Sheds! Wonderful structures, smelling of wood, soil and compost. It’s where things are grown, stacked and stored. I was lent a book the other day “Fifty Sheds of Grey”, by C T Grey, hilarious in a weird and slightly suggestive way. But in some ways it sums up the ethos of the common shed – it can be a place to hide away from the rigours of everyday life, a little world separated from the turmoil of day to day living and once you’ve had your own shed, there’s absolutely no going back. You’ll always want one! It can represent privacy, a place to retreat from the world, be a source of great pride, a salute – a tipping of your cap if you will – to the gardener in you and all those gardeners in your family who have gone before.
I remember fondly my first shed. I bought it with some of the money my gran left me. It wasn’t a particularly grand thing but to me it was a thing of great beauty. I lay the foundations, levelling them off according to the instructions, all ready for the shed to be delivered and erected for me. Once that was done – well I was in shed heaven. It smelled of freshly cut wood, you know that earthy smell that makes you imagine what it must have been like to live in a wood cabin, and I loved it. It was a place to store all my gardening equipment, my flower pots and even dry enough to store my packets of seeds – well it was a new, watertight shed. I had a bench in there, where I started off my few veggie seeds ( we only had a small garden). It was where I repotted my houseplants, finally not having to do that messy task on my kitchen drainer. It was big enough to store our bikes up one side, all three of them and I loved that shed. When I moved house, I couldn’t take my shed with me, so we dismantled it and gave it to a lovely couple three doors down who desperately needed a shed. I felt it went to a good home.
I suppose I have had several sheds over the years. Some have been small – the last one was tiny – some have been large ( big enough to store bikes and pots and paint and – well all sorts of stuff but they were never really like my first shed. You never forget your first!!
I now have a fabulous shed, one built to a specific design, especially for me, and it’s all mine. I store my bird food in there, my pots and trays and garden equipment. I grow things – and they love my shed – they grow coz it’s warm with it’s large sloping window facing south. In front of the shed is a cold frame, built by my own fair hand, topped off with an old shower door we found in the garage. Perfect for hardening off my seedlings when they are ready to go out into the garden.
So what’s in your shed I wonder?
It’s Sunday, a miserable day by all accounts. The sky has been dark and dreary all day bar a couple of hours late this afternoon when we were able to take the dogs for a swim in Loch Harport. Mind you that proved a mission and a half. Both dogs are pretty strong swimmers but after just three ‘swims’ – retrieving a toy – in a very choppy loch they were beginning to flag, so that was the end of that. Being wet, is never pleasant when the wind is cold – Lila has to wear her coat again as she has no undercoat so gets terribly chilled, terribly quickly and Tali just drips everywhere – so even though they have a brisk run back to the car carrying in turns their soggy toy, we always carry a towel so we can dry them off before they get in the car. Lila loves to be dried, but Tali is so funny. Having draped the towel over her she starts to walk off. “Stand still” say I, a big sigh comes from under the towel, “just let me dry your belly so you won’t drip all over the bed in the car – another big sigh and several steps backwards this time. It’s all a bit of a mission getting Tali dry but eventually it’s done and with a quick shake she then negotiates the boot of the car. Funny how, when getting out it’s such a simple task, getting back in, well that takes time and calculation – ‘can I make it – it’s very high, maybe I need a bit of help (eyes swing towards me) “I’m not lifting you come on get in!” say I ‘Oh alright then’, and up she jumps with all the nimbleness of a colt. “See that was easy wasn’t it?” The eyes say it all though, ‘don’t take the mick, it’s a big jump for a dog like me all tired from all that swimming you made me do’. However, I’m not convinced it’s not just a ploy for more attention. Silly dog!
The added indignity of it all for them is, that we then drive up to have a quick drink with our mates in the Old Inn, Carbost just up the road from the pier, and leave the dogs in the car – well they’re damp and dog smelly – and well….. weren’t they too tired to jump in the car after all that swimming? Clearly they need a nap! He He!
As Sunday evening approached we were graced with the beauty of all the colours of a rainbow in the shape of a giant shaft pointing into the sky. What a way to end the day.