It looks worse before it looks better

The plans for the orangery, as our builder has decided to call it, are agreed. Work will start in three weeks time and will involve the construction of a patio and a raised bed as well as the glass room itself. Before the builders arrive, however, we have to clear the area of all sorts of things: water butts, a bench, lots of pots (with and without plants), bags of compost… you know the sort of thing that accumulates around and inside a greenhouse.

And so, after a fairly lazy day yesterday, today we were out in the cool but very sunny garden. Weed-infested pots were transferred to chicken-ville to provide great entertainment for four happy hens; broken plant pots were thrown away and in tact plant pots moved into the shed or a big tea chest that acts as useful storage; water butts were disconnected; I collected old plant labels and picked up lots of bits of plastic that seem to have accumulated around the garden (more on that in a forthcoming post); Mr Snail dismantled the staging in the greenhouse and removed the  “ladder allotment” from the fence near where the building work will be happening and attached it to the fence in the waste of space area (he even used a spirit level to make sure it wasn’t wonky):

The general result looks like chaos, but I think that is always the way when major clearing work is in progress. We are left with a dilapidated greenhouse that needs the last of its contents removing, plus a whole pile of things that need a temporary home while the building work happens. I’m rather looking forward to it being all over… and the joy that will come with a robust indoor growing space.


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  1. The preparation and chaotic state of construction are so hard to live amongst and always take longer than you initially think too. But the end product is worth waiting for! At least it’s not the kitchen or bathroom 🙂 I do love your ladder allotment it is exactly the bees knees for my tiny garden space! I’m excited to see what evolves as your Orangerie!

  2. AWESOME! Get ‘er done! LOL. I would love to be there to help. It sounds so exciting!

  3. Mr Snail and a spirit level??? Good grief, it sounds like mental cruelty! But I do admire the progress and am ‘enjoying’ fellow feeling from what the clearing up must have done to your backs… Is there any way you can share the plans with us in a post, so we can see what your orangery is going to look like?

  4. Jane Miller

     /  April 26, 2015

    I’m really excited for you..progress is always painful, but worth it! Bravo!

  5. Wow. This is very exciting. And I was just telling Pauline how much I dislike the chaos of something like this (in my case a kitchen remodel). But you really do have to remind yourself, as you’ve done, that it gets worse before it gets better. The only Orangery I know is at Dumbarton Oaks and it’s lovely. You’re going to to soooo enjoy this space and its utility.

  6. The hard work will be worth it when you see the ‘Orangery’ up. I’m looking forward to seeing the garden with the new addition.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  7. The beginning is always the messy bit. it is going to be very exciting. 😀

  8. I love the term “orangery” although they never seem to have oranges, do they? Such an exciting project – good luck!

  9. Everything wonderful starts with a mess. It makes up appreciate the final result that much more. Looking forward to the unveiling.

  10. This kind of chaos can keep me from starting big projects altogether! I get all agitated. But you will have a wonderful new space that really fits your lifestyle–exciting!

    • To be honest, I have wanted to do this for ages, but just couldn’t bring myself to arrange it. I loathe having workers around and all the associated disturbance. In the end, though, I knew that it would be worth it. I’m really trying to focus on the marvellous things that will result.

  11. I love spring cleaning! It feels so good to get organized! Love your greenhouse!

  12. What a wonderful project! Looking forward to seeing the end result – I think I might want one too – IF I can bear to have workers around – I feel the same way about that!


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