| Kate Fletcher
Well I never imagined I would be this excited about a Greenhouse! Since we've introduced plants to the shop, I have discovered a new passion! I love learning about how to care for them and it's really made the shop come alive!
The plants have been a hit with customers too (it wouldn't make sense if it was just me who liked them!) and some travel quite a distance to see what unusual plants and succulents we've managed to find. Whilst it's a very early start and a very long day, I love to go to the wholesaler myself on the day they arrive from faraway lands to pick the very best! I only choose plants that are easy to care for and if something is needy, like the Maidenhair Fern, they're out! I like plants that survive on neglect (like my children!).
I think my desire for a Greenhouse started with my Pilea. I couldn't believe how quickly it started producing babies (although I'm sure they're not called babies!) and how easy they were to propagate. I thought it would be great to start growing my own plants for the shop. I also knew my husband would be relieved that the kitchen sink could be relcaimed to wash dishes in and not permanently filled with soil!
Then fortuitously, I saw an ad for a FREE Crittall Greenhouse on a Facebook selling site. A friend of mine had just moved to a beautiful Farmhouse and had plans for a seating area, so the Greenhouse had to go! Mr F wasn't fully onboard with the idea at this stage and it was nearly six months later that we he was dragged kicking and screaming to dismantle it!
I have to admint, I had underestimated how long it was going to take!! Six hours later every pain of glass had been removed and wrapped and the frame loaded on the van! So we were now the proud owners of a rusty old metal Greenhouse and at this stage of our renovation, nowhere to put it! We still had to build a fence, take down more trees and plant others!
About nine months later (yes, I could have produced a human quicker!) we were ready! Luckily it took the gestation of a baby to convince my husband that we did want it painted Black! I say 'we', I mean 'me'! "Nothing is simple with you" he said, yet again!!
And so it began. My husband likes to have a moan, but is then meticulous! We had kept some lovely bricks that were hidden behind THE most revolting fireplace known to man in our lounge. He used every last one to produce the most incredible herringbone floor. Not bad for his first attempt!
After spraying the metal frame Black, he then built the structure. The most laborious task was cleaning every single pain of glass, including an additional 20 sheets bought on eBay to replace those that were missing or damaged.
I couldn't quite believe it when he'd finished. It was even better than I ever imagined it would be. My fantasy Greenhouse that I'd pinned to a Pinterest board was actually a reality! Now the fun can start ... styling it! Or should that be, growing things in it!!
I am also so pleased that we recycled every last bit and it cost £155 in total! We spent £90 on paint, £10 on a liner to keep the weeds away, £25 on sand to level the base and £30 on replacement glass from eBay. I appreciate if my husband was paid by the hour, he'd be off to the Bahamas by now. Probably on a one way ticket!!
Take a look on Instagram highlights for the full before and after and my first attempts at growing salad! @vintagestyleliving
Photos / Claire Naylor Photography