One of the things that appealed to us hugely when we bought our new house was the size of the garden.
Countryside dwellers and non-UK readers, look away now (or at least keep your derisive snort of laughter quiet enough so I can’t hear it…) For our garden is a whopping 60ft long. Sure, it’s only 14ft wide, but in London, a 60ft garden is akin to owning a field in other parts.
The garden is also what an estate agent would (and did) call “mature and established” – there are some 65-year-old fruit trees espaliered down one side (the providers of our apple and plum bounty last Autumn) as well as a plethora of rhododendrons, covered in lichen, some slightly past-their-best rose bushes, a pond that seems to offer forth a never-ending supply of dead frogs and the biggest greenhouse known to man.
Some of these features I love; some I need to work with; some I plan to pull out and replace.
It’s a pretty straightforward vista at the moment: long and narrow, with a central path, central washing line and bare boundary on one side only enhancing its rectangular attributes.
I’m hoping to learn enough on my Wednesday horticulture course to be able to judiciously rearrange the plants to a more naturalistic arrangement.
But, plants schmants, because the plan I simply can’t get out of my head at the moment, is the one to put a shed somewhere either at the end or mid point of the garden. I bloody love sheds. And when I say “shed” I really mean something a bit more implausible like a Romany caravan / beach hut / treehouse…
Here’s a little taster of some of my favourites I’ve seen for sale. I can’t settle on which one I love the most right now. Disclaimer: I won’t be held responsible if you start waking at night, after seeing these pictures, puzzling over whether it’s possible to dismantle a romany caravan in order to take it through your house, or whether a beach hut would really look incongruous in an urban setting.
First up, the rustic treehouse from the Treehouse Company. I’m not entirely sure that it gets any better than this. The roof! The door! The balcony! And most of all: the plants in pots all around it! (Sorry that the photo quality isn’t great though…)
I have a suspicion that this is outrageously expensive, given that there are no prices on the website. But, really, it’d be worth selling all my other possessions in order to have this beauty at the bottom of the garden, wouldn’t it? Who needs clothes, anyway?
This is more of a traditional garden shed, though I say that in the way that a diamond is more of a traditional lump of rock.
It’s from John Shields woodwork. Just think of all the amazing things you could make if you had a studio like that in the garden.
I saw this beach hut on the TV programme George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces (still available on 4od, for any UK small space obsessives who missed it). To be honest, I’m a little torn on this one. In one respect, I sort of love its jauntiness. But equally, I think it may just be a little naff.
It’s available from Keops Interlock Log Cabins.
Its big plus point is that it’s self-assembly, so we could easily take the constituent parts through the house and into the garden to build it ourselves. Unlike…
Yes, I know it’s hugely impractical, but what I really, really want is a Romany caravan in my garden. You can find all sorts of amazing second hand beauties for sale online, like this one from the Gypsy Caravan Company.
I don’t know how we would get it into the garden, I don’t think there’s really space for it, I’m absolutely certain we can’t afford one, but I simply can’t get these gorgeous caravans out of my mind.
When I was growing up, we lived near to Roald Dahl’s house in Great Missenden and I used to love driving past and seeing his caravan at the end of his garden. I feel pretty, one hundred per cent certain that if we were also to have a caravan in our garden, I would use it for writing children’s books that would become so popular we’d easily recoup the absolutely insane amount of money we would have spent buying the caravan. Because that’s how it works, isn’t it? (If you’ve not seen his caravan, check it out on my Pinterest page here: Roald Dahl caravan. It’s incredible…)
Finally, and more practically, my most recent discovery is this amazing ivy covered shed studio, from a San Francisco garden. It won an award in 2010 for residential design from the American Society of Landscape Architects and you can read all about it on their website.
Something similar to this would make a great focal point at the end of my garden.
So tell me, dear readers, which should I go for? (And please say the Romany caravan because, in case you hadn’t guessed, that’s my favourite. But my partner is vetoing it because he says it doesn’t belong in a city garden. What’s his favourite, you ask? The beach hut.)