Five Minutes in my conservatory

When we moved here last year the conservatory was a bit of a dumping ground. Eventually it got sorted and became our breakfast room (when it wasn’t too hot to sit in – I guess we should do early breakfasts as at 7 am it is probably fine). I also used it to browse through garden and seed catalogues and plan what I was going to do in the garden once the year was up.  Recently it became a dumping ground again whilst I decorated the bedroom and office/studio on the ground floor so once again I have had to clear it out. During the spring half-term my daughter helped me to move the bookcase into the dining-hall and also move a Victorian Housekeeper’s cupboard so we could paint the wall behind it. I still have that to finish as the tomatoes have gone bananas so I shall have to wait until they are finished before I can paint the rest of the walls. Today whilst watering them for the second time I realised that the room had somehow adopted a rather colonial feel. Wicker chairs and drawers, rattan dining chairs, an open cupboard and my collection of African bits and pieces have made it feel almost tropical. I think I shall have to buy some citrus plants, grow a grape-vine and maybe some ginger lilies – of course whatever I do put in there has to cope with the cold in winter as the conservatory is unheated.

So after dealing with our second flying ant invasion (not in the conservatory, that location seems to be the preference of woodlice) I decided to take a few photos to include in DJ’s 5 minute challenge. I hope you, and DJ, like them and that she doesn’t mind that I have stretched the rules a bit.

DesleyJane – a lovely arty scientist now living in Melbourne – is also a wonderful photographer and a huge macro fan. She has a new weekly challenge called “regularrandom for anyone to join in with which involves spending 5 minutes with the subject matter.

Choose a scene or an object and keep fixed on that object, and shoot for just five minutes.   You can move around the object or scene but try not to interfere with it. See what happens in that five minutes, what changes, how the light changes, what comes into the frame or leaves the frame, or what other parts of the object you can focus on or use to your advantage.

South African Zulu basket

If you would like to join in then please visit DJ’s site where you will find more information and ideas about this fun challenge

All photos were taken with my Olympus E-10 camera and the 40-150mm lens and using various art scenes.

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59 Comments Add yours

  1. Sarah says:

    You take great pics 😎 . Definitely goals.

  2. beetleypete says:

    I like that colonial feel, and the sense of settling after travels, evidenced by the artefacts.
    I have never had a conservatory. They look nice, but I always imagine them being stuffy, and having to clean all those windows! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Heyjude says:

      There are bits and pieces here from my travels so it is nice to have somewhere to reminisce in. I didn’t go looking for a house with a conservatory and to be honest I find it rather useless most of the year, but the tomatoes and basil seem to enjoy being in there!I would rather have had a proper garden room. The window cleaner does the outside and I do the inside about twice a year – not so hard. The roof is the main issue and we need to replace it soon, but not sure what with. More expense…

  3. Dina says:

    Thanks for the insights, Jude. It’s a lovely arrangement, filled with air, light and memories.
    Greetings from much too warm Bonn, phew ☀️☀️☀️

    1. Heyjude says:

      Warm here today Dina, but a nice fresh breeze keeps the temperature down. The room is rather lovely now and full of memories. I have more bits and pieces to put up once the tomatoes have finished doing their thing!

      1. Dina says:

        It looks very inviting! Our tomatoes moved outside and then the next storm came …

        1. Heyjude says:

          Last year I planted tomatoes outdoors and then we had a cold June so they hardly grew at all. I then brought them inside but got a measly harvest from them so I wasn’t going to bother this year. These plants cost £2 so other than the cost of compost and tomato feed (and the time spent watering them) they haven’t cost too much. Hopefully we will get a few decent tomatoes in the end!

  4. Sue says:

    Love this post! Your conservatory is great, full of light and treasures! And I love that mug,..throw in the trowel 🙄 and the idea of the tomatoes going bananas…as long as they don’t become bananas!!

    1. Heyjude says:

      The mug was a birthday present from my grandkids, they have a wicked sense of humour! Mmm… I wonder if you can get dwarf banana trees? It is hot enough in there today to grow them! And I like the idea of calling my bits and pieces ‘treasures’ because that is exactly what they are – each object has a wonderful memory attached to it. I’d love to hang my African art in there too, but sadly the colours would fade.

      1. Sue says:

        Jude, I have many ‘treasures’ of my own, little things with a story to them, right up to larger items. All with a memory…..

        1. Heyjude says:

          They give a house personality and turn it into a home. But I thought I wasn’t a collector!

        2. Sue says:

          Well, I’m not a proper collector, but I do like my memory- Things!

        3. Heyjude says:

          Me too 🙂

  5. I love the colorful and colonial feel of your conservatory, Jude! It’s fabulous. I hope you can keep it from being a dumping ground for a good long while, so you can enjoy it. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Cathy, still some stuff to get rid of, but I have managed to find space elsewhere for things we need to hang on to. Be nice to get a sofa in there, but to be honest it is too hot to sit in when the sun is shining 🙂

      1. Well, it looks fabulous and I’m sure you’re enjoying it when that sun isn’t shining in. The sunlight will be nice in winter though. 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          But then it is far too cold to sit in! Seems spring and autumn may be the best times.

  6. restlessjo says:

    It does look a comfortable space to while away the day but I can see you’ve been very industrious too. I shall have to reciprocate with my very idle space when I get home again. Thanks for entertaining me as I trundle south. Have a good weekend xx

    1. Heyjude says:

      Getting there Jo, slowly. . .
      Have a lovely weekend yourself with that gorgeous daughter of yours 🙂

  7. desleyjane says:

    Wow very cool. That seed pod is amazing! Thanks so much for joining.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks for the quirky challenge DJ. I did stick to one half of the room, even if not the exact same objects. 😀

      1. desleyjane says:

        My pleasure! Yes, a little breaking of the rules never hurts. I did that today!

  8. Pit says:

    What a wonderful place you have there! I think I envy you. 😉

    1. Heyjude says:

      Aw, thanks Pit. 🙂

      1. Pit says:

        You’re welcome!

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I loved the pictures. I also loved the word “conservatory.” The only time I had ever seen that word before was in the board game Clue. The murder was done in the conservatory by Professor Plum with the lead pipe.

  10. It’s a beautiful room. I’m always intrigued by the idea of having a conservatory, as it’s not a room common in Australia. It would probably be too hot for most of the year. You could have a potted lemon or lime tree in there.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I intend to get some citrus plants next year. In Australia you can go outside most of the year, here we use the conservatory to enjoy the garden when it is raining or too cold to go out.

  11. Su Leslie says:

    What a great subject for Desley’s challenge. I love the eclectic — and definitely tropical — feel of your conservatory!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Eclectic is the word! But glad you like it – like a blooming oven in there today, even the tomatoes are wilting!

      1. Su Leslie says:

        Oh no! Sun-dried tomatoes on the vine?

  12. Joanne Sisco says:

    I really enjoyed the tour of your conservatory. Your soapstone head from Zimbabwe reminded me of my mother – she had 2 of them. hmmm – I wonder what became of those?

    1. Heyjude says:

      Probably in a cupboard somewhere!

      1. Joanne Sisco says:

        Not likely. When she passed away, all her stuff was scattered around the family but I don’t remember seeing the heads. Probably ended up in a garage sale :/

    2. Heyjude says:

      That’s a shame. This particular one belonged to my (now deceased) ex who came from Zimbabwe, so it is a reminder of him and his country. They are lovely objects.

      1. Joanne Sisco says:

        The history behind this object is what makes it so special.
        Sadly, as children, we were too self-absorbed to consider what the story was behind so many of my mother’s possessions.

        1. Heyjude says:

          That’s so true. By the time we are interested in the stories it is often too late.

  13. It looks very colonial, and on hot days it would be easy to imagine being in some tropical place on holiday. 🙂 Flying ants? Is it that time already? We have ants everywhere outside, but luckily none are flying yet.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Far too hot to be inside it today – even passing through to get to the garden is more than enough time in there, though I do have to keep watering those tomatoes!

      1. I think conservatories are probably at their best in the spring and autumn. We use to have one and it was too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer! Perfect for tomatoes though. 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          Yes, the tomatoes are doing well, maybe a bit too well.

        2. I forsee several batches of tomato chutney might need to be made. 😉

        3. Heyjude says:

          Pasta sauce is my preference – I also have loads of basil, but in this heat it is starting to bolt already, as is the rocket in the garden.

  14. Lucid Gypsy says:

    How lovely to see your exotic room, you’d know that I would love the Africana and plants. I wish our conservatory could be used just for plants and sitting in, We had it built in the winter, it’s oblong and divided by shelving so the plan was half seating area and half studio crafting space. Unfortunately the crafts have taken over. If someone’s coming it gets cleared away and then it’s bliss. Right now, leading up to the Mid Devon show next month it looks like a jumble sale!
    Keep meaning to check, do I assume you’re all Devon-ed out and can’t meet at Rosemoor now? I still could but only on the Sunday. Let me know if you fancy it, otherwise I hope we can meet up sometine soon, I’m always happy to meet you halfway to save some of the driving. Have a lovely Sunday my dear 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Yours cannot get as hot as this one then, there is no way you could work in here, especially in this heat! I’m still on for Rosemoor and Sunday is fine. Weather should be cooler then too. I shall send you an e tomorrow 🙂

      1. Lucid Gypsy says:

        Hooray that’s great 🙂

  15. You have a decorator knack. The colour scheme of the conservatory is wonderful, and so are all the bits and pieces you highlight. That last collage is particularly rich. I love the way you locate yourself in the conservatory too and provide a glimpse of your preoccupations and busy-ness. A very satisfying post.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Aw, thank you Meg. I shall try and get photos of other rooms to show you, but at the moment things are out of place due to all the blasted ants!

  16. Looks like a gorgeous space to just “be” any time of the day. And the decor is very you I imagine – an eclectic blend of things from your travels 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      I have to confess that the other side is still a dumping ground – stuff I need to take to the tip, but then it should look quite nice. Far too hot to sit and relax in though. This week it would make a good sauna!

      1. I could do with some of that sunshine, but then we do need the rain we are having far more 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          We Brits just love to moan about our weather – though to be fair we really do not do the excessive heat well. Nor excessive cold. We truly are temperate creatures. I remember visiting the ex in Jo’burg and my daughter came up from Durban. I was in a T-shirt – they were in woolly jumpers and scarves and complaining how cold it was! (19C)

        2. LOL! Sounds about right 🙂

  17. Looks a wonderful spot to relax in – love the way you have decorated it 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you Rosemary. Probably the only time it is cool enough to sit in is very early in the morning or in springtime. I do like the noise of rain on the roof though I shall probably have the roof changed so that it is not so hot!

      1. I love the noise of rain on a roof to (we have a colour bond one on our patio roof) but if it’s too hot then obviously that’s not very pleasant (nice problem to have in the UK though!).

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