Friday, 5 December 2014

George's marvellous medicine

I'm looking for a cure to that apparently male affliction - the desire for a shed.

I personally think it's an affliction more universal than some would have us believe, so this may all sound familiar...

I first noticed a problem when I felt a pang of pain. I was carting my larger tools off to a temporary home, 5 miles away at my girlfriend's father's garage. 

It felt wrong. How can you call your spade a spade when it can't hear you?

With forks banned from the house as though mud corrupts, there was no chance of me cradling my strimmer and its blades of grass, still clinging on to the base months after its last use. Everything big had to go.

The second symptom came on my now regular walks through the Gloucestershire commons; the 5 valleys that surround Stroud and the National Trust land at its heights.  This is a truly beautiful part of the world with a landscape of deep valleys and winding lanes that hide not only gorgeous cottages and grand homes but sheds. Lots of sheds. Not a weekend walk goes by when my girlfriend and I don't share a romantic whisper of 'I like the colour of that shed.'  


The 5 Valleys standard paint-job

Is this a shed?
Finally, when it became clear I was wandering through the cottage looking for somewhere to lay my hat, a space that I could call my own, she said 'get a shed'. I'm sure we've all been, or will be there one day, but that sense of excitement on realising that your own shed is now within the realms of possibility allows you to make that instant leap from melancholy to madness...

Enter George. 

Pin the shed on the garden...
At the time of writing, 8pm on Thursday nights tools are downed and the TV is on for George Clarke's amazing spaces. Here you can watch magic happen. People take the smallest, strangest spaces often with just the change in their pocket and more drive than you find in a North American cattle ranch, they create (as the title suggests) Amazing Spaces.

Well give me some of that! I'm addicted / cured depending on how you view this. In my head, my shed is now the place of envy. Painted, kitted out and open for garden business. 

In reality though, I still need to decide where to put it and how big it can be. Unfortunately, I'm not sure the garden is big enough to take my ideas, so any advice on where I can put a shed here are very welcome

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Buried pleasure

I'd forgotten how to garden.

Not that I'd ever come close to mastering it in the first place. 

I'm in a new garden now, one that had stolen my attention over the milder months and has become my home. I've said farewell to my small Victorian walled haven and swapped it a view from an old weaver's cottage looking out to Laurie Lee country, nearby allotments mocking me as I'm drawn to the valley beyond.

There is a tale of woeful horticultural neglect to come one day soon, but for now I just wanted to share the spoils of the one tiny bit of gardening I did manage in the last 12 months:

Yes, even one afternoon building a small raised bed, planting a few seeds and then wandering off as if growing food was that easy has shown me that it can be, well, that easy.  Oh, ok this may only be a red onion and beetroot among the weeds (yeah they look the same to me too), but perhaps tiny steps back into it and I'll soon be back on form. A bit more weeding here, an allotment there (you know it, they're only over the road...)

But if it's this easy to get excited by it, and growing a spot of root veg seems so simple it begs the question, why is gardening so damn hard!?

The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

My photo
I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.