With the water shortages and hose pipe bans of last year (which was hard to believe when it turned out to be one of the wettest years on record) it is important that we make the most of this natural resource. Without it we would not exist and the garden depends on this water to enable it to thrive and grow. Many people nowadays are using the garden for growing vegetables, fruit and flowers which helps to save on the household budget. Beside the money saved the taste of fruit and vegetables from your garden is second to none. And knowing you have grown this lovely produce can give you a satisfying feel.
Even if you don’t use the garden for growing the garden lawn always looks so much better when it looks lush and green. This is where water plays a part so you need to ensure you make the most of what we get even though we complain when it is raining.
The garden shed, summerhouse or garage, even as small as a 12×4 shed, can play a part in helping with this problem by the simple addition of gutters, down pipes and a water barrel or two. This will catch the rain which falls on the shed roof and will then be channelled down the gutters and into the barrels. From there you can spread this water over the vegetables, fruit, flowers and garden and this will help it to grow and flourish.
This in itself is a relatively easy job to do. All you need to do is to screw the gutter brackets onto your garden shed, ensuring that each one is a little lower than the next one. This will ensure that the water will flow off your shed roof, along the gutters and into the down pipes before discharging into the water barrel. This barrel can often be put alongside the shed so it is out of the way however many people like the barrel to be next to the shed door. It’s your choice.
An even easier option is the RainSaver gutter system and will fit most of their garden sheds and summerhouses. With this you don’t even have to screw brackets onto your building as it utilises special brackets which just screw on by hand. The 3 inch gutters then clip into place before adding your own pipes into your water barrel. Could not be any easier. And the great thing is than even on a 12ft x 4ft garden shed you can collect over 1800 litres of water per year on each side. That’s over 400 gallons available free and not being charged through your water meter.
Over in the States Concordai College had created a special water saving garden called the Cornucopia Garden. In this garden they have a garden shed which collects and harvests rainwater and this helps to demonstrate self-sufficiency in the garden. This is part of a larger scheme of how to grow food in a sustainable manner.
They have shown that their skinny garden shed with a barrel which collects the rainwater will collect 50 gallons of water which can be used in the garden. The co-president, Shane Sessions, declared that the students have established a self sustain system and was being used to grow tomatoes, onions and other crops which are then sold at farmers markets. They have also grown beans, corn and squash in the traditional Native American way. They have also be keeping a blog about the progress in the garden called ‘Fresh Dirt’.
Clearly there are only positives from collecting rainwater both for the environment and also for smaller water bills.
The British are a nation of shed lovers from the bog standard 12×4 garden shed right up to some massive super duper workshops. Each shed owner appears to have their own specific shed which is suited to their needs – and that is how is should be. You may find it hard to be an individual shed owner if you buy from the mass produced cheap (and made down to a price) sheds. But if you buy from 1st Choice Leisure Buildings you can have a shed made to meet your precise requirements. There is even a Shed of The Year competition each year where dedicated ‘sheddies’ enter their pride and joy trying to win the coveted prize of THE ‘Shed of the Year’. This competition is now down to the final eight eagerly contesting for the title and the range of different sheds is staggering.
A popular choice for many men would be Garry Logan’s EcoPub Shed, which he has named the ‘Three Steps Pub’. Fitted out like a real life pub I’m sure that he is very popular with his friends who share this special shed. The clientele can be carefully controlled to ensure the right type of atmosphere. Clearly this would be a winner in most men’s eyes.
In the Summerhouse and Cabin Shed class Abigail Walker’s has a unique design with its curved walls. My first impression was that it looks a little like a Romany caravan or a bit like the Nissan huts from the second world war, but only in shape. This delightful summerhouse – cabin is something most people would like in their garden.
The entry which I can’t get my head around is in the Normal Shed class. The winner is a garden shed designed to look like HMS Victory. As far away as I can think for a normal shed, but what do I know, I only been in the shed business for 40 years. I will say it does look very good and I’m really impressed with the design of it. Yes, Clare Kapma-Saunders, I would like one in my garden similar to your Queen Emma shed!
Luke Hollingsworth’s entry in the Workshop-Studio Shed class was his Sidstine Chapel. This was a superb and rather attractive building. On the inside is painted a replicate of the Systine Chapel on the ceiling, The size of it would mean that you could build more or less anything in it. The Eco Bike Shed by Marcus Shields houses his collection of bikes.
In the Garden/Office Shed class the winner was a John Sullivan. I don’t think this was the famous and very talented John Sullivan, writer of ‘Only Fools and Horses’. I’m sure that if it was it would appear in that great show, if it had still been running. The mind boggles as to what Del Boy and Rodney would have got up to. I certainly wouldn’t want to buy a garden shed from them, even one 12ft x 4ft. I do think even today there are shed companies who are disciples of Del Boy and run their companies in the same way. Always check out independent customer reviews such as these ones. Don’t let the last laugh be on you.
The class for Unique Shed was won by Alex Holland’s garden shed which has a boat as a roof. This does look a little ramshackle but it is certainly very different. When I have been watching ‘Coast’, the brilliant BBC series, they showed that some large old fishing boats had been turned upside down and used as homes. Not sure if I would have liked that but where there is a need then all available resources have to be used.
The class and shed which my daughter would love is the Tardis Shed. Based on the long running BBC TV series this really looks the business. It appears the same as in the show and you would expect Doctor Who to come wondering out. Whether it would be William Hartnell, the Doctor Who when I was young, or Matt Smith which my daughter watches I wouldn’t know. I do know that this has been an incredible long running series for the Beeb. The obvious question is – is it larger on the inside than the outside? If it is and these sheds could be produced then I’m sure there would be a very large demand for them as the normal garden shed is never large enough.
What these sheds say about the British is that they are an unique race and when Martians land and they visit Britain it will leave them scratching their heads as to what sort of people are we. Hopefully when they will see the sheer scale of creativity and uniqueness of the British that they will put us in the genius class. I, having been in the garden workshop business since 1979, are delighted at the British psyche and love for garden sheds and many odd sizes such as 12×4. Long may it last.
To see more about these strange and wonderful garden sheds visit https://www.readersheds.co.uk/ where the winner will be announce on July 1st.