4th July 2017
We’ve been building our first floor greenhouse for some time now. Adam and his team from Touchwood Homes put up the solid oak frame in April 2015, Ford and I put the roof on the following month, and I spent most of June that year making the leaded windows. I tiled the wall with wood-fired tiles from Fez a year ago.
It’s been fully operational since spring this year. Currently we have a vine, a lemon tree, a peach, a pomegranate, chillies and tomatoes. The room faces east and south and so gets very warm indeed. However, because it is outside the insulated envelope of the house (it is unheated in winter), the house itself does not overheat. The door between our library and the greenhouse is a proper exterior door with triple glazing (supplied and fitted by The Green Building Store way back in September 2014). It is quite special to get up in the morning, open the door and step straight out into this space, with the morning light pouring in.
The final components to go in were a copper hopper and downpipe, which channel rainwater from our bathroom roof into an open-topped tank from which I can easily supply the thirsty plants, and the last window at the very top of the tiled wall, which master stained-glass-maker Ford has turned into a face-off between a parakeet and a robin. It’s a perfect final detail for this, the most traditional and exuberant of our Arts and Crafts spaces.