On Sunday afternoon, Lise-Lotte Loomer sat in her Fairfield Greenhouse, enjoying a book.
It’s not an overly large greenhouse, but, located in the heart of a thriving garden of shrubs, flowers and fruit trees, Loomer has made it a cozy and functional one.
She calls it Greenhouse Hygge, and wrote a book by the same name about how she uses it.
If ‘hygge’ is unfamiliar, it roughly translates as a cozy place to be from Danish and is pronounced “Hue-gah,” Loomer explains.
Greenhouse Hygge tells the story of how Loomer inherited the greenhouse from her dying mother, who dedicated it to her while in hospice. Then it tells how the family took it apart in Cordova Bay and reassembled it at her home, a few doors from the Foul Bay border of Oak Bay, and how Loomer has used it to start flowers and other plants, but also to spend time in.
“Some people have told me they get quite emotional reading it, so it must be that part about my mom,” Loomer said.
It has chairs, candles, and strings of solar-powered lamps and the greenhouse can warm a fall afternoon in the same way it can protect a Fairfield summer evening from an ocean breeze.
“The Danish concept doesn’t really have an English translation, hygge can also be at the beach with friends, a cozy [moment],” Loomer said. “I was describing the book and the greenhouse to my friend and she said, you mean ‘hygge.’”
Loomer didn’t know the term, and then it popped up in quite a few titles and articles that year. It made her part of a little trend as the term was embraced by English speaking people, she said.
Loomer self-published Greenhouse Hygge three years ago through Friesen Press (who are a cut above self-publishing with editorial help and global distribution support), and it’s one of 670 unique titles that are part of the Greater Victoria Library’s five-year-old Emerging Local Authors Collection.
While Loomer is exploring another book, it’s books like her debut, that wouldn’t necessarily be purchased by GVPL, but are available through the ELAC and is housed prominently at the Central Branch library, 735 Broughton St.
“In this age of buying local, the Emerging Local Authors Collection encourages people to ‘read local,’” said Lara Riecken, a senior librarian in GVPL’s collections and technical services department. “The library helps authors reach readers who wish to support the creativity and talents of emerging writers and artists in our community.”
As Loomer used Friesen Press it mostly follows a self-publishing model, however, Friesen offers a lot. They help with the design and provide editorial feedback. Friesen also prints in Australia and the U.K., and their catalogue shows up on the major book online websites.
As a result, Loomer has seen orders go out to faraway places in the world.
To be eligible for ELAC, authors or illustrators live on southern Vancouver Island or resided there during the time of the publication of the book (between 2010 and 2019). The print book also should be professionally bound. The deadline for applications is Jan. 12.