How Can Our Exclusive Steel Brombal Windows and Doors Turn Your Fantasy into Form?

Posted June 21st, 2017 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Client Stories, Dynamic Glass, Steel Structures, Windows & Doors
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Imagine, a room – Your room – handcrafted of thermally broken steel three times stronger than aluminum and four times less conductive, made from 100% recycled materials …It is a room comprised of materials that effortlessly marry attraction with atmosphere and the fortitude to beautify for generations …

What impact could that have on Your life?

At Tanglewood Your projects are built from steel and a blend of other high-quality materials. A good example is our new line of Steel Windows and Doors.

But don’t just take our word for it. See for yourself what are clients are saying:

Attraction and Atmosphere Meets Strength & Durability

“… The room is like a magnet. Everyone wants to be in our conservatory… We can’t even get the dogs out of this room!”

The Edge Family

“… Every detail of my conservatory needs to be perfect. This is a legacy project. We are thinking of our children’s children!”

A Legacy Conservatory Project, 2018

Beauty and Passion takes Form – A Client’s Story

Imagine a mathematical concept brought to fruition by beauty of form and a passion of purpose …

This happened with a project that we call the “Da Vinci” project. And it led us to a new discovery in the future of steel structure.

The client dreamed of a glass conservatory that would have the charm and feel of mahogany – yet constructed using steel – to reflect his love of mathematics. In theory, the room was meant to express a concept; But in practice our Windows and Doors helped to turn Function into Form.

To turn thus Dream into Reality our craftspeople created a steel rendition of the classic Fibonacci sequence. Featured in in popular book and movie “The Da Vinci Code” this ongoing pattern is “defined as a series of numbers in which each number … is the sum of the two preceding numbers.” Using laser cut steel we were able to create a pattern of circles conceptually illustrating the sequence.

See for yourself what the end result was! –

In form, “the elbow of each support [forms] the largest circle. [And] the three circles moving out from the biggest circle decrease in size according to their Fibonacci number.” “When it was built, he was thrilled at how we met and exceeded his expectations. It is now his favorite room in his home!”

To give our clients the best experience and quality, Tanglewood Conservatories is the exclusive dealer of Brombal Windows and Doors in the Mid-Atlantic area.

Carefully chosen partnerships like this one expand what Tanglewood is able to offer you while maintaining our commitment to quality of materials and design.

Windows and Doors by Brombal – Old World Know-How with New World innovation.

Brombal epitomizes Old World know-how with New World innovation. They are world-renown for their beautifully handcrafted Italian door and window systems.

Whether it is used for making memories or guarding gardenias, steel adds a clean strength and form to whatever it is applied to you. And to craft Your projects Tanglewood’s Team uses quality Brombal steel Windows and Doors that will weather the elements outside while supporting an inviting, living environment inside. After all, “Anything else … is just another room.”

Why are You Still Dreaming? Let’s get your dream started –

To schedule a presentation with us today and find out more information contact Jennifer Beletsky at 410.479.4700 or click here.

 

 

 

Legacy Conservatories: What will yours entail?

Posted March 1st, 2017 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Client Stories, Dynamic Glass, Pool Enclosures, Steel Structures, Uncategorized, Windows & Doors
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Imagine… creating a legacy that transcends generations. What would yours entail?

Does the combination of modern buildings and old world architecture inspire you? How would you make an impact on your home?

Aspiring to leave a lasting legacy is one of our clients driving forces behind creating a conservatory. They love the uniqueness of the architecture, the combination of historic beauty and modern technology while still possessing the ability to transform the structure into anything they dream of; to create a room that truly has no replica.

A recent client put it best, “every detail of my conservatory needs to be perfect. This is a legacy project. We are thinking of our children’s children!”

Building Inside Out

Have you ever traveled to the Schönbrunn Palm house Conservatory in Vienna, Austria? This magnificent structure is one of the most unique, historic conservatories in the world and is known best for its exoskeleton design. That exoskeleton is rare, and makes the conservatory look more massive and strong from the outside. Inside the glass seems connected mostly by its edges, presenting smooth sheets of transparency.

It is also the inspiration for a couple’s grand pool enclosure in the San Juan Islands.

Drawn to its unique look of strength and permanence, the family wanted to echo the exoskeleton design with a few upgrades. While we are quite familiar with building glass conservatories, we have never done one like this before! Normally the frame of a building is hidden between the inside and outside walls, but this design exposes everything.

 

In a typical glass conservatory, the frame or skeleton is on the inside with the glass hung or attached outside as the skin of the building. Of course, the glass not only creates the temperature controlled inside, it allows you to see the frame, but inside the glass. With the exoskeleton design, the interior of the conservatory glass is smooth and uninterrupted. In truth, we spent about six months consulting with engineers and brainstorming in order to create exactly the pool house our clients wanted.

The result is amazing. Although much smaller than the Schönbrunn, its exoskeleton creates exactly the look and strength the client wanted. The exoskeleton sparkles in the sunlight, just as the glass and the water in the pool shines in total concert with the harbor’s – all in an enclosure that’s about 1,900 square feet.

So, how would you create your legacy?

Let us help you create a structure that will awaken and delight for generations. Schedule a consultation or call 1-410 479 4700 to discuss your vision.

70 Percent of medicines come from the most common of plants. Why not grow some for yourself?

Posted January 25th, 2017 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Client Stories, Gardening, Greenhouses, Uncategorized
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When people think about adding a greenhouse to their property they are usually thinking about growing fresh or exotic foods, or flowers in mid winter or just extending their growing season. And a greenhouse will make all these things possible. Often overlooked is the ability to grow some of your own medicine.

Have you considered a living green wall?

Our partner, Dea Schofield, writes about growing your own medicine in a blog she titled Are YOU Growing Your Medicine this Winter? Dea is an expert horticulturist we met through a client who was an avid plant collector.

Dea managed his exclusive collection of edible plants. He was passionate about nature and wanted a greenhouse to show off his extensive plant collection. To relate to their existing home we designed a “Horticultural Jewel Box” as it had often been referred that combined all the elements of a gardener’s dream; a seating nook, delectable and edible plants, overlooking the water, and a little touch of the client’s unique design touch that made this greenhouse so unique.

To allow the greenhouse to house a multitude of plant species it required substantial heating and pumping equipment to make the climate consistent year ‘round. To hide the system and still keep the integrity of the design, we integrated a wall of living plants rather than the typical stick-it-outside-and-hope-no-one-notices approach. Few people realize that plant wall actually hides the mechanical equipment! Our plant collector loved the solution, and loves showing it off to visitors.

Dea talks more about the plants our collector grew and more in her blog “Difficult Challenges & Great Rewards.”

Wild Medicine

Dea is not alone in recognizing the value of medicinal plants. Starting Jan. 21, 2016 the Enid Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Gardens is hosting Wild Medicine in the Tropics. Many of the plants exhibited there would work well in a home greenhouse and you can even get some tips and tricks on which are best for your area!


Well respected Dr. Mercola points out that few  people recognize that roughly 70 percent of the medicines we use in the U.S. are derived from plants and other products from nature. He lists seven underappreciated medicinal plants, some of which you may already be growing. All of them, listed below, can also be grown in a greenhouse year around.

·       Ginger ·       Peppermint
·       Garlic ·       Lavender
·       Chamomile ·       Thyme
·       Dandelion

 

A greenhouse with all the plants you cherish, from flowers through edibles and on to medicinal is a magical place, for you, your family and for your legacy.

Now’s the best time to start planning your conservatory or greenhouse so download our e-brochure or schedule a no obligation consultation with our team to learn more!

Will adding a conservatory or pool enclosure increase the value of my home?

Posted January 18th, 2017 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Client Stories, Conservatory Projects, Pool Enclosures
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conservatory

We’re often asked if a glass conservatory or elegant pool house adds value to a home.

What do you think? Is that even the right question?

We’re partnered with a writer who, before she began writing, was the third generation in her family’s real estate business on the west coast.  She told us that her father advised people who were searching for a home not to consider it part of their investment portfolio, although he recognized that a house could indeed be an investment. Instead, he suggested they buy and use the home that best suited the family – in other words if you want a conservatory in your home get one.

What does a conservatory add?

There are three critical values to determine the worth of any home; what you think its worth, what it’s going to be worth to someone else, and what a professional will think it’s worth. While that’s true when you’re talking price, it doesn’t encompass what living in the home is like for you.

When we talk with our clients about what the conservatory brings to them, the most common response is it’s become a part of their everyday lifestyle, where they go for safe haven, create priceless family memories, and live out the things they are most passionate about. Often it comes down to becoming part of their legacy; the mark they want to leave on their family with the most cherished memories.

What is the value of a memory? Or a place where you feel close to nature and at peace? A place of light and love?

In our experience, an elegant, well-crafted conservatory generates massive curb appeal to a home, drawing people’s eyes around the room to look at the detail within the wood and steel work.

A Recent Sale

Several years ago we built a conservatory for Hollywood Director Ron Howard as a focal point with elegant seating at the far end of his pool house. It added just the right dramatic touch, matching and enhancing the beauty of his estate.

On Friday, January 9, 2015, the CT Post announced the sale of Ron Howard’s home for $27.5 million! From curb appeal to relaxing nooks to family fun spaces, the home is nothing less than extraordinary. What many find as most appealing is the heated indoor pool linked to its glass conservatory. During those cold New England winters, this addition to Ron’s home is the perfect cure-all for those long, dark months and a perfect protected place when it’s hot outside.

While we certainly don’t know how much Ron’s pool house conservatory contributed to the sale price, we’re pretty sure it didn’t hurt. After all, how could it?

Not surprisingly, Ron Howard obviously has an eye for design and for a true artist’s attention to detail.

This expansive property set amidst 32 groomed acres might be called the epitome of visual appeal. There’s a delightful flavor of the Victorian and the pool house he added while he lived there played well with that theme.

Beauty creates its own draw

People are naturally drawn to beauty and as HGTV puts it:

“A good-looking face isn’t just memorable – in real estate, an attractive exterior can make or break a home sale.”

There’s no reason to think a glass conservatory or gorgeous pool house does anything but improve the face a home presents to the world.

Of course, a conservatory or pool houses is more than a pretty face. They provide the kind of space that creates a celebration of life and health. With the natural light and warm, healthy atmosphere, families and friends, young and old often find themselves in a kind of intimacy that’s hard to replicate anyplace else.

Just as a glass conservatory or magnificent pool house adds beauty, it can also add value to your home and your legacy. To learn more, take a look at our e-brochure on the left hand side of this webpage or schedule a 30 minute consultation with our team.

 

Visualize a Space That Creates and Supports Your Passions

Posted October 20th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Client Stories, Conservatory Projects, Steel Structures
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cast ironThe love affair between steel and the arts was birthed during the industrial revolution with the development of decorative cast iron. The malleability of first cast iron and then steel entranced designers who delighted in creating romantic flourishes including leaves, stars and even fanciful animals. As glass became affordable, it was coupled with both structural and decorative cast iron for the charming glass conservatories we know of from 18th century.

The manufacturing of steel and other metals has improved over time, giving them properties that allow our own ability to use them to also evolve. The result is new possibilities transforming conservatory design into thoroughly modern and special rooms with the old world flare that is so charming and desirable.

Storytelling in Steel

We love our clients! Their imagination gives us new challenges and takes us to new heights.

sequence-drawingOne client led us to a new discovery in the future of steel structure.  He dreamed of a glass conservatory that would have the charm and feel of mahogany yet constructed using steel to reflect his love of mathematics!

We puzzled over a few renderings but one late night drawing captured it all. To incorporate his passions we cut the Fibonacci sequence in the supporting steel beams! He loved the concept!

You may know it from The Da Vinci Code – either the book or the movie. A Fibonacci Sequence can be defined as a series of numbers in which each number ( Fibonacci number ) is the sum of the two preceding numbers.  The simplest is the series 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, etc.

Charmed with our rendering, our client immediately saw his passions coming alive in his new glass conservatory.  Using laser cut steel we were able to create a pattern of circles using the sequence. Note elbows the elbow of each support is the largest circle. The three circles moving out from the biggest circle decrease in size according to their Fibonacci number. When it was built, he was thrilled at how we met and exceeded his expectations. It is now his favorite room
in his home!

bronze-deckAnother client envisioned a glass conservatory on a stone observation deck. The goal was to create it out of steel and bronze while retaining all possible old world charm. At the top, he suggested, should be a bronze roof-lantern-style cap that would cover the home’s elevator.

Our solution was to engineer a bronze exterior shell to contain the glass. Inside steel ribs emphasize the architecture and blend with the interior of the home.

In Partnership

One of the reasons our designs are so well loved is we partner with other craftspeople. To give our clients the best experience and quality, we are now the exclusive Mid-Atlantic dealer of Brombal Products. Brombal is well known for beautifully handcrafted Italian door and window systems. Carefully chosen partnerships like this one expand what we are able to offer our clients while maintaining our commitment to quality of materials and design.

The Art of the Glass Conservatory

We are more than just another conservatory manufacturer. The artistry that comes with designing and building glass conservatories with modern materials in the charming style of yore is what makes us America’s Premier Conservatory Designer and Manufacturer. We are truly artists, in love with our craft.

Connect with our Project Manager, Andrew Ruf, to begin the discussion of how your conservatory can inspire and reflect your passions – 410.479.4700

 

 

 

What could a great partnership do for your business?

Posted September 7th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Client Stories, Conservatory Projects, Skylights, Steel Structures
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To maximize the amount of light entering their new sunroom, one Maryland family, architect, and builder was in search of a company to help create a unique, one-of-a-kind skylight with two requirements; the STEEL STRUCTURE needs to be as minimal as possible and the skylight must be STAR-SHAPED! After talking with two other companies, we were thrilled they chose Tanglewood to design and build this work of art.

“After hearing their proposal to eliminate almost all of the standard structural details to really maximize the amount of glass exposed, it ruled out the competition. We loved the idea and knew we wanted to start working with Tanglewood right away.”

­The Edge Family

We were thrilled to have this opportunity to work on this skylight and even though it brought great challenge, it pushed our design capabilities like never before and produced a true one-of-a-kind design.

The Power of Collaboration

Dreaming of a star-inspired skylight, our first challenge arose in the structural engineering of it. Skylights can be designed to integrate with any type of architecture and in addition to bringing in an ABUNDANCE OF NATURAL LIGHT they enhance the look and experience of any room, from the largest to the smallest. So as we moved through the design phase, we produced 4-5 design concepts after collaborating with the family, architect, builder, and other members of our team that we felt fit the needs and vision they were describing.

Edgemoor_top perspective_Copyright

First, the glass must be able to support a heavy structural load and several forces of expected magnitudes with minimal steel or laminated glass beams. Traditionally, skylights are built to have the glass fit in metal frames to hold it in place properly, but we took a different approach.

OUR SOLUTION was to put a glass fin in between two steel rafters with the glass bonded together to not only give the glass the support and strength it needed but to turn it into a piece of artwork where the glass will reflect light in an imaginative way throughout the room.

An Artistic Touch

Skylights are almost magical, offering as much as three times the amount of natural light you’ll get from ordinary windows. To add an ESSENSE OF ELEGANCE to enhance the skylight, our expert designer created a SCULPTURAL STEEL STRUCTURE engraved with beautiful details to carry the design throughout the whole skylight.

Eagerly awaiting the completion of their new sunroom, the owners are saying, We are very excited to see the project come to fruition! We could not have put together a more powerful team to get the job done.

By the END OF SEPTEMBER, this marvelous skylight will be complete and inviting natural light into a home right here in the state of Maryland.

We’ve been giving the gift of natural light into homes and work spaces through custom skylights, cupolas, domes, and roof lanterns for over 20 years.

We’d be more than happy to talk with you about adding skylights to your home or business. Fill out our Contact Us form or give us a call at: 410.479.4700.

How can you change the lives of a community?

Posted May 25th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Client Stories, Conservatory Projects, Events, Gardening, Greenhouses, Preservation Maryland, Uncategorized
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In 1999 Brookside Gardens created a strategic, master plan to transform their gardens into a world-class destination. The first phase in their plan called to simply pave an unused space near the visitor’s center enlarging the parking lot, but Brookside’s landscape architect Ching-Fang and her team, Stephanie Oberle, Phil Normandy, and Ellen Bennett ENVISIONED SOMETHING MUCH GREATER – an integrated parking and garden landscape – parking AS a landscape!

With the help of several generous donors, beautiful elements, such as a waterway and gatehouse, were able to bring life to their vision. Made of ALL NATURAL, ORGANIC MATERIALS, from the stone brick wall to the beautiful planted flowers, all elements resting in this entryway has a purpose in the gardens, including the gatehouse inspired by Tanglewood’s modern-styled custom greenhouse!

“This particular gatehouse, designed by Tanglewood Conservatories, was designed to resemble a greenhouse. At night it evokes images of a lantern at the entrance, a beacon lighting the way to a beautiful garden experience… and adding a compelling new garden element.”

-Brookside Gardens

 

Brookside Gatehouse_Copyright

Brookside’s vision for this project was to create an inviting and inspiring space that welcomes people to the gardens and fully embraces the visitor’s functional needs.

“We wanted the visitor center to become the heart of the gardens and extend Brookside’s horticulture and education,” Phil and Ching-Fang said. “We saw the gatehouse as our opportunity to start developing a quality design aesthetic. This is why we chose Tanglewood to design the gatehouse. It is a perfect match to its setting. We are delighted with the results.”

 

Great Challenges Bring Great Rewards

According to Stephanie, Brookside Gardens’ Director, their BIGGEST CHALLENGE was fundraising. Although they had a steep learning curve with fundraising and the creation and management of the project as a whole, Brookside’s staff, volunteers, and donors were dedicated to bringing this center to fruition. According to the team,

“The staff and volunteers are truly dedicated to Brookside Gardens and the project hit close to home for everyone. We are passionate about these gardens and everything we stand for.”

IF THEY COULD DO IT OVER AGAIN, the team said they would have asked a lot more questions. This was the first time they have completed a project of this magnitude. Between fundraising, lead time changes, and roadblocks, this first project brought on some great challenges but it also brought great reward.

This great change within Brookside turned out beautifully. We were not surprised we were able to work so well with Brookside Gardens. After all, our founders, Nancy Virts and Alan Stein, were married there over 20 years ago!

20160422_112937

Moving forward

Stephanie says their team is wiser and more knowledgeable about how to take on future projects of this magnitude. Next on their list is a GROWING GREENHOUSE roughly 10,000sq.ft. and a new CONSERVATORY to replace their now 50 year old beauty! Stephanie tells us,

The estimate for the new conservatory, one that matches all our dreams, is around $25 million. Obviously, more fundraising is on our horizon,”

For more information about Brookside or your project, GIVE US A CALL at 410.479.4700 or fill out our contact form!

Beautiful From the Inside Out!

Posted April 21st, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Client Stories, Conservatory Projects, Events, Uncategorized
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Brookside Botanical Gardens is celebrating the GRAND OPENING of their new GARDEN GATEWAY APRIL 22, 2016! Free to all, we would like to invite YOU to come be a part of this magical experience with us!

Originally, this space was meant to be an engineering project, just beautiful unused garden potential, but their landscape architect, Ching-Fang Chen, saw much more waiting to be revealed. Her vision was to turn this space into an ALLURING GARDEN ENTRANCE, introducing a glimpse of the beauty within the gardens as visitors begin to enter; we could not have been more honored when they asked Tanglewood to create their main attraction – the gatehouse. yelloworchid_sm

UNIQUE TO ITS KIND, Brookside was looking to create something to look as though it was a part of the art of the gardens.

“Though a gatehouse is a functional structure where visitors can stop for information, this particular gatehouse is unique. It has been specially designed [by Tanglewood Conservatories] to resemble a greenhouse… and at night, it will evoke images of a lantern at the entrance, lighting the way to a beautiful garden experience… and a compelling new garden element.”

Brookside Botanical Gardens

There is a beautiful story that lies beyond just the revealing of this new gatehouse Tanglewood designed and built for Brookside.  Not only has Brookside brought the community together in the making of this project, in 1993, they brought Tanglewood founders, Alan Stein and Nancy Virts, together not only as business partners but as partners in life.

Click here to read their story!

Keep an eye out for our EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Brookside Botanical Gardens about their experience creating this wonderful new work of art!

Do you have a favorite room?

Posted March 10th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Client Stories, Conservatory Projects, Dynamic Glass, Steel Structures
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Shelter Island Exterior

What room do you love the most in your home?

One family spent 10 years carefully crafting this ISLAND RETREAT. The family’s PASSION FOR NATURE and NATURAL LIGHT drove them to this 24-acre island in the middle of Flathead Lake. In this 24,000 square foot mega-mansion, mahogany rooms and doors create the interior along with beautiful rows of enormous windows to that give them the MOST BEAUTIFUL VIEW of the island.

From a wine cellar to an extravagant boat house to an indoor shooting range and gym, their LUXURIOUS DREAM HOME was nearly complete – then they contacted Tanglewood.

083-Shelter-Island-Estate-Flathead-Lake-Montana

The View

This family dreamed of adding a CONSERVATORY to their front porch overlooking the lake; the final piece to their dream home. Their vision was to make it look as though it could stand the test of time. To RELATE already existing ELEMENTS of the house to the conservatory, we chose to incorporate a COPPER CLAD EXTERIOR and STAIN GRADE MAHOGANY INTERIOR to stay consistent with the castle theme of both the main house and guest house, and topped with a DECORATIVE FINIAL. Inside, subtle light fixtures and sedative nature of the room makes for a peaceful place to relax.

Shelter Island Interior

Of all the amenities on the island, their FAVORITE PLACE TO BE IS IN THE CONSERVATORY nestled alongside the house on the porch. He said,

It has one of the PRETTIEST VIEWS IN THE WORLD I like to keep this as a retreat to myself. I sit on the front porch and watch the waves and the mountains and it’s just one of the MOST PEACEFUL PLACES ON EARTH.”

Are you ready to view the world through glass?

Whether your view is overlooking the water, watching your kids play in the yard, or overlooking your garden, life under glass changes the way we live our lives. We appreciate the world around us and enjoy nature in its truest forms, without having to experience all its elements. To get your glass life started, give us a CALL at 410.479.4700 or fill out our CONTACT form!

This conservatory was also featured in Discovery’s EPIC! To get an inside exclusive look at the Shelter Island Estate, CLICK HERE to watch this episode!

Difficult Challenges and Great Rewards!

Posted February 25th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Client Stories, Dea Digs, Gardening, Greenhouses
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Clients come with needs and wishes in all shapes and sizes. And sometimes the most challenging are the most rewarding.

In 2010 I was introduced to an exclusive collector client by a landscape architect I met while displaying at the Washington Home and Garden Show. The client was having a unique conservatory built by none other than wonderful Tanglewood Conservatories. But no one involved, even the architect’s firm’s landscape maintenance division, had experience with caring for plants under glass. They knew they needed an uncommon expert. I was that expert for five years.

Bullock_Final Exterior CopyrightClick here to read more about this greenhouse!

At the start, I didn’t know I’d have to call on all my experience, knowledge, creativity, and the occasional miracle to make things happen for this client. Tanglewood worked their magic in creating a beautiful structure. The landscape architect then subcontracted the rest out before I was brought in. Rather than the usual benches, tables, and pots, there were stone beds built (similar to institutional greenhouses) that I would then design and fill.

After consulting with the client, the challenge was to keep plants from multiple climates in a very limited space. I designed an interior landscape I was sure he and his family would enjoy, with lots of unusual and flowering tropicals as well as some which produced fruit. I was asked to incorporate a good-sized lemon tree he’d had which was dying from nematodes. But after some specialized intervention, the tree rebounded and did very well. There was a succulent/cactus bed, an orchid bed, a large tree fern, bananas, angel’s trumpets, and many other wonders. A rock wall was planted with epiphytes and appropriate climbers. A lovely café table and chairs was added in order to enjoy the beautiful space.

The first two challenges to the health of the plants was the heating, which was built into the floor (sort of a modern version of Roman-style), and the automated watering system (which was an outdoor landscaping system tailored to fit the beds). Both were great in theory, but unfortunately terrible in practice. I strongly recommend against such heating systems for built-in beds and also against automated watering for greenhouses housing multiple climate species. While I couldn’t do much about the heating, at least the watering could be done by hand and the automated system shut down. A Horticulturist must combine botany, biology, chemistry, geology, meteorology—well, I hope I’m making the point that it’s an interdisciplinary thing usually resting heavily on experience. It’s one area where you can’t your fake your way—which leads to an important note about contained systems like greenhouses. They just can’t be fully automated if you’re planning on growing several different species. Unfortunately, in a complex, eclectic collection, each plant needs weekly and even daily care. It was clear the collection needed a caretaker and I was asked to come twice a week.

After the first year I learned not to get too attached to the plants, as I was used to in my own greenhouse or that of other clients. This client was ever keen to replace and try new things. We collaborated on various changes many times during my tenure. The bed which originally housed the angel’s trumpets, eventually became the home of various hot pepper cultivars. More edible plants were added, including an avocado which happily bloomed, but because a ‘mate’ had not been provided, there were no avocados. However, there were plenty of lemons, limes, and tangerines.

There were ever-blooming hibiscus, many re-blooming orchids, herbs, and myriad other plants. The bromeliads and miniature vines in the stone wall eventually took it over. I refused to use pesticides as not only were small children frequent visitors, but also because of the animals.  Thank goodness for herpetological skills, because caught reptiles and amphibians were regularly deposited into this burgeoning ecosystem by the client’s children. (I aided in the escape of many natives, like skinks, toads, Eastern Box Tortoises, and frogs). My ‘green’ sensibilities found natural ways to keep pests under control, which included using lady beetles, praying mantises, spiders, and tiny predatory wasps. It worked very well.

Wonderful triumphs, most unknown to the client, came of solving the challenging problems presented by such an eclectic collection. I kept a watchful, preventative eye, which told me when to do things like specialized pruning, root drenches, or move lady beetles from plant to plant in order to target aphids. When the time came for me to leave the tricky care of that unique conservatory to others, I knew how much I would miss it—despite the sometimes stressful challenges.

The ending of that wonderful experience offered an unexpected gift, thanks to that beautiful, solid structure that housed and protected so much life—the chance to connect with Nancy, Alan, and the Tanglewood artisans. Like me, they appreciate the unique, remarkable, and well-crafted, especially when it comes to conservatories and the treasures they might contain.

By Dea Schofield

To view the details about the Greenhouse, CLICK HERE!