Five Minutes in my conservatory

When we moved here last year the conservatory was a bit of a dumping ground. Eventually it got sorted and became our breakfast room (when it wasn’t too hot to sit in – I guess we should do early breakfasts as at 7 am it is probably fine). I also used it to browse through garden and seed catalogues and plan what I was going to do in the garden once the year was up.  Recently it became a dumping ground again whilst I decorated the bedroom and office/studio on the ground floor so once again I have had to clear it out. During the spring half-term my daughter helped me to move the bookcase into the dining-hall and also move a Victorian Housekeeper’s cupboard so we could paint the wall behind it. I still have that to finish as the tomatoes have gone bananas so I shall have to wait until they are finished before I can paint the rest of the walls. Today whilst watering them for the second time I realised that the room had somehow adopted a rather colonial feel. Wicker chairs and drawers, rattan dining chairs, an open cupboard and my collection of African bits and pieces have made it feel almost tropical. I think I shall have to buy some citrus plants, grow a grape-vine and maybe some ginger lilies – of course whatever I do put in there has to cope with the cold in winter as the conservatory is unheated.

So after dealing with our second flying ant invasion (not in the conservatory, that location seems to be the preference of woodlice) I decided to take a few photos to include in DJ’s 5 minute challenge. I hope you, and DJ, like them and that she doesn’t mind that I have stretched the rules a bit.

DesleyJane – a lovely arty scientist now living in Melbourne – is also a wonderful photographer and a huge macro fan. She has a new weekly challenge called “regularrandom for anyone to join in with which involves spending 5 minutes with the subject matter.

Choose a scene or an object and keep fixed on that object, and shoot for just five minutes.   You can move around the object or scene but try not to interfere with it. See what happens in that five minutes, what changes, how the light changes, what comes into the frame or leaves the frame, or what other parts of the object you can focus on or use to your advantage.

South African Zulu basket

If you would like to join in then please visit DJ’s site where you will find more information and ideas about this fun challenge

All photos were taken with my Olympus E-10 camera and the 40-150mm lens and using various art scenes.


  1. Su Leslie says:

    What a great subject for Desley’s challenge. I love the eclectic — and definitely tropical — feel of your conservatory!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Eclectic is the word! But glad you like it – like a blooming oven in there today, even the tomatoes are wilting!

      1. Su Leslie says:

        Oh no! Sun-dried tomatoes on the vine?

  2. Joanne Sisco says:

    I really enjoyed the tour of your conservatory. Your soapstone head from Zimbabwe reminded me of my mother – she had 2 of them. hmmm – I wonder what became of those?

    1. Heyjude says:

      Probably in a cupboard somewhere!

      1. Joanne Sisco says:

        Not likely. When she passed away, all her stuff was scattered around the family but I don’t remember seeing the heads. Probably ended up in a garage sale :/

    2. Heyjude says:

      That’s a shame. This particular one belonged to my (now deceased) ex who came from Zimbabwe, so it is a reminder of him and his country. They are lovely objects.

      1. Joanne Sisco says:

        The history behind this object is what makes it so special.
        Sadly, as children, we were too self-absorbed to consider what the story was behind so many of my mother’s possessions.

        1. Heyjude says:

          That’s so true. By the time we are interested in the stories it is often too late.

  3. It looks very colonial, and on hot days it would be easy to imagine being in some tropical place on holiday. 🙂 Flying ants? Is it that time already? We have ants everywhere outside, but luckily none are flying yet.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Far too hot to be inside it today – even passing through to get to the garden is more than enough time in there, though I do have to keep watering those tomatoes!

      1. I think conservatories are probably at their best in the spring and autumn. We use to have one and it was too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer! Perfect for tomatoes though. 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          Yes, the tomatoes are doing well, maybe a bit too well.

        2. I forsee several batches of tomato chutney might need to be made. 😉

        3. Heyjude says:

          Pasta sauce is my preference – I also have loads of basil, but in this heat it is starting to bolt already, as is the rocket in the garden.

  4. Lucid Gypsy says:

    How lovely to see your exotic room, you’d know that I would love the Africana and plants. I wish our conservatory could be used just for plants and sitting in, We had it built in the winter, it’s oblong and divided by shelving so the plan was half seating area and half studio crafting space. Unfortunately the crafts have taken over. If someone’s coming it gets cleared away and then it’s bliss. Right now, leading up to the Mid Devon show next month it looks like a jumble sale!
    Keep meaning to check, do I assume you’re all Devon-ed out and can’t meet at Rosemoor now? I still could but only on the Sunday. Let me know if you fancy it, otherwise I hope we can meet up sometine soon, I’m always happy to meet you halfway to save some of the driving. Have a lovely Sunday my dear 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Yours cannot get as hot as this one then, there is no way you could work in here, especially in this heat! I’m still on for Rosemoor and Sunday is fine. Weather should be cooler then too. I shall send you an e tomorrow 🙂

      1. Lucid Gypsy says:

        Hooray that’s great 🙂

  5. You have a decorator knack. The colour scheme of the conservatory is wonderful, and so are all the bits and pieces you highlight. That last collage is particularly rich. I love the way you locate yourself in the conservatory too and provide a glimpse of your preoccupations and busy-ness. A very satisfying post.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Aw, thank you Meg. I shall try and get photos of other rooms to show you, but at the moment things are out of place due to all the blasted ants!

  6. Looks like a gorgeous space to just “be” any time of the day. And the decor is very you I imagine – an eclectic blend of things from your travels 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      I have to confess that the other side is still a dumping ground – stuff I need to take to the tip, but then it should look quite nice. Far too hot to sit and relax in though. This week it would make a good sauna!

      1. I could do with some of that sunshine, but then we do need the rain we are having far more 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          We Brits just love to moan about our weather – though to be fair we really do not do the excessive heat well. Nor excessive cold. We truly are temperate creatures. I remember visiting the ex in Jo’burg and my daughter came up from Durban. I was in a T-shirt – they were in woolly jumpers and scarves and complaining how cold it was! (19C)

        2. LOL! Sounds about right 🙂

  7. Looks a wonderful spot to relax in – love the way you have decorated it 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you Rosemary. Probably the only time it is cool enough to sit in is very early in the morning or in springtime. I do like the noise of rain on the roof though I shall probably have the roof changed so that it is not so hot!

      1. I love the noise of rain on a roof to (we have a colour bond one on our patio roof) but if it’s too hot then obviously that’s not very pleasant (nice problem to have in the UK though!).

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