After sharing a cramped and messy shed with the hubby (which includes bikes, paint, his junk etc) there is a possibility of his and hers sheds. Well, mine is going to be a potting shed (complete with opening windows etc).
Not having had the luxury of a shed before, I have always sown, germinated and repotted etc either in the garden (in good weather) or in the conservatory (which is messy and takes up too much room with seed trays etc).
I have a vision of a tranquil space with a radio, where I can spend many an hour just 'pottering'.
I'm planning to include the usual items such as a potting bench, shelving, hooks for tools etc, but what would you consider to be the essentials for a well-equipped shed?
Thanks Fleurisa, We did by a radio to take to the allotment (we have a remote plot, no near plots, so no chance of disturbing others), you are right, we have never used it. So nice to hear the birds. Our plot is also near a country house who occassionally hold summer music events so on these occasions we go to water and harvest and take the time to sit and listen with flask of tea (or stronger!) to the concert, without paying for a ticket (weather permitting of course)!
I don't have electric in my shed, so most of my must-haves come from that. If you have electric, just ignore my suggestions
I have low level solar lighting that is on from dust til dawn and a really bright motion detector solar light. That way I always have enough light to see, but almost day-bright light if I'm moving around doing something. It's amazing how much pottering about I do in the shed on winter evenings so the lights are crucial.
I have a gas-cylinder camping stove and kettle. I thought I'd bought it for making tea but I find myself going back to the house for that. What it has proven invaluable for is a source of hot water down the bottom of the garden. In the winter its really miserable to do anything with cold water so even being able to add a dash of boiling water makes all the difference to whether or not I do things like clean pots properly and I don't have to lug stuff up to the house OR carry hot water down the garden. Its also very useful for frozen taps on the waterbutts etc...
I have a tiny camping heater that runs on the same little gas cylinders, which is ideal for taking the nip out of the air and, seated on my potting bench, keeps my fingers from dropping off with frostbite as I do bits and pieces. I also have a big paraffin aladdin heater for when I want to spend a while down there.
I have a little bistro table and chairs with a radio permanently tuned to radio 4. A bookshelf filled with my gardening reference books (but be careful because books can get damp if you don't at least partially heat). I have candle lanterns suspended from the ceiling that I put scented tea-lights in. Makes the atmosphere nice, smells nice, and goes out soon enough if you forget to put them out yourself. In the part of the shed that doesn't have windows, I suspend all of my herbs and lavender and such to dry and that, again, adds to the ambience.
I love my potting shed and spend a LOT more time in it than I do in the house, so I made it a really me place. A bit shabby chic and girly and definitely NOT a man-shed
The motion light is a powerbee solar ray shed light 48 LED and is amazingly bright. (Its on offer on Amazon at the moment for about £25 delivered - bargain!) It turns itself on almost the instant I open the door and stays on until about 30 seconds after I stop moving and is definitely bright enough to read small-print by. That's the good and bad part of it. If you stand still too long it turns off, LOL. Then you have to wave your hand in the air. That's why I also have a gardman light, the dusk til dawn one. They were £25 for 2, also Amazon, and they last all night even in the winter and are bright enough to see by, but too dim to read by or do anything precise. The combination of the two is the best of both worlds, imo. I have one of the gardman's in the greenhouse and that is more than adequate for doing watering and stuff, then the two combined in the shed to do more visually demanding work.
The light going out reminds me of a temporary job I got in a very modern offce block back in the 80s. Some clever architect had designed the place to save power. Lights only on when people moving about in the building. Unfortunately the PIR for the ladies loo was in the washroom. I was warned about this when I started work there. Lots of tales about people blundering around in pitch blackness with their nix half way down and their arms outstretched trying to get the lights back on only to be "rescued" by someone walking in from the brightly-lit corridor.
That made me laugh out loud enough to get funny looks from my work colleages...oops!
I admit I had similar problems with the Powerbee light at first. Because I live in the countryside, I don't even get ambient glow from streetlights at night so when it is dark it is really dark and I can't even tell which direction I'm facing. That's why I bought the dim but constant gardman light. It means I can see perfectly clearly to wave at the sensor to turn the Powerbee light back on.Now I know that doesn't sound like an advert for the Powerbee light but, honestly, it is so very bright that its well worth the small inconvenience. Even in the midst of winter when there is barely any daylight, the Powerbee light still holds enough charge to be a great, bright, workable light that stays on indefinitely as long as you keep moving and, lets face it, when it's really cold its a good idea to keep moving anyway
Ha ha! I worked in an County Architects office (designed by the Chief architect himself) with solar blinds that shut when the sun came out and opened when the sun went in - the windows were floor to ceiling about 20 foot high, so were needed. However on days where there was patchy cloud, the darn things were up and down like yo-yos (and noisy!).
I dream of a shed with electricity, solar panels to power a music system so I can listen to all the Beethoven 9 symphonies, Marriage of Figaro, room to swing a cat, stretch out me lallies, watch da boidies on da feeders, read a book, make a cuppa tea or coffee, and a smally fridge to keep the beer cold on a hot day. Oh the joys of gardening !
Perhaps some room to set up a moderate electric train set, to indulge my child and as my wife suggests, a self tidying shed !
I would love to have one of those shepherds huts. Carol Klein has one at the bottom of her garden. You can have a small wood burner, a stove, small fridge, somewhere to sit and look through your old gw mags looking out across the garden and ponder what you will plant next season.
It's when I'm manoeuvering the freshly used 'rotyvaytor', mower, hedge triimmer, strimmer, spades, forks 'n' trowels that I find an extra patch of mud and soil worked into the nice Axminster shag pile, collected from the recycling depot, to add a bit of class to my shed, that the Missus gets teasy. I need to make some 'dream doors' to make it more secure, as we have been hit on by local twats who consider a shed an interesting secuity challenge.