If you are considering building a low wall for a conservatory or greenhouse, this might be a viable option for you. We built the front wall of our conservatory with tyres, stones and some chicken wire for very little cost, both to us and the environment. To make the wall stable it is important to ram the tyres with earth and spend a good bit of time pounding the earth with a sledgehammer. You can read more about building with tyres in this post here.
The second row of tyres should be put on overlapping, like the bricks in a wall, for strength. If you are building a higher wall it is important to use cut tyres on the end for stability, but as this was only two tyres high, we filled in the spaces with stones. We then wrapped the wall in chicken wire to act as reinforcement and used cement for a finishing layer. All in all the building materials were very cheap or free, in comparison to building the wall out of concrete blocks or any other material. We only needed to use a small bit of cement for the whole project.
We squared off the top of the wall and build wooden frames for our salvaged wooden sash windows. We also bought a lovely second hand door that we fitted in between the two parts of wall. Next to the window we built a stone wall to join up with the gable part of the conservatory.
On the inside we wanted the wall to be tiled with mostly salvaged and gifted tiles and we used a similar finish to our main seating platform, for continuity. On the rounded parts, where the angles were too big for the tiles to fit smoothly, we broke them up and created a bit of a mosaic. We like solutions like this as we do not aspire to make things ‘perfect’, just functional and practical.
The wall being grouted.
This wall now makes a nice wide windowsill where our Indian elephants have been waiting to reside for a couple of years now. We bought them in a sale and we think they will look lovely in their new home once the place is finished up.
We are planning to do a similar finish to the outside wall, with a bit of cement and tiling, maybe making more of a mosaic to fit in with the planned stone garden.
Because mass holds heat, the wide wall will soak up warmth from the sun in the day time and slowly release it at night. Next to the wall we are planning planting spaces, straight in the floor of the conservatory, but that will be written about in a separate post shortly. It is so much fun to finally be at this stage of the build, when we have the warm and light part of the year to look forward to, filled with endless planting possibilities.