Forest Garden
Making a ‘Home’ outside – our 2020 summer

1st September 2020

“The year of the ‘staycation’ has allowed people to fall in love with their outdoor space”

The year of the ‘staycation’ has allowed people to fall in love with their outdoor space. Taking time to explore and appreciate nature isn’t something that happens often. Like most families, we’re busy with work, school and various activities that go hand in hand with raising children! So, in March 2020 when the Government announced we were all to ‘stay at home’, we, like many, looked out at our lovely garden and felt lucky we had the space.

We moved into our home in June 2019 but hadn’t spent a lot of energy on our garden. It is a lovely space, sunny, lusciously green and not really overlooked, but we’d expected building work to start on the ground floor in May 2020 and so had made the decision to wait until afterward to update the garden. Thanks to the arrival of Covid-19, our work was delayed, so I set about adding a few things to the garden that would let us to make the most of it during our extended time at home.

Living in the North East, a paddling pool was not a popular option, so I decided to take advantage of an inflatable hot tub offer and bought one a few days before ‘lockdown’. It’s been an amazing garden ‘luxury’ that we’ve all loved using over summer. It’s not something I’d ever thought I’d buy, but at a positively cosy 40⁰C, it can be used even when raining, useful considering we aren’t known for hours of sunshine here!

What next to improve our garden… well, we’d had our old teak garden furniture for some time. We’d resisted buying anything new with the building work, so new rattan furniture was purchased. One to worry about unnecessary land fill, I decided to give the old furniture a new lease of life by upcycling it with outdoor paint and we now use it as a breakfast bistro set!

However, the piece de resistance is our new garden storage. We’d wanted a shed for some time, so I spent a while researching sheds and what to look for. Some of the things I considered were:

What did we want to store in it? What size could we fit in the space? Should it have windows and what was the position of the doors? Would there be adequate access? Did we require planning permission? What sort of base would we require? And so on.

We measured the space and decided on an ‘Overlap pressure treated 8 x 6 shed’ with double doors from Forest Garden’s extensive range. We chose ‘pressure treated’ timber as it comes with a 15 year ‘anti-rot’ guarantee and doesn’t require annual timber treatment during that time. As we wanted our shed to have the ‘natural aged look’, we were happy with this.  We also decided on double opening doors, allowing us to store bulky items, like garden furniture, over winter.

When the shed arrived, it required assembly and my husband got to work. He’d previously leveled off the ground and built a decked base. Once erected, we got to work inside adding some useful shelving units and some vinyl flooring. This shed came with a ready built floor, not all sheds do, so ensure you do your homework. We’ve had the shed for a few months and are very happy with it. It’s waterproof, looks good, is very sturdy, and I know that we are going to find the storage space invaluable over winter.

All in all, we’ve really enjoyed the extra hours we’ve had using our garden over lockdown and we’ve certainly appreciated the new items we’ve bought to make it more of an outside ‘home’ during these strange times.