Limery? Peppery? Kumquatery?

When our greenhouse lost multiple panels over last winter a choice had to be made about whether to try to extend its life, whether to buy a new one or whether to take a different approach to our growing. After careful thought and an assessment of our resources, we decided that we wanted a more permanent structure to house our crops and so we settled on having a conservatory built. Now, when I say conservatory to most people, they envisage a glass sitting room with a laminate floor and wicker sofas. Not me – when I hear “conservatory” it conjures images of grand Victorian wrought iron glasshouses full of rainforests (think of the Palm House at Kew). Of course, living in a bungalow built in the 1980s does not lend itself to having a grand glasshouse attached, so ideas had to be adapted. We were limited to an area about 3m x 3m for a start off!

The first challenge with our plan, was to find a builder who would understand what we wanted. We dismissed the idea of contacting anyone specialising in off-the-shelf conservatories and, instead, approached a local builder with a range on skills who we know is also a keen gardener. And so discussions started, plans were drawn and we moved ahead. Aspirations for a wooden structure were, for one reason and another, not practical and we came to the conclusion that, for our purposes, the answer was double-glazed UPVC units – constructed specially for our project.

One of the preliminary sketches

One of the preliminary sketches

The second challenge was the name – our lovely builder refers to it as an orangery, but discussion elsewhere yielded a number of alternative suggestions: a place to grow peppers would, surely be a peppery, and if we wanted something quirky, what about a kumquatery? However, Mr Snail – lover of limes and owner of a small unhappy lime tree (which we are hoping will thrive in the new structure) – has settled on the name ‘limery’. If this is the case I am considering whether I might be able to construct a still because, in my opinion, the best use for limes is in a G&T.

As well as having this indoor growing space constructed, we also decided to go ahead and have the area around it revamped, replacing the bed constructed using up-ended paving slabs with a new block-built raised bed and returning the paving slabs back to their original use, having the patio reconstructed, this time with good drainage.

And now work has been proceeding for a couple of weeks (although they are not here every day), progress is being made. Originally the glass and glaziers were due to arrive on Monday, but they have now rescheduled for Wednesday. Those of you who are friends on Facebook have already seen progress, but for everyone else, here are some pictures of how it’s been going:

There has been some head scratching:


Some of the gang

Sam and Max have been on the case:

Building inspectors

Building inspectors

There has been some invasion of the concrete by the local wildlife:

footprintsAnd finally, today, I managed to put some plants in there!!


Stocking the space

Do you think that I might be over-enthusiastic?!

Leave a comment


  1. I bet that last photo made your builders smile – perhaps wryly! ๐Ÿ™‚ Nothing like enthusiastic limery owners to spur them on…….. I love that Max has left his imprint for posterity too. Did you allow it to stay? Your meterage is about the same size as my tiny courtyard garden – it was amazing what grew there this past summer so I am really looking forward to seeing what comes out of your lovely limery in the end. Have you purchased the juniper bushes yet?

  2. I think you should cover all bets, and simply call it The Greenery! Thus, Mr Snail is happy, because after all, lime is a green, isn’t it? And you’re happy because it doesn’t restrict your licence to cram everything you can think of in there! But I do suggest you’re being just a trifle previous with the plants, even if you can disguise it as ‘hardening off’. They are certain to be trampled by herds of builders, glass panel fitters and possibly dogs and birds if the photos are to be believed.

  3. I think you should be planting lots of basil, so that if the limes flourish, you will be able to produce very fancy aftershave as a sideline ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I am envious of whatever-it-is-called (although I do like the Limery). And don’t you think that you will be able to have a couple of wicker chairs to sit in to sip GandTs at the end of the day? Can’t let Mr Snails’s limes go to waste.

  5. Fingers crossed that after the next few days of rain we get a nice prolonged period of sunshine that the builders will enjoy and get the ‘plant building’ up a bit faster so you can arm wrestle with Jon for the right to name it and officially open it.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  6. Good to see how it progresses. It will be so nice to have. Limery. I think you can get used to that.

  7. The Belmont Rooster

     /  May 31, 2015

    LOLโ€ฆ Very exciting. I am like you, though. When I think of a conservatory I think of something HUGE!!! Like the size ofโ€ฆ Well, I better stop. But, you , know. I kind of think you should wait for the glass to be installed before you start putting your plants inside. Can hardly wait for the finished product.

  8. Love the optimism of the plants already in the space. The name will decide itself. Looks like everyone has an opinion as your furry family inspect each inch. Funny how construction people are always standing around thinking about what to do. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Here’s to the Limary! (clink)

  10. You’re so smart to take photos of the progress–it’ll remind you of how far you’ve come! And I’m with you on the topic of best ways to use limes . . . ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Because Mr Snail is currently away during the week, I initially started taking photos so he could see progress. Now, you are right, I’m really enjoying having the record.

  11. Bacon butties and coriander Ms Snail, I think you’ve got it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Oooh, now I really want one! But we might need to call ours a “figery”–because my husband loves figs and I am terrible and keeping them going in our local climate. A gal can dream, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

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