Our long awaited conservatory is starting to take shape. Yesterday we added the polycarbonate and it was a pleasure to sit under it today and listen to the soothing sound of raindrops on the new roof. Some people might argue that a polycarbonate roof is not green and does not suit our lifestyle where we are trying to use less of the earths rescores. But we believe that the benefits will outweigh the carbon footprint for creating the sheets. We will now have a place to dry all our laundry, eliminating any need for a tumble dryer. We will be able to grow a lot of our food that needs the higher temperature and cover provided under the roof. The conservatory will work as very effective insulation for the rest of the house, reducing the need for heating considerably. It will also be a lovely place to sit and chat with friends and family. We built our framework from local trees and branches and bought 4″ by 2″ timber.
The reason we call our blog the greener dream is because we try to live as green as we can. Sometimes you have to make choices and adding the polycarbonate was one such choice. If you are thinking about a greener lifestyle is important to realize that every small change makes a different and you do not have to go all out and live in a self-sufficient paradise, setting yourself targets that are impossible to keep. Maybe sorting and recycling your rubbish, camping locally for your holiday, use public transport, use less packaging or think about how far your food has had to travel is do able for you. If you do some of these things you are likely to want to do more of them after a while. You might inspire a friend or family member to think in greener terms as well. Every journey starts with a few small steps.
Anyway, back to our conservatory. The widows and door are seconds bought from a local joinery for about a tenth of the original cost. We added a small second hand stove to be used on very cold winter night when our plants might need a helping hand from the cold. For a fire surround, we used a lot of broken crockery and we will later add terracotta tiles from the skip for a neutral back ground to the flowery spirals. Using broken plates and cups is fun as it brings back memories from when the plates were in use or when you found a particular piece in the garden or out for a walk. We have visited Dublin for the Bloom garden festival three times now and every year we have bought some raku ceramics by the West Cork artist Annabel Langrish. You can read about her work and studio here.
We have added her charming designs to our kitchen and bathroom mosaics before.
This year we wanted to get a couple of bigger pieces to bring light and joy into our new conservatory. Because all of our other tiles are recycled or saved from skips, we thought it was alright to spend a little bit of money on two beautiful birds and some other smaller designs. Making mosaics is probably the thing we have been looking forward to most in the building process and it is lovely to be at the stage now where we can start working on them. Other things to look forward to includes adding recycled bottle-wall sections and planting up our new space. We hope to be back with a further update on our progress soon.