Saturday, 31 July 2021

A New Shed


After four months, and a lot of digging, shoveling and painting, we have a new shed in place in the back garden and I love it.

You may remember that, back in the Easter holidays, we cleared this area in the corner of the back garden. It had previously housed the trampoline, well hidden from the house by the two huge New Zealand flax plants.

Before we did anything else, John and my dad removed the huge tree stump.

Then we removed the two New Zealand flax plants which had grown to about ten feet tall and just as wide.

Next, John and I painted the fences in the corner to protect the wood.

Once we knew exactly how big the cleared corner area was, we ordered a shed - 10 feet wide by 6 feet deep. It took about eight weeks to come, during which time we prepared the ground by leveling the earth and laying paving slabs and sand. You can just see it under the wooden shed base.

The shed was delivered on one roasting hot, humid day in June and John and I carried it all from a pallet on the front drive to a the back garden, panel by panel, when I got home from work. It was hot. But of course, being Britain, torrential rain was forecast before we were going to be able to assemble it so we had to wrap in in plastic sheeting until then.

John and my dad assembled the shed one Friday and I came home from work to this beauty. We celebrated with fish and chips.

Lovely though the shed is, the plan was always to paint it. Black, with white trim.

John and I did this slowly over a few days off and weekends during June and July.

I wanted the windows to have a little more definition, so John cut some pieces of baton to size, painted them and nailed them to the shed.

You'll notice that we also added window boxes. Not strictly necessary for a shed, but since this is clearly visible from the house I thought it would be nice to have something pretty to look out on.

My clever dad made us these window boxes with drainage holes.

The shed wall panels are not strong enough to take the weight of window boxes, so Dad added batons inside so that there would be something to screw into.

The weight is also supported by two sturdy black brackets which sit under the window box.

Then we lined them with plastic and potted them with pink geraniums.

The final stage was to add some pebbles to the area around the shed. This is partly because the area in front of the shed door was already getting really worn and muddy with foot traffic, and also because the area to the right of the shed, under the palm trees, gets very little light and the grass doesn't grow there well. Pebbles seemed easiest.

Borrowing my dad's pick axe, we dug a channel in front of the shed and filled it with old bricks. This was to create a little wall, to stop the pebbles constantly rolling onto the lawn. We also chose quite big pebbles for the same reason.

Then, on Thursday, a lorry dropped off a large bag containing 850 kg of pebbles. John and I used the wheelbarrow to transport them down the side path and dumped them on top of some membrane which we'd put down to prevent weeds.

The contrast of white pebbles and black shed is everything I hoped it would be, and a massive improvement on the area before.

As for the old shed, which was really on its last legs in a different corner of the garden.....

...we emptied it out....

...then pulled it to pieces. 

Angus was very excited about helping with this part.

Once the shed was down (most of it will be fire wood) I dug over the earth underneath as much as I could given that it was boiling hot and the ground was bone dry, and attempted to level it out a bit. My main concern was getting this camellia into the ground as soon as possible - it had previously been in a large pot on our balcony but had outgrown the pot so needed most space to spread roots. I think it will be much happier here and already looks healthier. I am undecided about the rest of the border. I have a fig tree that is bursting out of its pot, so might plant that to the left of the camellia, and a bay tree which is currently in a pot but might do better in the ground. Anything to hide the fences, although our neighbours did tell us that they have planned to replace them this autumn.

So that's what has been going on in our garden lately. And now I need a holiday.


  1. it all looks brilliant, your shed is really cool !

  2. What a talented, creative and energetic family! Enjoy!!

  3. I live in a place the farms have these black sidings, very authentic looking with the white. Pebless makes it look like it's in the mediterranean. Love how it became. And hurray for the neighbours planning a new fence. Oh yes, if something needed to be tore down my kids were there to help too XD

  4. How lovely your new shed looks! Lots of work but so worth it. Enjoy!
    Peggy R.

  5. That is a project well thought out and accomplished! -- it's really inspiring to see the process in pictures and with your explanations. The window boxes are a great addition to the shed. As I was reading, my eye wandered out the window to the back corner of my own yard, wondering and dreaming...

  6. Love the black shed with the white flower boxes and white pebbles...looks great. Have a good week. Kathy, Brisbane, Australia

  7. It all looks fabulous! So well thought out and so nice for you to look at and use. Well worth all the hot, hard work! Down Under my sweet peas are about 6” tall!

  8. The shed looks fabulous! Is that a bottlebrush tree (callistemon) growing next to the shed? I didn't think a native Australian plant would survive in an English garden.

  9. The shed looks great, very pretty with all the flowers around it too.
    We are going to start sourcing sheds soon. The one we have is too small and the base is rotten.

  10. Your shed has turned into s a pretty summer house! The white pebbles are juste lovely!
    Yes, you deserve a nice holiday!

  11. Stunning shed which looks amazing painted in black and white. The window boxes and white pebbles turn something quite ordinary into something very unique and special. Love it :)

  12. Wow, that was a lot of work, but it looks so nice. I love that the shed is black... quite striking. Have a great week!

  13. That's a cracking shed, and love black and white paint job. And the fencing painted to match, really great job.
    Margaret Powling

  14. Looking good from over here. Stuff like that transforms a garden doesn't it? Jo x

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