The Garden Shed of the Year competition is an annual event which gives dedicated ‘sheddies’ the opportunity to show off their pride and joy. Which, if you think about it, is a British obsession, even if these sheds are not entered in this event you will find that most shed owners feel passionate about their pride and joy. You will find that the garden shed, a populate size being 10X5, means a sense of Britishness as they hold a certain place in the psyche of British men and, nowadays, more and more women are finding out the appeal of these special garden buildings. The appeal is often put down to the peace and quiet which is possible as well as being a little bit of Britain which is theirs.
Some see it as an extension of their bedroom, which as a child was a private haven, and can be seen to be an extra room for socialising or for their own particular hobbies. The shed can fill all these roles and more. Add in a few different activities and you can start to see where the attractiveness of garden sheds come from.
There have been many books written about this obsession with a parody of ’50 Sheds of Grey’ a parody of the massively successful ’50 Shades of Grey’ published before last Christmas. Another book called ‘The Shed Book’ (interesting title) by Gordon Thorburn and Gareth Jones. This is a good read for ‘sheddies’ as it looks into the garden shed of British men and reveals the strange personalities and the enthusiasm behind these buildings.
With garden sheds which house particular inventions, all sort of collections, a cinema and even a funeral directors, which I find hard to comprehend. This book will make a great gift for the many shed widows (or widowers) out there and if you take a peak inside you will see that your other half is not as bonkers as you thought. The book celebrates the shed and I was lucky enough to have been given a copy as a Christmas present.
The success of the Shed of the Year is an unrivalled success and this has created a problem in itself. With the sheer number of entries a decision was made to split the entries into different classes. Summer Houses and Cabins were combined separating them from more ‘normal’ garden sheds. This will help to make it easier to compare reasonably similar buildings which make sense. In most other competitions such as Soap awards, for instance, there are many different classes which helps to create more interest.
Andrew Wilcox said the thinking behind it was that people use their garden workshops in different ways with many different uses being the ‘norm’ rather than the exception. Each 10 x5 shed is pretty much unique to its owner. This competition does encourage many shed owners to come up with different ideas with an earlier winner entering a pirate ship garden shed.
And it’s not only the organisers of Shed of the Year saying this. A survey by UKTV Gardens also suggests that the garden shed is used as a place to escape the world, beating stress in the progress. So if appears that there is no need to worry if you think your garden shed is a little off the wall.