Friday, 6 March 2009

It may be winter outside

but in this room its spring. I love our conservatory, its something I always wanted and we agreed before we built our home that it was a priority. So we altered the original house design to create this lovely room off the eating area of the kitchen that looks onto the back garden and opens out onto the patio. We did a lot of the work ourselves, laying the foundations, installing underfloor heating and the ceramic tiles with help from contractors to build the brick plinth and the frame.
Yesterday the temperature outside struggled to reach 3 degrees, in the unheated conservatory it was 17. Not all the time, but when the sun was at its most brilliant it was glorious in there. As soon as the weather improves we'll be in there most days even just for a quick coffee or a look round and the French doors from the kitchen will be wide open. Our cats adored being in there too, especially if the heating was on when they'd spread eagle themselves across the floor to warm every inch of their little bodies.
I have my own rules about this room, I have rules about most things, and for me the conservatory is about people and plants, no soft furnishings, table lamps or ornaments. Candles of course are permitted and make it a magical place when the soft light reflects in the glass.
At the moment my cymbidium orchids are doing really well, the blooms last for months and plants that aren't in flower all have big fat buds waiting to open. Its also a great place to bring on pots of bulbs that can be moved into the house as the flowers open.
In the summer many of the plants move out into the garden for a few months, the candles have to be taken out otherwise they melt and I have to mist regularly to keep some humidity in the room. For now its wonderful to be able to look through into this room and see flowers and greenery when the rest of the garden is covered in snow. Maybe I should rename our conservatory The Winter Garden.


  1. It's very nice and the orchids look so nice.


  2. When I grow up I also want a conservatory.. It looks lovely. I agree that conservatories should be like indoor gardens, not like outdoor living rooms..

    It snowed here again today. I spoke too early about the whole spring thing, clearly.

  3. It looks lovely - I'm hoping we'll have a conservatory one day...

    And did you know that 'Winter Garden' is also the German word for conservatory? :-)

  4. I hope when our conservatory is finished it looks half as gorgeous as yours. And those orchids are absolute crackers!

  5. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. I've spent a happy morning reading your wonderful blog archives, let's hope I'm still gainfully employed tomorrow as I really should have been doing other things!