Friday, June 18, 2010

A petite garden conservatory made out of old windows

The story ends this way:
Here is the beginning....
My petite garden it came to be:

It started with this image.
Wow...a bunch of old windows put together to make a garden solarium!
That went right into my brain file..the one where I start hatching a dream plan.
 I figured the next time I saw some old windows being thrown out on the side of the road,
 I was going to claim them. Sure enough, it happened!
There was a pile of nice small sized windows that could fit in my mini-cooper this week!
 I brought them home and asked my husband to unload.
He smiled a funny smile and gave me a kiss...
he thinks I am kooky sometimes...quirky, kooky and lovable. ;-)
Thrilled with my find, but I needed to do some more research online and in magazines.
This little greenhouse is on a stand. That's a neat idea from Country Gardens Magazine Summer '08.
 In my mind I secretly want one of these attached to the house...swoon.
I like the scrolled iron at the top here.
Looks like there is a wooden base with legs 
( maybe it's a table base) 
and then the windows are put together on top of that. Neat.
This is cute, but maybe a tad too small?  
Maybe I could make a village....
I saw an idea on a real model that I might use for my plan
..a stone base.
Maybe I should build a mortared stone base and stick the greenhouse on top like above
We have lots of rocks in our yard...wanna see?
Yes, this really is my back husband likes to collect granite blocks.  
I like to collect old windows. 
But lets get  back to my little miniature conservatory project. 
I wasn't sure how to put them together, and as I often do, 
no plan in my mind, I grabbed my tote bag of tools.
I have a lot of drapery hardware and I decided I would 
just start attaching them to each other with angle irons. 
 I started to build a basic box with the larger of the two sizes I had.
I wasn't going to get fussy about this and started
screwing without benefit of a level. Sorry Dad.
The last window had to be coaxed a bit before I put the angle iron and screw to it.
The windows leaning against the chair are going to be the roof!
Now the basic window box shape is built. 
You can see the old spring system in the sides.
It's pretty solid! 
An iron hanging planter and bracket from TJMaxx
Wondering what I could use for a fancy iron scroll for the top like the model picture I loved.
 It hit me: I had that new iron planter on a scrolled iron wall mount bracket!!! 
Yippee.It was a perfect fit.
 As my husband says, "better lucky than good". 
 Now I have the roof finial mounted with screws. 
I am going to turn this into a hanging planter conservatory. 
I will leave open the ends for ventilation and mount 
a hook inside that I can suspend a hanging plant. 
Otherwise anything in here  in the summer is going to cook.
I attached a piece of aluminum gutter strapping by snaking it through the joint in the roof and anchored it to the top. This was going to be the planter hook. I tested it out.
I hung a pink geranium and blue lobelia planter from the hook and it happened. 
I was just captivated!  I fell in love in my yard.....
Couldn't stop staring....
I'm getting there! But it really need some more finish work.
I made a pattern of the peak of the house
 and traced it onto a shingle and then cut it out with a jigsaw.
I found some lead flashing and I cut it to fit the peak, with my kitchen scissors.
 I tacked it all in place with nails.
Then I secured the scrolled bracket to give it the frenchy flair!
I covered the exposed spring system with a primed 1x3. 
I notched out one side so it would fit better.
I used a solid white stain by Cabot
 to paint anything that wasn't white. 
I didn't want a completely fresh white paint job. 
 I wanted to leave the areas with the age and patina of time.
I added an old skeleton key.
An iron & glass vessel is going to serve as a petite lantern.
 A zinc number 1 plate to say this is the first one I ever made.
Hubby and son put a slab of granite in place for 
my petite garden house. 
It's handy having an excavator and operator around the house!
Set on it's new foundation, it is a proud little structure.
I'll plant foxgloves and bleeding hearts around it.
I know I will get a lot of pleasure looking at it in my garden.
I will gaze upon it from my office window.
Rainy days and sunny days it will bring a  smile, 
snow on the roof with a little bird feeder inside...
candles inside for an evening garden party...
I see it twinkling in my garden all year round.

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