Garden sheds are a characteristic feature of many a modern day home with a garden, because they are so versatile. There is the traditional use of the garden shed: a place where everything, including the kitchen sink, can be stored. But these day people are using their imagination when it comes to garden sheds; some see their garden shed as an extension to the home and are converting them into:
A reading shed, with recliners, rugs, soft lighting, where tranquillity can be enjoyed, and of course a resident coffee pot and a permanently filled biscuit tin
A play shed, which is in competition with the local toy store for the amount of toys the shed holds
A music shed, either located at the bottom of the garden or fitted with soundproofing so little Johnny can bash, sorry play, his drums to his heart’s content
A craft shed where artistic moments can be nurtured
A rubbish/garbage/recycling shed used to store and ‘hide’ the numerous refuse and recycling bins given to householders by the council.
Several reasons why garden sheds are no longer being seen as ‘just a shed,’ is because sheds now come in an array of shapes, sizes, colour, and materials. For example, even a simple garden shed design will have side and rear windows that allow natural light to stream in. The shed will have full-height walls and doors that give it a ‘house-like’ appearance, and many sheds come with add-on options such as: window shutters; flower boxes; decking; veranda, to enhance the visual appeal. These day’s garden sheds are seen as an attractive feature for the garden and not something that needs to be tucked away behind a hedge.
Then there are the garden sheds that are multi-functioning and combine the expediency of a garden shed and something else, such a marquee and a potting shed all in one. These sheds are ideal for gardeners who only have a small garden but need a place for storing things in while having a place to tend to seeds and plants. A firewood shed combines a garden shed with an attachment for storing firewood.
Now, there are some people who just see a shed as a place to store things in or as an extension of the home. Then there are people who actually love their sheds and called themselves ‘sheddies’ (a term used amongst fans of sheds but I don’t think is in the Oxford English Dictionary just yet). There is an annual ‘Shed of the Year’ competition organised by the Readers Shed that was held during National Shed Week, which commenced on July 7th 2008. The celebrity judges for the competition included the shed enthusiast and real estate expert, Sarah Beeny, Trevor Baylis who is the founder of the Windup Radio, Alex, of shedworking.co.uk, and Dr. Kathryn Ferry, professor of beach huts. Together, they decided which shed was the most unique and different after a public voting system that started in June 2008 produced a shortlist of winners. There was huge public response to the competition with more than 3,000 votes for over 900 entries in 12 categories. And the winner for 2008 was “The rugby pub” a pub shed owned by Tim from Sudbury in Suffolk and is said to be the perfect ‘man’ shed. The shed was designed and built by the owner. It has eight roof lights in an octagonal roof, a pair of double doors, a 15′ fully fitted bar, a ceiling fan, sink with cold running water, comfortably furnished with sea grass matting floor, a hammock… basically everything a shed should be fitted with.
So, if your converted garden sheds are something you think the world should see, don’t forget to enter next year’s Shed of the Year competition.
Glenn Newnham wrote the Article ‘There is more to Wooden Garden Sheds than Meets the Eye’ and recommends you visit http://www.gardeningthoughts.co.uk/acatalog/sheds.html for more information on garden store sheds.