There has always been a great deal of competition between England and the Australia in many sporting events, with cricket and rugby being the main ones. However, England will always have the edge in the garden sheds competition. With England’s long history of being obsessed with the little bit of ‘man’s’ space in the garden, although more and more woman are competing with the men to ensure that their garden sheds are as good as and as important as the traditional male shed, Australia are sadly lacking in this important event. It’s a shame that the organisers of the Olympics did not introduce the sport of garden shed buildings at this year event which I feel it could have done. I believe that all the hosts are able to select a new sport at their Olympics. I’m sure that England, on behalf of the Great Britain, could have won gold in this event. In fact even though I’ve turned 60 I feel that I could give a good account of myself as over the years I have assembled no end of garden sheds, although I suppose after 40 years in the shed business it was no surprise.
I remember a few years ago my colleague, Steve Gunner and myself went to a garden building exhibition at Sandown Park in Esher, Surrey and we took three garden sheds along to display. We got there early and carried the sheds into the hall and set work assembling them which we did rather quickly. At the end of the day the organisers presented awards for the various displays and at the end they made a special award to us has they were astonished at our skills at assembling these sheds, including a 14X10 monster, and the speed which we built them. I was so shocked that the bottle of wine they gave us – I dropped it.
Every year in northern Australia towns gear up for the annual Melbourne Cup and in Ayton a massive metal shed is home to thousands of punters from around the are to watch the horse race. Peter Shields, the organiser said that all they want to know is how many horses are running in the race. For instance if there are 14 horses running in the race then they have just 14 numbers in the hat and you just pick a number.
The Melbourne Cup is Australia’s major Thoroughbred horse race and has been held since 1861. The Marketing men call is “the race that stops a nation”, it is a 3,200 metre race for three-year-olds and over. As this is held in one of the worlds hottest places it’s important that the various grandstands and enclosures are providing adequate shelter from the sun. In effect these grandstands and enclosures could be the nearest thing which Australia has to garden sheds as they are effectively just open fronted sheds on a massive scale. I’m sure that Sir Norman Foster would certainly be able to compete for gold in these types of garden constructions if that’s not belittling a massive talents.
A little further afield in Gymie in Queensland they will pay host to another unique racing event involving camels to coincide with the Melbourne Cup. Over 2000 people are expected to get together where there will be six camel races. I would assume again that sort form of cover will be required similar to the major sheds in Ayton.
What sort of thing do you do in your garden shed? Do you have a 14ft x 10ft shed or would you like one that size? Have you watch horse racing in your shed? And do you think England should have had a garden shed Olympic event at this year’s Olympics?
Winter seems quite a long season, certainly after we get past New Year, and the months of January and February can seem long before we can get out into our gardens, open the garden shed up and fire up the lawnmower. Of course everything is ready to go as you prepared all your tools before the winter break.You will find your garden’s lawn maybe looking a little sorry for itself, not the bright green you would find on a warm summer’s day, but a dull drab looking green. You can think back to the summer days, maybe relaxing in your garden shed, or sitting on the patio having a barbecue with friends. You can switch on the TV and see the cricket with its pristine playing field or watch the tennis at Wimbledon on the immaculate lawns and thinking how much you would like your 14X10 garden lawn to look like that. All seems a long time ago at the moment.
Ratedpeople.com stated recently, in their view, that if you want to keep your garden looking good and to ensure the lawn is healthy and vigorous for the Spring then you must NOT lock up your garden sheds through the winter. Your garden tools will be needed. They state that you can do simple things yourself like raking up the leaf debris which has fallen off nearby trees. This will ensure the maximum amount of sunshine for the lawn. They say that mowing the lawn can be beneficial but I personally don’t take that view. I feel that the less you walk in the garden on the grass the better as you don’t walk to compact the grass any more than necessary.
They also suggest leaving grass clippings on the grass so they can act as a kind of fertiliser as they give off valuable nutrients. They believe that this action will help the lawn shoot faster in the Spring. Again I think you need to be a little careful in this respect. You could collect the grass clippings and store them behind your 14X10 shed. You could also use garden clippings as mulch around your plants to help protect from the frost. This will give your shed purpose besides keeping your garden tools secure and dry.
A spokesperson at RatedPeople said that leaving a small layer of grass cuttings on your garden lawn is good practice to help preserve the lawn as well as ensuring the level of thatch is kept under control. Only recently a national paper recommended that gardeners use these wet weather conditions to uproot unwanted weeds. As I say I think the lawn in your garden is best not walked on so that the ground does not becomes too compacted.
My garden, which is quite small at 14ft x 10ft, is looked after by a regular monthly expert contractor and they put weed killer and garden lawn feed on it at the correct time and they cover the area. This year I’ve paid extra so they come along to my garden and last week they scarified the grass. This meant raking out all the dead moss and leaves and giving the grass some room to breathe. This was followed up this week with hollow-tine-aeration which sounds like a medical condition. This involved making thousands of holes in the lawn and this will help where the garden had become compacted. This procedure also allows air, moisture and nutrients to reach the roof of the grass which will enable the lawn to bloom in the summer. I was also told to keep my lawnmower in my garden shed until early spring, good news for my back.