We are very happy to finally have the stove mosaic in our new conservatory completed. The second hand stove is in place for use during very cold winter weather as a backup system to provide heat and protect sensitive plants from dropping temperatures. During the past winter we had no need for it but it is nice to know it is there and it can also be lit to make the space extra cosy and comfortable for midwinter gatherings.
As in all our mosaics, we used discarded tiles from a skip, and added shards of broken plates and cups to create an environmentally friendly, useful and beautiful addition to our home.
We wrote about the birds added to the design in this post, and now when we see the end result, we are very happy we decided to include them. They are made by artist Annabell Langrish, based in Cork. She has a beautiful website that you can access here, and often showcases her wares at the annual Bloom festival in Phoenix Park, Dublin.
The surface for tiling was curved, but it is easy to work around this and add smaller mosaic pieces in the areas with the largest curve. We used ready mixed tile adhesive as it is convenient for small intricate applications like this one. For floors and bigger areas we always use fast set flex tile adhesive that is bought as a powder and mixed with water.
We do like the end result and have incorporated the same border along the bottom as we put on our seating platform and window ledges, for continuity.
Above the stove is an indoor succulent garden and we decided to extend this and let it wrap around the corner and spill out onto a part of our stone bench. Here we created a small area where we hope our Zelkova bonsai will thrive. There will still be a long section of the bench left as a seat, and we just could not resist the temptation to create another planting area.
We think a conservatory should contain as many plants as possible and we like to plant them permanently in the space rather that keeping them in pots. This makes watering easier and the different plants can grow strong together and benefit from the connections with soil microbes, fungi and each other. This is a field we are very interested in and there is more and more research done into how plants help each other out in forests by sharing nutrients and sending aid to less prosperous individuals, or any plants being under attack in the forest community. This is another reason as to why we planted straight into the soil of the floor in the conservatory. It enables the plants to access nutrients and minerals in a natural way.
At the moment we are experiencing some sunny weather and although it is cold outside, we can sit in a bright, warm and beautiful space to relax and recuperate before diving back into all the tasks and commitments of everyday life. We feel very blessed.