An orangery with a dedicated plant nursery was our dream since we bought Bliderud. Although it came second to building the greenhouse, it wasn’t less important. Unlike the greenhouse, which is used to extend the growing season, the orangery will be used for more recreational purposes. Given our northern climate, it will be a valuable place for enjoying the outdoors, while sheltered from the elements all year long. Moreover, it also has a room for starting off seedlings.
Building the Orangery
We started building the orangery in April 2020. It was a few weeks after the first corona lockdown, in what for us was the best period during the pandemic. We were able to stay on the farm full time from mid March to mid August 2020. Since Sweden had a different approach to handling the pandemic, we could also receive help from friends and neighbours.
At first, Frank prepared the location for the foundation slab. Then, we got help to pour the concrete. That being settled, Frank built a low brick wall with Leca building blocks. On top of that he erected a framework that would hold the double-glazed windows, which we repurposed from apartment buildings in Karlstad.
Free windows provided the framework for the design. Since they are almost completely square, we decided to have two rows of windows on one side and one row on the other side. We also received ordinary terrace doors for free and aligned them to the centre of the structure. When they are open it allows a free flow of air through the building. We bought double glass doors and a couple of smaller windows for the front of the building. In addition, we bought 16 mm thick polycarbonate panes for the roof.
The size of the orangery is 35 m2 and consists of two indoor rooms and an outdoor area that was intended to be an outdoor kitchen. However, we are now refiguring the use of that space. We have insulated the orangery with 10 cm insulation and paneled all the parts that aren’t covered with windows. Moreover, the building has access to water and electricity.
Frank and I are not professional builders and although we created a rough sketch to indicate what we wanted to build, the details of the construction developed as the went along.
On a trip to Karlstad to buy tiles for the floor, we found some painted wall tiles that we liked. For heating, we bought a small wood burner with a glass door. Even though we can heat with electricity, we only plan to do so in the smaller plant nursery room.
The main room of the orangery is meant to be our garden living room. We have decorated it with furniture stored from our move from Norway, as well as some pieces inherited from my mom, who died three years ago. Everything is not complete yet, but we have already enjoyed dining and relaxing in the orangery, on our own as well as with friends. The burner heats up the room quickly and the insulation and double-glazed windows keeps the room nice and warm, also when the temperature is far below zero degrees Celsius.
Building the orangery has been one of our husband and wife-projects, as we like to call them. You can read more about our projects on this website as well as watch more videos of what we do on our YouTube channel.
By the way, last summer, I noticed that if all the doors are open, it doesn’t overheat when the sun is shining either. Right now, we are looking forward to spend a lot of time in this nice new addition to our farm.
By the way, there will be a part two and more images of the interior in a more finished state.