The True Star of Saving Grace

sgrace4Here at Conservatory Craftsmen, we are passionate about all things Conservatory; we also have a passion for two other ‘C’s’. Cornwall (England that is!) and Craig Ferguson and an off-color movie that he wrote and starred in called “Saving Grace.”

Saving Grace is a comedy about Grace (Brenda Blethyn), a recently widowed woman who risks losing her wonderful estate and beautiful garden because of the huge debts her husband left when he died. To cure her financial ailments, she uses her horticultural talent and her gardener (Craig Ferguson) to raise–and then sell–marijuana plants in her Cornish Manor conservatory.saving-grace

Not only will this movie make you fall in love with conservatories it will leave you wanting to book the next flight out to Cornell, as I did. Well not the next flight…but close. The cinematography will truly capture your heart.

However we are talking about a comedy and you can guess what the main characters are doing to light a conservatory up like this! This is by far the best scene in the movie.

Here is the Cornish Manor where most of the movie was shot. This home was listed in 2009 for $4.5 US!


The quaint Cornish town did experience an uptick in tourism (including myself) after the movie was released.


You can see why. Cornwall has some of the most breath-taking coastlines in the entire world.

Now here is the movie trailer that will have you clicking for your Netflix account next!


Saving Grace Trailor

Have a lovely day!


Conservatory History

ph2009010701094The history of conservatories begins in the early 17th century. The concept of an all glass orangery came about by a pack of enthusiastic travelers who were discovering new worlds, with exotic plants that gardeners wanted to propagate back in England.

The Conservatory may have started out as a Greenhouse, however as the collected plants became more exotic, the rooms became more of a living space for people who wished to enjoy them.

As raw goods such as glass and steel became more available and less expensive, historic homes (and homeowners) were introduced to a new concept…building an addition onto your home! By the 19th century both private and public Conservatory construction was flourishing in cooler climates all over the world.

The economic downfall of the 1920’s was particularly harsh on the conservatory industry. In lean times, the conservatory space was deemed an needless luxury. As homes were being made more comfortable with central heating, less advanced materials for conservatories made the rooms uncomfortable to be in.


At the turn of the century when Teddy Roosevelt was elected President, he began major renovations on the West wing of the White House, effectively demolishing the conservatories and building an office that we know today as the Oval Office (in Roosevelt’s design, the office was rectangle; Taft renovated it to be Oval).

Modern architecture design was not the shining era of the Victorian Conservatory. Many curved eave ‘solariums’ were built during this period.

Fortunately, good conservatory design always prevails and over the last 20 years we have seen a tremendous re-birth of conservatories all over the world.

What is a Conservatory?

I have been building conservatories for almost 25 years, and still most of my friends have no idea what I do.

They call them ‘greenhouses’, ‘sunrooms’, ‘sunporches’, ‘garden rooms’, ‘gazebos’ and for those with a bit of imagination; ‘gazebotoriums’!

But what makes a Conservatory a bit different from all of the above?

One of our customers once said to us, “If I ever build another house, it will have a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and conservatory because those are the only rooms we ever use!” Well, 15 years later when he was building a new home he did add a few more rooms to that list- including a much larger conservatory.

A conservatory is a living space first and foremost. Some people use it as a living room, others a dining area (which is really quite a beautiful backdrop for holiday meals).

When the Europeans first began to build conservatories, they also built greenhouses. One space to grow it, the other to show it off!

Many famous conservatories in the United States have production facilities (greenhouses) and conservatories (display).

We know that when Ms. White invited everyone to her house, including our friend, Colonel Mustard, the intention was not to stage a murder in the conservatory!


Do you know the Colonel’s first name? If so, send a comment!

The point is, conservatories are all around us, and becoming more and more popular on homes today.

Not just a room in a Victorian home anymore, but an entire living space to enjoy the sun, grow plants, fruits and vegetables all year round, and use as a passive energy source for your home!

In subsequent blogs, we will detail the design of an ordinary suburban home that is adding a conservatory with simple energy saving features.

Greetings, Conservatory Lovers

conservatorycraftsmen1-280x187If you have ever dreamed of having a Conservatory space on your home or if you are a current conservatory owner we hope that you find this series of articles most useful. The Conservatory (or Conservatree, as spoken in Britain) is a wonderfully relaxing space that effortlessly marries your home with your garden. Take a deep breath and you can almost feel the warm sun on your skin and smell your jasmine in bloom.

We’re planning on publishing tips on how to decorate your conservatory from a professional Interior Decorator and Conservatory/Greenhouse gardening tips from a seasoned horticulturist.

Plus, we’re always full of advice and counsel. If you’ll join our merry band here, you can comment and ask further questions. We do moderate the comments so they may not appear immediately.

Follow our conservatory projects from start to finish as well as interviews with industry pros and current clients!

If you already own a conservatory, share your stories with us. If you are having difficulties of one kind or another concerning your conservatory, maybe we can help. Join the fraternity of Conservatory owners and share your experiences with one another.