Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Shedtown: Johnny Vegas stars in BBC shed comedy

Johnny Vegas is headling a new Radio 4 comedy series which starts tomorrow (June 1 at 11pm) on BBC Radio 4 about the joys of living in a shed. Called Shedtown, the BBC say this:
"Who hasn't thought about running away from it all at some time or other? Throwing caution to the wind, wrenching oneself out of a long established orbit to head for the deep space of the unknown? Barry (Tony Pitts) and Jimmy (Kevin Eldon) haven't. Until now. Friends since school days in a small town, they find themselves slipping inexorably and almost unconsciously into middle age.

Shedtown is a dream born out of quiet desperation. Throughout the series our wooden icon of escape and isolation 'the shed' becomes a symbol of possibility and change; a new community by the sea where our heroes can circumnavigate the mundane, once and for all. It's the works day out for the workers of Blakeley Industrial Museum - and something's got to change."
The four-part series was filmed in Robin Hood's Bay in Yorkshire and also stars Ronni Ancona with music by Paul 'Housemartin/Beautiful South' Heaton. Vegas himself stars as Colin, the boss of an industrial museum who is trying to make sense of the world by turning to his shed. Maxine Peake is cast as the narrator.
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Monday, May 30, 2011

Small Green Roofs

Green roofs have been all the rage for the last couple of years but there has been precious little published about how to put one on your own shedlike atmosphere. Which is why this marvellous book Small Green Roofs: Low Tech Options for Greener Living from Timber Press by experts in the field Nigel Dunnett, Dusty Gedge, John Little and Edmund C. Snodgrass is so welcome. Here are some details from them:
Small Green Roofs is the first book to focus on small-scale and domestic green roofs. More than forty profiles of small and domestic-scale projects of all shapes and sizes include green roofs on sheds, garden offices, studios, garages, houses, bicycle sheds, and other small structures, as well as several community projects. For each project, details are given for design, construction, and installation, as well as how-to tips on how the roof was planted and cared for. For readers looking for inspiration when hiring a contractor or taking the adventurous step of building their own, Small Green Roofs provides the knowledge and encouragement to make it possible.
There are more than 200 photos over 250 pages. Well worth a browse.
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Sunday, May 29, 2011

My garden shed is bigger than this (chant)

Sung by football fans at specific grounds around the UK. Click here to listen.

My garden shed (my garden shed),
Is bigger than this (is bigger than this),
My garden shed is bigger than this,
It's got a door and a window,
My garden shed is bigger than this...
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Unbound: a new shedbased model for book publishing


We've mentioned Unbound before previously on Shedworking but didn't want to give too much away before its official launch. So here's the full story... Unbound, a revolutionary new approach to publishing has been revealed at the Hay Festival today. Well known authors including Terry Jones and Gavin Pretor-Pinney have signed up to the project in the Unbound Pledging Shed. The brainchild of three writers (QI’s John Mitchinson and Justin Pollard and former Deputy Editor of The Idler, Dan Kieran), Unbound allows authors to write the books that they want and readers to choose what gets published.

Using the Unbound.co.uk publishing platform, authors can now pitch their book ideas directly to their readers. Readers choose the ideas that they like on the website and pledge their support. When an idea has enough supporters, the book is written and supporters receive a clothbound limited Unbound First Edition with their name in it. Supporters are kept up to date throughout the creative process via the author’s private area or ‘shed’, where they can read the blog, watch interviews and meet other supporters and the author themselves.

A number of high profile authors looking to set their books free have already pitched their Unbound ideas at Hay: Monty Python, writer and performer Terry Jones has proposed a “darkly funny set of linked tales about vengeful phones and hoovers”; cloud-guru Gavin Pretor-Pinney wants to take us inside clouds with the help of award-winning digital publisher Touch Press; and This Life writer Amy Jenkins will write her first new book in 10 years. Other Unbound authors include Booker-shortlisted novelist Tibor Fischer, bestselling author of the The Horse Boy Rupert Isaacson and maverick cultural historian and film maker Jonathan Meades.

Supporters to Unbound can chose the level of support that they wish to pledge, from £10 to funding the whole book. Rewards range from e-book downloads and personally dedicated Unbound First Edition, to invites to the book launch party and lunch with the author. Those who recommend projects to friends will receive credits to spend elsewhere on the site. Authors receive 50% of all profits from Unbound books.

John Mitchinson, Dan Kieran and Justin Pollard from Unbound comment:
“There are lots of great books that we’re not getting the opportunity to read. Unbound democratises the book commissioning process by enabling authors and readers to make the decisions about what does or doesn’t get published.” Unbound has the support of Faber & Faber, who will sell and distribute trade editions of selected titles under an Unbound imprint. Any subsequent success of these trade editions is likely to add to the limited first edition’s value.

More Unbound writers will be revealed throughout the week at Hay. Readers can visit the Unbound Pledging Shed to meet authors, watch their pitches and pledge support for their new book ideas. Visit www.unbound.co.uk to watch the pitches and to make a pledge.

The Unbound Pledging Shed at Hay is housed in a 3rdSpace Garden Room designed and built on site by Sawhorse Limited: Shedworking was delighted to have been the matchmaker between Sawhorse and Unbound. Pictured below are some early shots of the garden office just before it opened for business...


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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Chelsea shed T-shirt

If you support Chelsea and you like sheds, then this will be high on your list for Father Christmas.
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For all your home and garden needs visit B&Q.
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Friday, May 27, 2011

iPad app for Chelsea Flower Show garden office

Large congratulations to Nigel Nunnett whose RBC New Wild Garden which features a garden office made out of a recycled shipping container won a Silver Gilt earlier this week. Those of you with an iPad can explore the garden in more detail as there is now a special app for it (download it here) which includes
- Introduction and background essay about the philosophy of the garden.
- Interactive map of the planting scheme and garden features.
- Detailed plant database of the RBC New Wild Garden.
- Information and links about rain gardens, green roofs and living walls.
- Project gallery
Lovely photo by the always excellent Vegplotting.
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Fridays posts are sponsored by Swift Foundations. We design bespoke, eco friendly, foundation solutions. Our Plinths are LABC system approved and manufactured to British Standard BS8110 by a ISO 9000 company. www.swiftfoundations.co.uk for details.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Shed furniture: the Shed Cyril sideboard



As well as bringing the garden into the garden office, there are also various items of shedshaped furniture ideal for the dedicated shedworker. Here's the latest, the Shed Cyril sideboard from Liqui Design who have this to say about it:
With the beautiful satin white doors contrasted against the dark walnut this is not like any shed you've seen before. The cherry on the cake is the white hasp and staple closure with a traditional brass padlock. And the name Cyril? Let's just say he was an inveterate hoarder and a man of many sheds.
Dimensions: height: 80cm x width: 50cm x length: 150cm.
Via Design Milk
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Unbound Pledging Shed at Hay Festival takes shape...

It's coming along nicely... (see here for more details).
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chelsea Flower Show: the sheds

Congratulations to Marney Hall and Phil Game for their Silver at Chelsea Flower Show - here's the SKYShades build we've been talking about for the last few weeks (featuring the Shedworking book inside). VIP visitors to the garden include Terry Pratchett and shedworker Kirstie Allsopp. Just a reminder: the roof was installed with SKYShades’ flexible, lightweight solar film so it could be run off-grid.Rather nice too is the treehouse in the Fever Tree garden below.
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Tuesday posts are sponsored by The Home Office Company, manufacturers of unique garden rooms since 1998. Now in 10 exciting new colours. Click here for more details.

Theresa Loe: shedworker


Theresa Loe is the Associate Producer and Canning Expert on Growing A Greener World TV, also blogging at Living Homegrown Fresh about living homegrown, local and fresh-from-the-garden. Pictured above in the short slideshow is her garden office/shed - we particularly like the fireplace. "So nice when it rains on the metal roof to sit and work by the fire," says Theresa.
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Tuesday posts are sponsored by The Home Office Company, manufacturers of unique garden rooms since 1998. Now in 10 exciting new colours. Click here for more details.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Shedworking book features in Chelsea show garden

We're delighted to reveal that the Shedworking book will feature in Marney Hall's marvellous SkyShades show garden at Chelsea Flower Show this year (pictured above). Below is the book in situ. If you're going along, do keep an eye out for it.
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Art Shed

A marvellous timber shedlike atmosphere by The Architecture Ensemble in St Anne's Garden, Soho, London - a limited access public lavatory. Inside the glazed cavity walls are displays curated by Elaine Duigenan, a photographic artist, turning it into a titchy museum/art gallery documenting the history of Soho.
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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Gartenhaus Wellblech

An attractive, dome-roofed galvanized steel garden house from Manufactum. What's particularly interesting, especially for readers who can understand German, is there is a section on shedworking in German called Gartenhauskultur. Here it is:
Daß das Pfarrhaus in der deutschen Literaturgeschichte eine große Rolle gespielt hat, gilt in der Wissenschaft als ausgemacht – viele der Autoren, die mit ihren Romanen, Dramen und Gedichten die Literatur des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts prägten, waren Pfarrerssöhne. Daß aber auch das Gartenhaus eine prominente Rolle gespielt hat, wird kaum bedacht. Dabei wurde ein guter Teil des Literaturkanons in Gartenhäusern geschrieben. Die kulturelle Bedeutung des Gartenhauses ist also in jeder Hinsicht hinlänglich bewiesen. Der Nutzwert ohnehin – auch wenn es für uns Normalverbraucher wohl vor allem der als Lagerort für Gartenwerkzeug und/oder der als Refugium zur Erholung sein dürfte.
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For all your home and garden needs visit B&Q.
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Friday, May 20, 2011

Garden office insurance: Policy Expert

We're launching a new series of regularly irregular looks at insurance for shedworkers with a quick look at new folk on the block Policy Expert which is about to launch in a few days. The plan is that a customer service team will be on hand to help you through choosing all your insurance needs (whether you do it online - including @askpolicyexpert on Twitter or by phone). Business insurance products should be available later in the year. The service should help you look at all the options and then sort out a customised deal that's right for you. Well worth investigating.
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Fridays posts are sponsored by Swift Foundations. We design bespoke, eco friendly, foundation solutions. Our Plinths are LABC system approved and manufactured to British Standard BS8110 by a ISO 9000 company. www.swiftfoundations.co.uk for details.

RBC New Wild Garden: Chelsea Flower Show update

More shots (via the Landform blog) of the RBC New Wild Garden as it nears completion... Here's what they say:
"The team are assembling the decking for the seating area and in front of the office. Again the deck is made from reclaimed boards, so the wood has a lot of character. The boards are cut to shape and finished off by mild steel surround."
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Fridays posts are sponsored by Swift Foundations. We design bespoke, eco friendly, foundation solutions. Our Plinths are LABC system approved and manufactured to British Standard BS8110 by a ISO 9000 company. www.swiftfoundations.co.uk for details.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Shedlike holidays: Unique Home Stays

Unique Home Stays have a variety of shedlike possibilities in the UK among their worldwide portfolio. We particularly like the look of The Limit, a 1930s beach hut (pictured above) at Holywell Bay on the North Cornwall coast which consists of two huts, one for sleeping/living, the other for cooking/socialising, all withing two secluded acres of garden reached by a single access path. Also attractive is The Beach Hut, again in north Cornwall, which consists of one large open plan room, with king size double bed and a separate small wet room with shower sink and toilet. Kate Winslet has holidayed here.
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Thursday posts are sponsored by Atelier garden studios which are sustainable, stylish, flexible, functional and future proofed

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nano House: Innovations for Small Dwellings

Phyllis Richardson has written some marvellous books on shedlike architecture including XS: Big Ideas and XS Green (as well as an interesting blog atwww.archetcetera.blogspot.com). This September her latest book will be published by Thames & Hudson (the publishers of the forthcoming Bookshelf book), Nano House: Innovations for Small Dwellings. Here are some details:
Nano House presents 43 examples of the most innovative, most ingenious and most responsible designs for smallscale (less than 75m2) houses set in a variety of contexts. Each house, shown in texts, photographs and plans, is an object lesson in domestic design. Using digital tools, sustainable materials and new prefabrication technologies, all these projects offer exciting and realistic solutions for houses where space is at a premium, nature must be preserved or accommodation created for those who need it most.
If you're interested in tiny house living then this is a must buy.
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Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Hobbit Shed



This is a remarkable build by Jim who works in the reinforced concrete high-rise business in Manhattan: as he says on My Hobbit Shed: "Transport yourself to the Shire for a moment and live a simple life." Here's the background to the build:
"I needed a place to put my lawn tractor and outdoor tools so I told my wife that I was going to build a shed. She said: “Fine.” Then I thought it would be pretty cool if the shed was built like a Hobbit house. When I told my wife I think she said: “You’re crazy.” Soon thereafter I began this project."
It took Jim nearly five years from start to finish but the result is truly remarkable: you can see plenty of construction photos here. Well worth exploring.
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Tuesday posts are sponsored by The Home Office Company, manufacturers of unique garden rooms since 1998. Now in 10 exciting new colours. Click here for more details.