Sheds, Gazebos, Shepherd's Huts, Gypsy Caravans & Garden Sheds
It is time to decamp to the garden and in these glorious days of
summer do our best to live amongst the roses.
A summer house, the grown up version of a Wendy house, can be
fitted out with chairs and tables and even a day bed. It is lounged
in and, if you happen to own the most deluxe model, it can even
be turned on its axis to track the sun.
Gazebos are more lightweight versions of the summer house, a place
for pausing in rather than setting up home. Glossy magazines have
been full of "Shepherd's huts" with their rounded corrugated roofs.
And iron wheels, and I can't help thinking, terrifyingly hot and
stuffy at this time of year and of far more use to shepherds in
A gypsy caravan, on the other hand, is my fantasy home from home
to sit in my fantasy orchard. Sadly, I don't need a crystal ball
to tell me that only the orchard will become a reality.
Then there is the shed. This is the no-nonsense stalwart of back
gardens and allotments but ever since it became popular in the 1920's
and 1930's it has taken a life all of its own. The rise of the shed,
although this stolid, no-nonsense building has been with us since
at least the 15th century, coincided with the between wars rise
of modern suburbia and the newly affordable mechanical lawnmower.
It very quickly became a male refuge where, in cartoons, comedies
and real life, a man could retreat to smoke a pipe in peace; a survey
has concluded that the average man spends a year of his life in
Sparkly Shed was a real labour of love!
Sarah's "sparkly shed" is of course a work of art. It's the culmination
of a final project for her fine art degree taken at Swansea Metropolitan
University and was exhibited in her final degree show. Still, it
is a real shed for all its five kilos of purple, pink, green, gold
and silver sequins. In fact, it is her father's shed and he could
not be more proud of both his daughter and the shed. It sparkles
in the sunlight where individual sequins "catch fire" with sudden
sparks of light and even on an overcast day it twinkles prettily.
You can, of course, see it is as a feminine encroachment into a
males domain, but I think of it more as a lovely work of art that
brings a touch of the exotic to what is a useful but mundane object.
Every sequin out of the 680, 000 has been glued on by hand, a labour
of love taking over a month, and then the whole has been coated
in several layers of yacht varnish for durability. Sarah has her
sparkly shed up for sale but I rather wish that she would keep it
and enter next year's "Shed of the year" competition.
National Shed Week
Shed Week will soon be upon us as turning your shed into an Oriental
fantasy or a Gothic stronghold is a popular pastime. It seems that
for outdoor living every man, and woman's shed, is a castle.