planting holes on our land. More often than not you find a stone while digging, or two stones or ten. Since we have this bountiful, beautiful, local resource we decided to incorporate it into our conservatory build. We have had our minds set on creating an indoor garden space since we first moved in and now that most of our planting is done, our extension is built and our house somewhat renovated it was time to put those plans into action.
There are many benefits to adding a conservatory to an existing building. It can be a place to grow some food and spices that are not hardy in your climate and a place to dry your laundry and eliminate the need for an energy guzzling tumble dryer. To tell you the truth we have never had one of them, but it will be lovely not to see washing drying on the radiators all around the house. It can also be a place to sit on a cold and rainy day with a cup of tea and a great view of the garden. A very effective and beautiful way to add more insulation to your house. We are sure you can think of many more reasons as well.
We got a friend to help us with some of the stone work. Our house is on an elevated site and two of the walls are built against the existing earth bank behind our house. This means the conservatory will be even better at storing and retaining the heat that builds up in the day, and slowly release it at night. The front facing the south will have some recycled lovely sash windows. We also bought a second hand door.
For the lower bit of the front wall we choose earth rammed tyres as a building material. We like to use this free plentiful resource as an alternative to concrete blocks. We put chicken wire around the tyre sections and will add a layer of render and finish of the wide walls with reclaimed tiles in a mosaic.
We found a lovely second hand pot bellied stove for when the temperature might dip a bit too low for our plants in the winter. We will do a mosaic on the wall behind the stove as well. Above the stove there is a large section leading up to the back corner of the indoor garden. Here we have planted lots of alpines and sedums in a small rockery. We are hoping the small plants will soon spread out and fill in this space.
For our seating area we wanted a platform and we built a mould out of thin plywood strips and planks to keep it in place. We added a lot of old building rubble and tiles not suitable to reuse to the platform area. This greatly reduced the amount of concrete needed. We will use reclaimed tiles for the whole platform area. Don’t you just love our stone sofa?
We are very happy to be at this stage of the build now. And today we spruced up some old rattan furniture, kindly given to us by friends, with a splash of colour. It is a linseed oil based product that will prolong the life of our seating group. Now we just need to cut the sofa cushions some other friends have given us, into shape and cover them in fabric.
We love this chair we picked up in the Charity shop for twenty euro. What do you think?
We are hoping to write about and show you more of our conservatory endeavours very soon.