The Pocket Guide to Sheds

By: Gordon Thorburn

ImageIn this fun little book, the author explores the history of sheds and the culture surrounding them. He explains that for sheds to appear, a highly developed civilization must be in place. Sheds have been used through the ages as storage areas and animal shelters. A culture of Sheddists traces their roots from the dawn of civilization. Today, they retire to their sheds as places of creativity or solitude.

As gardeners, most of us have sheds where we store rakes, shovels and other tools, but many of us also incorporate sheds into the theme of our gardens. We proudly display our sheds and use them for any number of activities. From seed starting, to building containers for our plants, our sheds are a vital part of our gardening experience.

The author takes us on a delightful tour of British sheds and their owners. We see everything from artist studios to creative little backyard pubs. Sheds are undoubtedly the original ‘man cave', havens from cell phones, computers and television, or... a comfortable place for friends to gather to watch the ball game.Image

Shed furnishings tend to be casual and reflect the individualism of the Sheddist who decorated it. Sheds house their collections, and in some instances, are the collection. Many Sheddists find they cannot stop with one shed. Creative carpenters build sheds out of everything from rescued boats, to signal boxes for steam locomotives. Proud British Sheddists show off their individuality and their sheds are singular examples of human creativity. They anticipate the need for more storage space well in advance of actual things to store. The number of items needing storage, generally expands along with the shed. The author quotes Pickford's Law, which states: "The amount of stuff expands to fit the space available." It seems that some things are the same, no matter what part of the world you hail from.

ImageThe author admonishes would-be garden Sheddists to make their shed twice as big as they think it should be, to accomodate things that you can't throw away, such as "pieces of copper tubing, celing roses,broken sprayer parts, bags of fertilizer granules that have solidified into concrete,oyster shells,ancient runner bean seeds in a tobacco tin and the pretty glass marble that you found" It sounds like he's had a peek into my shed!

Gardeners are Sheddists at heart and it should be fun to see sheds from around the world. In honor of this creative little book, show us your sheds!

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