Thursday, June 30, 2011

Shedworkers asked to map wasps

Shedworkers, being naturally close to nature, are being asked to help map sightings of wasps at www.UKWaspWatch.co.uk.

According to Rentokil, who have set up the site, they have fielded 21% more wasp enquiries already this year compared to 2010. The interactive map site logs wasp hotspots around the UK: The Anaphylaxis Campaign charity which helps people with severe allergies receives 20p  whenever somebody logs a wasp or wasps’ nest sighting from now until September.

Dr Shuaib Nasser, Consultant in Allergy, Addenbrookes NHS Trust Hospital, Cambridge and member of The Anaphylaxis Campaign Clinical and Scientific Advisory Panel said: “The prolonged warm weather has seen large numbers of wasps with many people reporting being stung. If you have had a severe allergic reaction in the past, the risk of a similar allergic reaction is increased, and precautions should be taken to avoid further stings. There are some simple practical steps that can be taken, such as avoiding drinking out of cans, and not walking barefoot when outdoors. If the previous reaction involved breathing difficulty or feeling faint or dizzy, you should talk to your family doctor to discuss carrying emergency treatment and ensure referral to an Allergy Clinic.”
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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Shepherds' huts for a florist and chiropracter

To underline that shedworkers can run all kinds of businesses from their garden offices, shepherd hut specialists the New Forest Hut Company have been blogging about two recent commissions. The first is for a florist in Hampshire to go in her cottage garden to be used as a workroom. Here are some details:
We will put extra windows to give more light and a stable door. No wood burning stove as this may give out too much heat for the blooms! - also the corners of the hut will have large buckets in containing flowers. Inside the wood cladding will be painted an antique white with hard-wearing eggshell and the wooden cottage windows a darker shade. The floor will be reclaimed antique pine floor boards - we'll varnish them in a matt varnish - will be very hard wearing and any spills can be mopped up as the varnish will protect the wood - we also think that reclaimed wood improves with wear so will always look lovely!
The second is for a chiropracter who will use the shepherd's hut as a treatment room at her home in Taunton, Somerset:
She has been working from home - with teenage children coming and going, she's decided that it would be more relaxing for her clients to be away from the house. A Shepherds Hut is the ideal answer, sited at the bottom of the garden and reached by a gravel path, there is no need to go into the house (there's also an outside gardener's loo on the back of the house for patients' convenience!). There will be electric running from the main house to sockets for an electric treatment couch and a slimline eco-electric radiator which will keep the temperature constant during the winter months.
More details at their interesting blog.
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Visit Roald Dahl's writing shed

Dahl's home at Gipsy House, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, is open to the public every summer as part of the National Gardens Scheme. There's still an opportunity to visit it on July13 (2-5pm, £4, children free, homemade teas available). The garden is delightful (there's also a maze) but the main draw for shedworkers will be the chance to get up close to Dahl's writing hut and the gypsy caravan featured in 'Danny Champion of the World' and find your way through the maze. Below is a clip of The Birmingham Stage Company's production of Danny.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Gardeners' World Live: best shedworking in show

We're catching up rapidly with the shedworkingesque show gardens at this year's major garden shows. Today, we're looking at the Gardeners' World Live starting with The Bodgery Sponsored by Vertibax (back and joint support specialists) which won a Gold Medal and Best in Show Facade for Chris Myers. It was a lovely Bodger's working hut, inspired by the traditional art of bodging (making chair legs and spindles) and a Bodger working in Chris's local wood on the Bolton Abbey estate.
More specifically garden officey was Working with Nature, designed by Anna and John Harrison and sposnored by Blue Gate Horticulture (theme: humans working alongside nature): the design showcased how the shed can be a fine and relaxing place to work.
The garden was also planted with bee and insect friendly plants to show how a garden can be productive while we are in the garden office, hard at work.
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Sunday, June 26, 2011

How to build a garden office (video)


A step-by-step slideshow guide from Room4-You.
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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Do I need planning permission for my garden office?

There are all sorts of places where you can go to answer this question but Keops Interlock Log Cabins has a nice quick and easy way of doing some early research (only applies to planning in England).

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sol Cinema: shedworking goes to the movies



The Sol Cinema is a shedsized cinema (suitable for up to eight adults) run entirely using solar power which tours the country at festivals and other arts events. Run as a non-profit venture by by arts & media charity Undercurrents, the 'cinema' is a 1972 Euro-Camper caravan (three berth), fitted out with all the classic cinema interior trimmings including a LED projector - you can see construction photos here.

And tickets are free. So is popcorn.


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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, June 23, 2011

Garden offices at Malvern Spring Show: roundup


We're horribly late to the game with this look at the shedlike atmospheres on show at the recent Spring Malvern Show. Top of the pile was the two-storey Garden for Life (above) from Graduate Gardeners which won a Gold Medal and The Best in Show award: it featured a large A frame building for shedworking, relaxing and general family use and included lots of ecofriendly elements (solarpowered water feature, rainwater harvesting, fruit/veg patch, etc).

 Also attractive was The Shepherd's Garden by Caves Folly Nurseries which featured a shepherd's hut from Hollow Ash Shepherds' Huts and indeed real lambs (it was also promoting the British wool industry). If you were at Hay Festival this year you may have seen the Hollow Ash show hut where it was used as a press interview room - visitors included the Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Morpurgo and Maureen Lipman.
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Protect your shed from garden thieves this summer

If you are one of the many Brits that enjoy putting a lot of time, effort and expense into your garden then you are clearly going to want to protect it.

It is said that the average garden is worth around £1,500 with items such as BBQs, lawnmowers, water features and ornaments making up most of the cost. It is these items that are easy pickings for thieves if left out in the open as they can easily be transported and sold on at car boot sales and the like.

Any keen gardener, will no doubt own a shed to keep all their tools and garden equipment safely locked away, but without the right security your garden shed could become a gold mine for thieves.

In the video below, Felicity Hannah from price comparison site Money Supermarket talks about the how you can protect your garden with a house insurance policy.

Compare home insurance quotes with Money Supermarket


Ten tips to keep your garden safe this summer


Many insurers will include cover for your garden in a home insurance policy, but double check what the limits are in regards to the value of items that will be insured. For items in the garden, cover is available from £250 to £2,000. For items stored in outbuildings such as sheds and greenhouses, limits can start at £2,000 and with some insurers unlimited cover is available.

With this level of cover available for your garden and its equipment it is an ideal safety net however by following the ten steps below, these will reduce the chance of you having to claim in the first place.

• Keep all the valuable items of your garden locked away in your shed.

• Consider installing additional locks at the top and bottom of your garden shed door to prevent leverage underneath the door.

• If your shed has windows, fit heavy wire mesh inside the window.

• Chain larger items such as bikes, lawnmowers and golf clubs together.

• Install security lighting to illuminate your garden when movement is detected.

• Ensure your shed is in a good state of repair and again if possible fitted with an alarm.

• Protect the boundaries of your garden by purposely planting shrubs or hedges that are prickly, thus making a thief’s life a lot more difficult.

• Lay the pathways in your garden with gravel. It will be difficult for anyone walking on this NOT to make a sound.

• Make sure your garden furniture is security coded by marking it with paint, ultraviolet pen or even engraving.

• Don’t leave tools lying about your garden that could be used to break into your shed or garage.
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A–Z of contemporary habitation: help needed

Do you live somewhere shedlike? If so, please get in touch with London artist (and curator of Flourish) Beatty Hallas who is putting together an A-Z of contemporary living and would like to talk to people about their alternative residence which will be gathered into a free resource for finding somewhere to live, as well as constituting a snapshot of an active, but under-recorded movement. You can email her at beattyhallas@gmail.com or go to beattyhallas.co.uk for more information.
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Thursday posts are sponsored by Atelier garden studios which are sustainable, stylish, flexible, functional and future proofed

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Disco Shed at 2011 summer festivals

Our friends at the Disco Shed are busy this summer and will be coming to a festival near you very soon. Here are some key dates and you can keep up with the fun at their Facebook site too.

JUNE
Orange Rooms, Southampton (24/06/11) – Disco Shed Soundsystem

JULY
Cornbury Festival, Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire (01-03/07/11)
Big Chill Bar, Brick Lane (03/07/11) – Disco Shed Sundae all–dayer
Bloomsbury Lanes (08/07/11) – Disco Shed Goes Bowling
Latitude Festival, Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk (14-17/07/11)

AUGUST
Big Chill Festival, Eastnor Deer Park, Ledbury, Herefordshire (04-07/08/11)
Bloomsbury Lanes (05/08/11) – Disco Shed Goes Bowling
Big Chill Bar, Brick Lane (07/08/11) – Disco Shed Sundae all–dayer
Orange Rooms, Southampton (26/08/11) TBC – Disco Shed Soundsystem
New Inn, Buxton (28/08/11) – Disco Shed Soundsystem

SEPTEMBER
Bloomsbury Lanes (02/09/11) – Disco Shed Goes Bowling
Big Chill Bar, Brick Lane (04/09/11) – Disco Shed Sundae all–dayer
Thames Festival, South Bank, London (10-11/09/11)
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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Shed art: Nathaniel Rackowe



Nathaniel Rackowe's Black Shed and Black Shed Expanded. Sculptures in steel scaffolding, timber, bitumen, paint and fluorescent light. h: 350 x w: 350 x d: 250 cm / h: 137.8 x w: 137.8 x d: 98.4 in.
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Monday, June 20, 2011

The birth of a garden office

Here are the first design thoughts of Dave Cornett from Snow Architects about how his own garden office might look. We're hoping to follow the build here on Shedworking as it leaves the drawing board through to completion.
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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Medieval garden office


A remarkable garden office pottery studio by Brian Clark from Hastings who runs Garden Cottages with his son Chris. Each design is entirely bespoke but the basic model is 5m by 3m. Brian has a long history of working in wood: he started a pine furniture store in Camden Lock in the 1980s and has worked as a carpenter since 1979.
Via The Sun

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

New Forest Hut Company (video)


A nice look inside a shepherd's hut from the New Forest Hut Company, a family business run by carpenter/craftsman Nick Williams and his sister, Tina Hunt, a qualified painter and decorator.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Jacobean walnut garden office



Most garden offices tend to look fairly similar on the outside, usually a pleasant shade of green or simply 'wood' colour. But here's an interesting example from Cabin Living of one n Surbiton, south west London painted in Jacobean walnut by Sadolin (it's the company's Cheltenham log cabin model lowered to 2.5m ridge height for planning reasons). Also intriguing is the flooring, solid oak 18mm by Wickes.
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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, June 16, 2011

Cupar Ceramic Co: shedworkers


The Cupar Ceramic Co is run by Diane from her garden office in Cupar, Fife. It was built by local experts Saltire Stables to be what Diane calls a "garage/workshop/pottery studio/summerhouse" that shes designed herself and in which she makes her pottery. "We decided to build it as when we bought the house the original garage was about to fall down," she says. "So we decided to design a new garage. The original designs were done on the back of an envelope and Saltire helped us make them a reality. They were very patient and helpful and worked with us until we were happy with the final design.

"We wanted the building to still be a double garage if we or anyone in the future wanted to use it for that, hence the two sets of doors at the front. But we also wanted to use it for a art studio, summerhouse and workshop. We have two sets of glass doors opening up onto a deck and four long windows along the length which means we can sit in the studio and summerhouse and look out into the garden. The summerhouse takes up about a quarter of the garage and has a kettle, microwave, sofa and table insode. It's so relaxing to sit and read the Sunday papers there or on the deck. It's also a great place to hold a party or barbecue!"
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Suffolk Shepherds Huts (screencast)


Visit Suffolk Shepherds Huts here.
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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, June 14, 2011

Bulldog Forge: shedworking 1940s style

Bulldog Tools rightly won a Gold Medal at the Chelsea Flower Show this year for their exhibit (visited by the Queen) put together in partnership with Stone Barn and Suttons Seeds and designed in association with garden designers Jon Wheatley and Mary Payne. The garden was set in the 1940s and told the story of a self-sufficient blacksmith making his own tools and growing his own vegetables and flowers. There are some interesting videos about its design here.
Thanks to John Coupe for the alert and Mrs Coupe for the photo
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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, June 13, 2011

Box Office from Roomworks

Box Office Trailer from Luke Barton on Vimeo.

A snazzy video trailing the launch of Roomworks's new range in early July. Look out for more announcements here on Shedworking.
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Eoin Colfer: shedworker

Author of the Artemis Fowl novels for children and most recently Plugged for adult readers, Eoin Colfer lives in Wexford, Ireland, where he writes in a garden office. In an interview with CITV he says: "Usually I spend my day writing in my shed at the end of the garden. I sometimes call it the Bat-Shed, which no-one finds amusing but me and other comic book geeks." Elsewhere he has spoken about how he used to write in an office in his house but when a new baby was born, he had their garden shed converted into an office. This is how he describes it to Boyd Tonkin at The Independent: "I've just got a new room: an old stable that we've converted. It's a palace of a writing room, with its own bathroom - a step up from the shed where I worked for ten years."

Lifehacker also has a marvellous quote by the writer from the Times Cheltenham Literature Festival. "He says that as he gets older, working in his office, rather than wherever the possibility arises, becomes more important. “I’m 44 and unless I’m in my shed with my own chair and my music and my own banana and my own bottle of water, it’s hard.” And here he is on his commute to work: "I write in my office in the garden. It is close to the house but even crossing the garden is enough for me to feel I am going to work."
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Australian Prime Minister "banned from shed"

Apparently the Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard is not allowed in her partner Tim Mathieson's shed at The Lodge, writes Charles Wooley in the Sydney Morning Herald, commenting on the couple's first television interview together. Commenting on the success of the Australian' Men's Shed Association, Wooley writes:
"In a shed we tend to open up, and talk about those worries we've been keeping to ourselves," Mr Mathieson tells me. While he and I spend time in his shed, the Prime Minister cools her heels outside, good-naturedly respecting the sanctity of the secret men's business being discussed inside. I am hanging on the outside of the shed, as instructed," she chuckles."
Pictured above, Tim Mathieson and Charles Wooley in the shed.
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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Guardian chooses Shedworking as internet pick of the week

In today's Guardian, Johnny Dee is kind enough to include Shedworking in his blogroll for gardens saying: "Tales of upscale sheds including the 1920s tram being converted into a garden office." If that's how you've come to Shedworking today and this is your first visit, it's nice to see you and please do have a browse around. You may also be interested in the Shedworking book.
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