Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Female shedworking in Scotland: women and garden offices

A nice piece in The Sunday Post about the growing numbers of women in Scotland who are working out of garden offices and sheds, including Secret Seven sequel writer Pamela Butchart who we have written about previously here on Shedworking. Here's a snippet:
Caroline Haxton, director of Scotia Cabins which sells luxury “garden rooms”, said: “We have noticed a steady increase in ladies purchasing and customising sheds for their gardens. Just like men, women need their own space to do their own thing outwith the home and with, the costs of going out nowadays, people are changing how they socialise and looking to do this more at home.”
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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

How to recognise if you have woodworm in your shed

In this guest post, Jake Ryan from Wise Property Care looks at the problems of woodworm (image: Dave)

Temperatures are gradually beginning to increase as the summer season draws closer. However, this warm weather will also attract insects as woodworm will slowly start emerging from timber to begin mating and potentially laying eggs in your garden shed. The wood boring beetle normally emerge from timber between April and October to lay eggs. Therefore, at this time of year, it is important to know how to recognise the signs of woodworm before extensive damage can be done to your shed or garden office.


Woodworm is the generic name for the larvae stage of wood-boring beetles. Woodworm begin mating in May and will search for nearby timber to lay their eggs. These eggs eventually hatch and for up to five years, the larvae will eat their way through the wood. After this time, the fully grown beetle will then emerge from the timber in search of a mate and then will find new timber to lay its eggs in. New eggs are laid within the timber and the process starts all over again. While eating their way through the timber, the larvae create a series of tunnels which can eventually affect the structural integrity of a building.


Burrow Holes and Tunnels

If the timber within the shed or garden office has previously been infested with woodworm, you should notice small burrow holes in the wood. These holes are similar to holes found in a dart board and the exit route taken by beetles emerging from the wood in mating season. However these exit holes are not always a cause for concern as this is where beetles have burrowed out of the wood, it is not always a cause for concern. Burrow holes alone can not determine whether or not there is still larvae within the timber but the shed must be examined for other signs of woodworm if burrow holes are present. It is common to find raised “tunnels” within the wood alongside burrow holes. This indicates the route taken by larvae beetle as it eats its way through the wood.

Fine Powdery Dust

Fine, powdery dust known as frass may be evident near the burrow holes. This dust is known as frass and it is the faeces left behind by larvae beetles. The frass is quite similar to moist sawdust and indicates the garden office is infested with woodworm. Crumbly Edges

If the infestation is left to grow over time, the amount of burrow holes in the timber will naturally increase. As the number of exit holes increase near the edge of the timber, this will cause the timber to appear crumbly over time as a result. This is caused by wear and tear from the multiple burrow holes near the edge of the timber. Crumbly edges would suggest that the timber has been infested with woodworm for a long period and therefore must be treated immediately to avoid further damage to the shed.

Dead or Alive Beetles

The greatest indicator that a shed is infested with woodworm is finding dead or alive beetles in close proximity to the shed or emerging from exit holes in the timber. As beetles generally emerge from the timber during the summer, any signs of beeltes in close proximity of the shed in this time may be a cause for concern. The “Common Furniture Beetle” is a very common woodworm beetle to find in the United Kingdom. It is common to find dead “Common Furniture Beetles” as they tend to die shortly after mating. These beetles are small and brown in appearance


Not every woodworm infestation is a cause of concern but it is important to establish what damage has been caused by the infestation. If you suspect you have a woodworm infestation in your garden shed, it is strongly advisable to have the timber inspected by a qualified surveyor to establish what damage has been caused and if the woodworm has spread to any nearby timber in your garden or home. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Monday, May 20, 2019

Green Switch at Chelsea Flower Show

The Green Switch garden which we mentioned in our roundup of Chelsea sheds last week is attracting plenty of positive comment. Just to recap, it's a living space with a shower and an office overlooking a series of waterfalls and a lovely mossy rock pool ((images courtesy Gardeners World Magazine and the RHS). Here's a video of it below:
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Plankbridge's shepherd's hut at Chelsea Flower Show

It's press day at Chelsea Flower Show today and below is a little video tour around Plankbridge's hut.
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Sunday, May 19, 2019

Building My Garden Office: Part 5

One of the garden office builds we've been following this year is web designer and developer Jack McConnell who has done a marvellous job of producing videos as he goes along - you can see the others here. Here's what he says about this one, below:
In this video, I build the back wall (as well as cut some of the timber for my two side walls), and try and fight off the rain by building a gazebo over my construction site. The next video will be about how I built my two side walls.

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Friday, May 17, 2019

Sheds at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Garden offices and sheds are a bit thin on the ground at this year's show which runs next week in the main show gardens. One garden worth a look if you're visiting is the Green Switch Designed by Kazuyuki Ishihara - it includes a two-storey shed-like atmosphere with a green sedum roof. The top section is a tea room with glass walls which also features a glass shower room... 

Of course there will be plenty of microarchitecture elsewhere at the show including the shepherd's hut below from Plankbridge, pictured here nearing completion back at their HQ.

Also keep an eye out for the Artisan Studios section, six garden buildings with arts and crafts people at work inside including sculptor Laura Jane Wylder creating a life-sized female artwork, fabric designer Natasha Hulse, ceramicist Corrie Bain, textilist Lola Lely, steam-bent wood from Charlie Whinney, and last but not at all least, Malvern Garden Buildings will exhibit a studio inspired by Virginia Woolf's writing lodge at Monk's House to mark the 90th anniversary of the publication of her essay A Room of One's Own. The interior will feature objects from the writer's era, researched with help from the National Trust team at Monk's House and the Virginia Woolf Appreciation Society of Great Britain.

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Alice Feeney: shedworker

Surrey-based journalist and novelist Alice Feeney - Sometimes I Lie, I Know Who You Are - writes in her garden office shed (her Twitter location has her at 'The shed, England'). As she explained to Goodreads: "I work in my garden shed now with my co-writer, a giant black Labrador who is scared of feathers, and it really is the best job in the world." Here she is talking to Suffolk Libraries about Sometimes I Lie:
I wrote this novel while working full time as a producer on the BBC’s One O’clock News, so some parts were written in my garden shed at home, but others were written on the train to work or in my lunch breaks.
And here she is telling Christina McDonald about her shed writing routine:
I write more than ever before now that I don’t have to fit it around work, which is wonderful. I tend to start pretty early (I’ve been known to go to the writing shed at 0300 in the morning) and I take a break when my dog tells me to (he rests his head on my keyboard so I can’t type).
As she told the Daily Mail: "I spend most days in my garden shed, with just my dog and my characters for company. It's where I am most happy."

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

How to build your own garden office: The Learning Addict

Tracy Goodyear's garden office build (see here for previous updates) is nearing completion and she is continuing to provide useful updates on her blog as she goes along - the latest is here in which she covers the electrics going in, plasterboarding and plastering, whitewashing, and the installation of the first office plant! Read to the end of her blog post and you will also come across one of my favourite flooring designs. For anybody interested in building their own garden office, this is one of the best ongoing descriptions of how to go about it. ------------------------------------------
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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

International Dylan Thomas Day

It's the annual celebrations today of one of the most famous modern shedworkers, Dylan Thomas, the view from his writing hut captured here beautifully by Uncle Wilco of fame. Over the years we've written a huge amount about Thomas and his hut, here are some of our favourite stories:

The writing shed's doors

The mug of the writing shed

How his writing shed inspired Roald Dahl's writing shed

Inside Dylan's writing shed (video)

and you can find the entire collection by clicking here. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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