A tidy conservatory . . .

We created our conservatory for the delightful view, but . . .

Most of the time it’s a utilitarian usefulness that the space affords us. We never seem to have the time to sit and enjoy, but rather we’re busy in other rooms doing other crucial things. Yesterday I started clearing the staging (it had held the chitting potatoes, for example, and then seed trays) and then proceeded to extract the chicken feed, and the garden games and the hot tub paraphernalia out and away. And the conservatory became again what it was developed for: a space to rest and reflect.

I had a glass of wine while chatting with Kali cat. I watched the birds flitting back and forth. I listened to the wind chimes as the breeze from the top windows gently moved them into each other. I thought about the busyness of our lives and our schedules, lists and errands.

I thought: this is a better space than we could ever have imagined. I wondered why we have been so quick to turn delight into pedantic utility. Certain rooms in the house have a kind of ‘special’ notice attached to them: this room is sacrosanct, and no extraneous purpose must intrude into the space. I feel we should extend this approach to the conservatory, but maybe by early next spring our gardening sap will rise and we shall embark on a seedling exercise again, crowding the relaxed ambience.

Or maybe not. Learning about the human architecture of space is an important lesson. We’ve been thinking about the possibility of a garden room, an all-weather office, on the secluded decking at our tiny second home in Scotland. Someday perhaps that space will be a sacrosanct writing den; perhaps it will be just large enough for a hammock. There’s no view there, just a stone wall, but the space opens to the sky. Good for day-dreaming, then.

Anyway, thinking of intrusions, today I must attack the overwhelming dock weeds that have intruded through the gaps in the paving slabs along the two alley ways we developed beside the soft fruit patch and the large cold frame. I shall set about my purpose with a certain determination, anxious to clear the space for gentle perambulation. My mind is clear: empty space can be a real joy.

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