GAR­DEN OA­SIS

HOW AN AVID GAR­DENER TRANS­FORMED AN OLD SHED INTO A BEAU­TI­FUL GREEN­HOUSE AND OUT­DOOR LIV­ING SPACE.

Country Style - - CONTRIBUTORS - WORDS BENTE HALKJAER PHO­TOG­RA­PHY KIRA BRANDT/HOUSE OF PICTURES

Nurse Jane Wit­trock’s home in the tiny vil­lage of Store Fu­glede, Den­mark, wouldn’t be com­plete with­out her beau­ti­ful green­house.

FOR JANE WIT­TROCK, life doesn’t get any bet­ter than when she is able to sit in her green­house, over­look­ing her beau­ti­ful gar­den and ad­mir­ing the abun­dance of flow­ers she can see in ev­ery di­rec­tion. In­deed, dur­ing sum­mer, her gar­den is filled to over­flow­ing with flowerbeds in peak bloom. Jane and her fam­ily — hus­band Flem­ming, and chil­dren, Julie, 18, Ras­mus, 16, and Mads, 13 — live just out­side the tiny but charm­ing Dan­ish vil­lage of Store Fu­glede, about an hour-and-a-half west of Copen­hagen. They have lived in the house for about 18 years now, but when the fam­ily moved to the area it had no gar­den, an omis­sion that Jane felt she had to rec­tify im­me­di­ately. The green­house has be­come Jane’s “favourite spot to sit” when she is not out in the gar­den it­self. Jane, a nurse, says that gar­den­ing re­lieves stress, whether she is work­ing in the dirt, cre­at­ing bou­quets (which she sells to passers-by) or just en­joy­ing the view. Plant­ing the gar­den was her first pri­or­ity upon mov­ing to the house. It’s a labour of love. “The gar­den gives me the op­por­tu­nity to grow a lot of flow­ers,” Jane says. “I like to cre­ate the flowerbeds my­self and see the plants grow from seeds.” To fill the gar­den with flow­ers as quickly as pos­si­ble, Jane cut into the lawn, adding raised beds, us­ing pal­lets topped with soil. Path­ways were cre­ated be­tween the beds for easy ac­cess, cov­ered with wood­chips sal­vaged from tree felling to give a sturdy all-weather sur­face. The flowerbeds show­case some of Jane’s favourite an­nu­als, in­clud­ing sweet peas, cos­mos, zin­nia, China aster and snap­drag­ons — sum­mer brings a sea of pretty pas­tels into view. Plan­ning for these dis­plays starts in early win­ter, and in the first days of spring, seeds are planted into small pots, which are kept in the green­house un­til the weather warms. Some cold-hard an­nu­als are sown straight into the soil. Growth is rapid in sum­mer, but the flower show ends when the first frosts ar­rive, mark­ing the end of the sea­son. This is

when the 30-square-me­tre green­house comes into its own as plants are re­pot­ted and pro­tected from the harsh win­ter. The green­house is a new ad­di­tion to the gar­den. Jane had pre­vi­ously used a smaller one, be­fore per­suad­ing her hus­band to re­pur­pose an old brick shed just across from the main house. Jane could see the rather ugly build­ing’s po­ten­tial, us­ing sal­vaged win­dows and doors to con­vert the build­ing into an at­trac­tive and prac­ti­cal space. When Flem­ming fin­ished the struc­ture, Jane painted it white and dec­o­rated with vin­tage fur­ni­ture to cre­ate a cosy oa­sis. In­side, she has a work­bench for mak­ing bou­quets, but there is also room for the whole fam­ily to sit and have lunch. In a cold cli­mate such as Den­mark’s, a green­house al­lows gar­den lovers to spend time out­doors at the start of the cooler sea­sons. Jane’s next project is to in­stall a small, wood-burn­ing stove to make it a vi­able liv­ing space year round. “A lot of things about my home make me smile,” she says, “But my green­house makes me es­pe­cially happy. I love that my hus­band built it for me and I think there is no bet­ter place to be, no mat­ter the sea­son.”

‘Break Out’ dahlia is hand­some in the gar­den and a long-last­ing picked flower. FAC­ING PAGE The green­house was re­mod­elled and fur­nished for cosy out­door liv­ing. It has en­trances to both the yard and gar­den.

CLOCK­WISE, FROM ABOVE Jane Wit­trock en­joys pick­ing gar­den flow­ers to make bou­quets; pot­ted gera­ni­ums thrive in the green­house, while a lush wire plant spills from a pot on the shelf; a sum­mer ar­range­ment of dahlias and cos­mos. FAC­ING PAGE, CLOCK­WISE, FROM TOP LEFT Vin­tage fur­ni­ture brings a rus­tic charm; basil and gera­ni­ums en­joy a warm spot in the win­dow; a ri­otous flower mix in raised beds out­side the green­house.

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