Monday, May 20, 2024

Malvern Garden Buildings launch magazine at Chelsea Flower Show

If you're heading to RHS Chelsea this week it's worth picking up the first edition of Malvern Garden Buildings' printed Garden Escape magazine, pictured above. It's slim but very nicely produced with sections on The Japanese Art of Imperfections, the RHS Houseplant Studio designers for 2024, an innovative indoor gardening project for women in prison, the latest houseplant and gardening trends, and How to Create a Cocktail Garden. There's also a competition to win all sorts of goodies.


Monday posts are sponsored by Cosy Garden Rooms, the UK's No. 1 bespoke garden room designer and builder.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Friday Finery: Cromarty Firth Men's Shed

In what's been a rollercoaster fo a week for the Scottish Men's Sheds Association (happily ending on a high note), here's a lovely image for our regular Friday Finery slot, the Cromarty Firth Men's Shed who in addition to all their normal activities look after the woodland surrounding their shed to preserve it for their local community.


Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

False walls in garden offices

Although garden offices are usually pretty compact structures, it's interesting to see the many and varied ways that suppliers work with the space. Here's an example from Cedar Living, a false wall concealing a lavatory and cupboard using acupanel acoustic panelling. And here's what they say about it:

"With the challenge of small spaces, this calls for creative solutions. Inside your garden room, not only can we create little nooks for kitchenettes, but we also introduce false walls, often in acoustic panelling, to maximise every inch of space. These false walls serve a dual purpose: they create separate areas for different functionalities, and they discreetly hide doors leading to a toilet or additional storage cupboards. The illusion of the seamless interior whilst enjoying the convenience of concealed rooms. The advantage of a modern acoustic panelling reduces noise levels and eliminates echoes, whilst adding warmth and appeal within the room."


 Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and   
 studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional


Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Scottish Men’s Sheds Association funding u-turn

Hot on the heels of our post yesterday about the terrible possibility that the Scottish Mens' Sheds Association faced closure by the end of the year, we were delighted to hear that the Scottish Government has, once again, done a u-turn on this vital funding issue.

Welcoming the decision, SMSA CEO Jason Schroeder (pictured top) said: “The government grant in 2016 of £75,000 was an initial start-up grant for the charity which supported, at that time, five Sheds and developing the movement across Scotland. Unfortunately, that amount has never been increased as the movement grew and we immediately sought other grant funders. However, now post pandemic and with men needing more support than ever, we now require £360,000 per annum to deliver our development plans and support to over 200 Sheds across Scotland.

“With the growing and highest male suicide rates in Scotland – out of the whole of the UK – we require the Scottish Government to once and for all fully commit and get behind the most successful men’s health preventative model created in Scotland so the SMSA, the movement and the people of Scotland never end up in this situation again.

“We applaud the First Minister’s financial support statement and welcome talks with the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP to further discuss our vital work through this men’s health and wellbeing model being carried out successfully across Scotland.”

You can watch the issue being raised in the government debate at the start of the video below:


Wednesday posts are sponsored by Booths Garden Studios, the UK's No.1 supplier of zero maintenance and portable garden studios

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Scottish Men's Sheds Association on the brink of closure

Terrible news, as reported in the media that the marvellous Scottish Men's Sheds Association is looking to wind up operations of its 200 sheds and 10,000 members by the end of the year.

According to The Sunday Post, the yo-yo decisions on funding by the Scottish Governement continue. It recently decided again to withdraw funding despite the opposition that erupted the last time they made this decision back in 2022 and were forced to backtrack. Irish and Australian governments keep their own projects fully funded.

Speaking to the newspaper, SMSA chief executive Jason Schroeder, said: “We’ve got enough funding for about nine or 10 months and then we’ll be looking at winding up. We’ll be celebrating our 10th anniversary in October – hopefully we’ll be celebrating rather than closing." 

More than 5,000 people have signed this petition calling on the decision to be reversed. "Now is not the time to abandon and disinvest in this successful men’s health movement that is voluntarily engaging with and reaching men and changing and saving lives," it says. "These volunteers need our support now more than ever as evidenced by the ever-increasing growth in our membership." 


Malvern Garden Buildings offer a premium collection of garden buildings, displayed at 11 UK showsites.


Monday, May 13, 2024

Is this the end of the beach hut?

Some consternation about the long-term viability of beach huts has been raised by North Norfolk District Council in its latest report. Increasingly poor weather is leading to rising maintenace costs which is worrying officers at the council who wrote this:

The beach huts and chalets are being impacted by adverse weather conditions causing damage to them and the promenade. The cost of the Council rectifying the damage is expected to be not financially sustainable if adverse weather conditions increase in frequency. The leases have been changed to include a clause enabling the Council to remove the beach huts in such an event. If adverse conditions become more frequent to the point it is no longer viable, officers may recommend that no beach huts leases are made available.
Those with huts in prominent spots such as Sheringham, Cromer and Overstrand would be most at risk, not least because the number of people looking to rent the huts dropped last summer thanks to the wet weather and left the council in the red - its repair and maintenance costs last year were 70% higher than the average over the last four years. 

Meanwhile, Great Yarmouth Borough Council is looking at an ongong delay in its plans to build more than 40 beach huts thanks to  £200,000 overspend. These should have been completed last summer but will now not begin constrution until around September 2024.


Monday posts are sponsored by Cosy Garden Rooms, the UK's No. 1 bespoke garden room designer and builder.


Friday, May 10, 2024

Friday Finery: garden office with flowerbed

As the weather turns out nice again, here's one of the nicest flowerbeds for a garden office we've seen, courtesy of Cabin Master.


Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.