The Orangery Patio

When the house was extended by the previous owners, two small wings were added as extensions to the kitchen area on the east side and the living room on the west side. Between the two wings was an area that lent itself perfectly to the creation of an Orangery or Conservatory. Given the area faces due south, we thought the latter would be too warm on sunny summer days so we decided on the Orangery option with a glass lantern roof rather than a fully glazed one. The Orangery work started in August 2011 and was completed by late September.

The original Yorkstone patio ran in a 3 metre deep rectangle along the back of the house so we extended the central portion by 20 square metres and, on either side of the extension, created new beds edged by hornbeam on the lawn sides and box on the Yorkstone patio edges. The new beds were planted with Viburnum Tinus Half Standard trees at their centres, Rosa Bonica at the back  and Rosa Margaret Merrill at the front, all underplanted with nepetas, salvias and hardy geraniums (and in April/May tulips). The results have been mixed: Bonica has thrived whilst Margaret Merrill has struggled; one viburnum tinus has prospered while the other has not; and, meanwhile, the geraniums and nepeta have threatened to completely take over. So, out have come the Margaret Merrill, the geraniums and nepeta have been consolidated and, at he time of writing, a final decision has yet to be made on replacements.

Adjacent to the house, on the other side of the patio, are narrow box edged beds containing climbing roses; Albertine and Compassion on the west side and Etoile de Hollande on the other. Both beds also contain Penstemons, Incarvillea and Tradescantia and, either side of the Orangery steps, are large Yew balls in pots.