A Year on the Green Roof

We love our green roof here at The Secret Acre. Everyone should have one.

July is one of the best months with an outbreak of small white and yellow flowers, although this year’s display is less pronounced than last year, possibly due to the very dry spring compared with 2016’s deluge. Continue reading

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Watch the Seasons Turn

deerAnd another year goes by. So last month I put up two curtain poles and a washing line at The Secret Acre. Because October marked our first year anniversary of moving in. And rather embarrassingly these were the last of the ‘quick’ jobs still undone from that very first month!

But missing curtain poles aside, October was a chance for us to reflect on the good and bad points of our first year. Fortunately, perhaps, our positives and negatives were remarkably similar. Continue reading

Green Roof, Yellow Roof

Green Roof - 3 July 2016The green sedum roof remains one of the highlights of our eco-makeover at The Secret Acre.

Visually striking, it is a daily joy to behold as it changes and evolves across the seasons.

In June and July a profusion of small white and yellow flowers have blossomed in the green, attracting a mass of bees and insects.

Four Months In: Windows, Doors and Sedum

Our windows going inAfter seeming to wait around in June, for the underfloor heating screed to dry and for the windows to be delivered, we finally got watertight in July as windows and doors arrived along with the sedum green roof.

Now it really does feel like the beginning of the end as the second fix gets underway. Continue reading

I can see Green(ly) now the Roof has gone!

Sedum roof tray stackThere was one thing we were clear about when planning The Secret Acre’s eco-makeover. We didn’t want to be looking out from our new bedroom over 60 square meters of grey roof extension.

And it turns out that installing a green roof is amazingly simple.

In fact most of the hard work had already been done by the farm in Wiltshire who grew our roof in self-contained modular trays that arrived stacked on a lorry. Continue reading

Our Eco Makeover

Work underwayLike most eco-warriors I had the standard comprehensive list in my heart of eco-bling I wanted at The Secret Acre – PV, solar thermal, rainwater harvesting, green roof, etc.

But having worked at Forum for the Future on pathfinder retrofit projects, I knew in my head that our first priority on a budget had to be insulation, insulation, insulation.

So making it warm and properly insulated for the next 100 years has to come first, and then worry about the bling. And as with every retrofit, you have to work with the existing building you have to do what is possible, practical and appropriate. Continue reading