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