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The large glasshouse has been so successful this summer, and indeed so large, that the small glasshouse has been left somewhat redundant, leading us to pursue alternative uses for the space.  After throwing some ideas around with High Bank friend and Permaculture wizard the Snail of Happiness, we concluded that it could be a combination of seating space on cool evenings and somewhere to produce another specialist crop.  The crops we decided on were an apricot tree and a lime tree (for G&T purposes of course) and space enough for two comfy chairs.

With one horticultural eye always on aesthetics i began to think of how to prettify this derelict and sorry metal framed glasshouse, in order that it can live up to its newly given name of the High Bank Orangery.  (A little misplaced grandiosity goes a long way.)

I envisage it becoming a G&T temple in the centre of the garden much in the manner of the 16th century Japanese garden tea huts ‘Chashitsu.’  I have a great love for Japanese gardens, and Japanese garden theory for there is always a given purpose and intention behind each Japanese style.  The ‘Roji’ is the garden design that creates the journey to the Chashitsu, the path being integral to the sense of occasion given to the tea ceremony.  I like the idea of forming a design that creates a similar sort of pathway to the orangery.

The ancient tea ceremony along with its paraphernalia is intended to acknowledge the art in every day activities.  The art of the gin and tonic is not lost at High Bank and designing the orangery to this purpose seems appropriate.

To complete the design in true permaculture fashion we plan to plant a fig on the south facing side of the orangery, this should have the double purpose of providing a sheltered surface to protect the fig and to create shade inside the glasshouse.

Roll on summer…

Sky grey, rain off-and-on, temp 10c.

Time for G&T