Hello Sheddies, Shedists and fans of Shedism!
Welcome to our first ever guest blogger – Deb Jacobs!
A few words from Deb, about Deb…
I have always lived in houses with gardens, all over the UK, and enjoy growing my own fruit and veg. A shed has always featured in my garden, sometimes two sheds. They’re essential for somewhere to keep your gardening tools, plant pots and fertiliser – even more essential for somewhere to store your after-gardening seating.
I live in Preston, (Lancashire, UK) with my 18 year old daughter and am currently not working, meaning more time for shed-related activities.
What should a shed be?
A man-cave with tools and one rickety old stool to sit on? A summerhouse painted in pretty pastels to match the curtains and upholstery? Maybe a junk room to chuck your bikes and sun loungers in winter and your sledges and skates in summer? Whatever you decide, it should match your personality – be tailor-made to your requirements.
There’s nothing quite like the thrill of a new shed. I’d advise something as big as you can afford and have room for – you will always use that space. Once you’ve decided to buy one, you probably know what you’ll use it for, but then you need help from a shed veteran. They used to call me Debbie Two-sheds, but sadly, since my garden IS only 20×20 feet big, I only have the one now. Still, it’s a joy to have. Painted midnight blue, three windows along one wall, I put my old fitted kitchen in there.
I have glass-fronted cabinets along the end wall, beautifully displaying half-used cans of paint, motor oil, tie-wraps and hundreds of tiny drawers which house cross head and flat head screws of every size, tiny tacks which ensure you’ll hit your thumb, and nails for every imaginable purpose. But not false nails. Mine is not a girly shed, though I can sit on a comfortable chair and have a cup of tea while I admire the workbench. The run of cupboards along the side wall is topped with six feet of kitchen work surface. Where I used to make pastry, I now plant seedlings. The fancy open corner unit houses water-retaining crystals, hormone rooting powder and plant food.
My kitchen drawers are filled with knives, forks and trowels. It’s useful to have a cutlery divider so you can sort your secateurs from your dibbers. Then there’s that drawer every kitchen has – you probably do too. It’s the one with string and candles, batteries and half-full seed packets. Get ’em in your shed!
The cupboards and drawers under the workbench have BBQ charcoal, saws, chisels and power tools. Your shed must be waterproof and ideally have power, particularly if you’re going to use it as a workshop. Mine is near the house (in my tiny garden everything is near the house!), so I just cart my Workmate to the back door and angle-grind to my heart’s content!
Although you can store a lot of things neatly in your fitted shed, you will still have Stuff. Sometimes it’s unwieldy Stuff like rakes and hoes. Use clips screwed to the walls. Sometimes it’s big Stuff like bikes and sun-loungers. I have had my bike clipped to the wall before now, but that was long ago in a misty distant shed…sigh! There are some things that you have to accept will just take up floor space. Before you chuck everything in wildly, consider what you’ll need on a seasonal basis. It’s like a cross between sudoku and Tetris – put things that go together together and make the whole lot fit perfectly (while still leaving a path to the suddenly needed items at the back).
Ah, happy camper! I envy you as you set out through the foothills and along the trail to the highest peak of shed ownership, where you can sit back with a mug of tea and survey your empire!