The shed is an important part of the British culture and is a very well loved possession as it is can be ‘jack of all trades’ as well as being ‘master of one’. And that is why it is so popular. Whatever you want your garden shed to be – it can be. Whether it’s used as a dumping ground for all those ‘keep just in case’ items or keeping dry all the garden items such as gardening tools, tables & chairs for the garden. Or even as a dedicated workshop where you can indulge in your hobby to your heart’s content. Some of our great writers, notably Roald Dahl, used the shed workshop as an haven of peace and quiet where they can be creative and let their wonderfully crafted stories come to life. There are many timber shed owners inspired to create a drinking room or mini pub where they can share many hours with their friends. And the beauty of this is that, at least for the shed owner, you don’t have to drive home – they can just stagger up the garden and even one as small as 8X8 can serve this purpose.
You will find that shed owners enthuse about the calmness of being in their sheds, they enjoy the time away from the stresses of daily life – so much so that a shed must be seen as a boost to the health of the UK. Perhaps doctors should be able to prescribe one for everybody from 1st Choice sheds on the NHS as this will help our inner souls.
It is believed that their are over 11 million sheds in the UK proving that Britain is the epicentre of garden sheds owners. And it’s a fact that the average shed owner will spend more time in their shed than being in work. So clearly this humble building does belongs to GREAT Britain
Even where there is little space for gardens at ground level there are attempts to utilise whatever space is available and this is highlighted in Leeds. On a roof garden on top of Candle House, a residential tower on the Granary Wharf development, you are able to find garden sheds in sizes from 8X8 or large, hammocks for relaxing and an array of plants. This development which is a diverse community abutting the water front is seen as celebration of urban gardening.
A talk by Martin Wainwright, who is the editor of the local newspaper, about his own creation of flowers at his family home was held recently. Also John Thorp, a Leeds civic architect, also spoke about these urban gardens and also his plans for the Holbeck Urban Village. These plans set out to increase the standard of sustainable developments as well as creating over 5000 creative media jobs.
He was quoted as saying that ‘splashes of natural beauty were quietly and gradually being created in the area’. Also nearby gardening fans from Holbeck were preparing for the Yorkshire in Bloom competition which is run by the Royal Horticultural Society. This contest aims to encourage gardening in the community throughout communal areas, allotments and front gardens.
Over the years the number of gardening experts has increased as the popularity of this hobby has grown. From the likes of Percy Thrower to Alan Titchmarsh and every one in between it’s clear that this obsession with the garden is a national trend.The increase in these gardening experts was helped when watching TV became a normal pastime for families in the late 50’s and early 60’s. At this time the man of the house was involved very much in the garden helping to grow food. As TV became more popular and the economic climate improved he was able to divert some of his attention to flowers, shrubs as well as vegetables and this was welcome change to their lives.
You will find many of these gardening experts on many programmes such as The One Show on BBC. Christine Walkden, who was the resident gardening expert on this daily show, had the opportunity to share her enthusiasm and skills with a school in Southwold a little while ago. The children at the junior school in the town had the opportunity to show their gardening skills, which they had learnt using their gardening equipment stored in their 8X8 garden shed, to her.
The gardening expert opened the garden and orchard on her visit to St Felix School in the town. This new garden, which was sponsored by the Barchester Healthcare Foundation who help elderly people to stay agile as well as active. This gardening event which was organised by Simon Marsden, a teacher at St Felix’s, who had helped to arrange the visit. He said that he was delighted that Christine was able to visit the school and to help the children to become even more involved.
At the official opening of the garden he said that the school’s gardening club had been working really hard on this project and also that the children had had a super day which was full of gardening workshops and other related interesting activities. The official opening was reward for all the hard work been put in by the pupils and school.
Ms Walkden, who has been a horticulturist for over 35 years, answered pupil’s questions about gardens and gardening. Her workshops included talks about the care required in watering plants as well as caring for vegetables. Besides her work on the One Show she has written many books, trains other gardeners as well as lecturing and giving guided tours as well as being a devout gardener herself.