Top Tips and How To
With the Christmas festivities over for another year but the joys of spring not yet in sight, the second half of winter can sometimes feel like a depressing time. The last thing you need, particularly if suffering from those ‘winter blues’, is to have your shed ransacked. Unfortunately, with it potentially full of Christmas goodies, and with the nights not yet having noticeably shortened, January and February are the months that it is most at risk. But don’t let your latest power tools or the kids’ new bikes be carried off without a fight. Now is the time to take our advice and beef up your shed security.
The New Year is here. 2018 is upon us. Millions of people around the country have made the famous resolution: to finally get in shape. The excessive consumption of mince pies and wine over the festive period has not helped anybody’s weight loss goals and gym owners will be rubbing their hands together, awaiting a massive influx of new memberships. If you’re like me, the thought of being in an overcrowded gym, waiting 15 minutes just to use one piece of equipment, fills you with horror. There is however, a more agreeable solution. The home gym. Or, in this case, the ‘shed-gym’.
Why would I go to the effort of creating a gym in my shed?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
Firstly, shed-gyms will save you time and money (in the long run). There is no
Posted: December 15, 2017||
It has been a good few years since we’ve seen a snowfall quite as impressive as this week’s influx. And, as the latest snow storm hit the UK, we suddenly all remembered that we meant to buy a snow shovel, we fully intended to have some rock salt kept in the garage and we were definitely going to get some of that fluffy white stuff to protect our plants. Most of us didn’t.
As the snow and ice starts to thaw, don’t put it off again. We’ve got some key tips so at least you’ll know what to do next time the cold weather strikes, covering Britain with a blanket of snow and ice. While the snow has the brilliant ability to turn everyday sights into beautiful, picturesque scenes, it can also cause a multitude of frustrating problems. It’s best to be prepared.
I love gardening and everything to do with greenhouses. However, I have to admit the best day of my greenhouse/ gardening life to date is when the team who put the structure up left and I was face to face, for the first time, with a beautiful wooden greenhouse. My beautiful wooden greenhouse. Completely empty. Walking in, closing the door and being enveloped by the evocative aroma of wood and luxuriating in the vast emptiness of the area is a memory that will never fade. Time to breathe, think and plan. The acres of benching, the glorious expanse of unfettered flooring (concrete slabs) and achingly clear headroom. No plants, no pots, no canes, wires or string. Just a dream.
OK, it lasted a few hours before a couple of pelargoniums found their way in for their winter protection, a dozen bowls of bulbs were soon housed on the immaculate benching, and a back-of-an-envelope plan was scribbled out for five containers of tomatoes, three cucumbers, a couple of aubergines, chillies
Posted: November 23, 2017||
The first day of winter is very nearly upon us; Jack Frost’s icy grip is tightening on Britain, attacking us with sleet, snow and freezing winds. At this time of year, one would probably worry about whether there is enough time to finish the Christmas Shopping and perhaps not the rattan set sitting on the patio, but maybe your garden furniture deserves a quick thought?
Your beautiful outdoor bench and chairs are a statement piece in the garden; they deserve some protection from the elements during the winter season. Of course, modern furniture is constructed from a range of high quality materials but, as the old saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry. Come the summer, you want to ensure everything will be in pristine condition to impress the neighbours at barbecues and garden parties.
To avoid furniture f
If you have a wood burner, you have to have a supply of dry logs. And that’s 'dry' as in seasoned and 'dry' as in not dripping wet from last night rain. A log store is the answer.
Log store plans
A good log store allows great air circulation between the logs (ideally, in a good stack the gaps between the logs should be large enough to allow a mouse to run through). All you really need is a roof on the thing to keep the rain off. Utilising the side of a shed is a great idea if it is handily placed. Otherwise, four posts fixed into the ground with a sloping roof is great too. Run some guttering around it to a water butt and it really begins to work in the garden.
However, some of the best log stores aren't simply dumped at the bottom of the garden (make them easily accessed to avoid last minute and freezing trips for emergency logs) as they can be structures of beauty. Especially when stacked with logs. Pyramid shapes, for example, become style statemen
Log burners are a must-have item and to keep one well fed you will need to stack your logs. A log store needs to keep the worst of the rain off your logs and allow air to circulate around the wood. If you just dump all your wooden logs in a heap and expect them to get on with it, then you are destined for disappointment. A log store will make sure your logs are ready to use at the drop of a hat (or the drop in temperature).
Different ideas to utilise space
A log store needs to have a roof and be deep enough to allow a couple of layers deep of logs. Ideally, it will be placed near the house or wherever the log burner is situated. It saves that mid evening dash up the garden, head torch in place, in freezing temperatures to stock up.
- Log stores are easily situated next to sheds, indeed utilising one wall of the shed (or garage) – think of one as a lean-to store.
- You could utilise the space below a large potting table if you have one out
There has been a massive upsurge in wood burner installations. This has obviously resulted in many more piles of wood being stored in preparation for colder nights. But only dry wood burns well, so a log store is an essential part of the garden.
Dry wood can mean two things. Wood can be dry in that the overall moisture content is low i.e. it has been cut and dried for a year or more, resulting in a material that will burn efficiently. Dry can also mean it has been kept out of the rain and is dry to the touch. A moisture meter will tell you the moisture content, and handling the split wood logs will give an indication of whether or not it has been sitting out in the rain for weeks. The idea is that with dry logs you won't need your fire to drive out the moisture before it gives off any heat. It stops that rather tiresome smouldering look.
Keeping wood dry
But to dry wood, or to keep wood dr
Posted: January 28, 2017||
Be it a Man Cave or She Shed, a secret snug is a place to savour. If yours is draughty, leaky and prone to spiders, moths and mice, then perhaps you need to put a little effort in to get it cosy. It doesn't take much.
Clear the clutter
No-one wants to share a space with a torn hessian sack or half empty and damp bag of charcoal (or is that just me?). With the rubbish gone, give the whole place a tidy. Find space elsewhere (garage perhaps?) for anything you don't use every week and then get to work adding the comfy factor.
Make your shed practical
If you are planning to use your shed for long periods of time stick some insulation in place. It's easily done and will instantly make things warmer. Same goes for de-draughting windows and doors. Then you need a heater. Think carefully as chances are there are some pretty flammable substances in the shed – so move them out or take into account when choosing. And always think of safety –
There is no finer sight in the garden than a well-built shed. Storage is sorted, it looks aesthetically pleasing and is guaranteed to last for years – a great shed is worth its weight in gold. Putting one up is easy and satisfying.
How to decide which type of shed to use:
You’ve got to choose the right shed to suit your requirements. The popular choice of material is wood – easy to maintain, looks natural (and indeed it is!) and blends into any garden space. Metal sheds are suited to areas where a little more security is required. Plastic sheds are also available and do suit modern designs. They too are great for security conscious gardeners but do ensure you have plenty in there to weigh them down. Alternatively anchor well into a solid base.