The great re­design

NZ Lifestyle Block - - The Good Life -

This big old glasshouse be­longs to some friends of mine, a trea­sured and use­ful part of their gar­den.

It sits on sub­stan­tial con­crete foun­da­tions and a per­fect site. The long steel-framed struc­ture looks like it was built in the 1920s or ‘30s, a se­ri­ous pro­fes­sional ef­fort with decades of use be­hind it.

The prob­lem was, the steel frame had be­come more rust than trust, and the glass had be­come a hodge­podge of cracks, holes and sil­i­cone. At some stage they asked them­selves the in­evitable ques­tion: what do they keep and what do they re­tire?

The soil, the site and the foun­da­tion were ob­vi­ous keep­ers, but the rest had passed its use-by date. There is an easy thresh­old test for this: if some­thing is of­fered to me – for free – and I turn it down, it has no use­ful life left in it!

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