Stones mainly.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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We love this chair we picked up in the Charity shop for twenty euro. What do you think?

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We are hoping to write about and show you more of our conservatory endeavours very soon.



6 thoughts on “Stones mainly.

  • Just love your ideas here , I would love to be able to build something similar as it would add so much shelter to our home , we live in the west of Ireland and our home is on a hill which gets lots and lots of wind so shelter is something that is always in my mind , I notice you have strong Iron posts I think to hold things together , I keep thinking if I could manage to put some strong posts at the back of our house to form a framework I would be on the way sort of speak but not sure where to get these and how much it would cost for someone to concrete them in , in fact not sure what you call them so I have a good deal of research to do , I hope you keep this post updated its a lovely idea and would love to see how it progresses , I sometimes try and glean info from utube on how to erect a porch however my building skills are very much amateur but hey its not impossible. I have one question and that is how deep would an iron post have to go into the ground in order to act as a frame for a porch that gets the full blast of the wind , I was thinking of something that would attach to the back wall of bugalow house and putting a see thru pespex roof on slanted away from existing gutter on house. I know I dont know what I am talking about but I have a dream and this is the dream a nice semi enclosed area that I could work in when the weather is bad . Look forward to reading your posts, kind regards Kathy. .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Kathy! Thank you so much for your comment. I will write a proper reply when I have more time and answer your question. I am also writing a series of posts about our roundhouse extension, there is actually only one post so far but the next one will be published very soon. It will contain some interesting building tips. We are in the West of Ireland as well. You are welcome to come visit us sometime if you like.
      All the best, Maria

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi again Kathy. We had planned to reply sooner but the weather has kept us busy in the garden. It is just glorious.The thing that looks like a metal bar in the picture is actually two pieces of 4″ by 2″ timber screwed together to make a post for going between our windows. We think it would be ok for you to dig a hole and fill it with concrete as a base for anchoring your wall posts. You could get a piece of flat metal plate, set it into the concrete bases and screw it onto wooden 4″ by 2″ upright for your walls. We described a similar project using rebar and round wood in the post about our roundhouse. We do not think this could blow away if you attach some posts to the outside of your existing bungalow as well and connect all your posts with beams. We are planning to use polycarbonate for our roof. Using wood is cheaper than iron posts as well.
      We are not sure about a method to paint tyres and make the more organic for growing food in. Many thanks for reading and commenting on the blog. It is so nice to get a bit of feedback. Enjoy the weather and please get in touch if you have any more questions. All the best, Maria and Paul

      Liked by 1 person

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