Garden sheds feature in many gardens up and down the country and are enjoyed as a place to potter about it in, store things in or converted into playrooms or offices. However some shed owners have taken their enjoyment of the shed a step further by becoming fans, AKA sheddies.
There are websites and blogs dedicated to sheds and their owners that contain inspirational stories about garden shed conversions and even some humorous quotes from sheddies, such as:
"If you lined up all sheds in the world end to end, you’d have a very long line."
"99% of all shed spiders are given the name Boris by their shed owners."
"A shed is for life, not just for spiders."
"There are no garden sheds on the moon, but if there were, they would probably all slightly lean and contain at least one spider."
"95% of padlocks sold in the UK end up being used to lock the doors of British sheds."
"After twenty years of marriage my wife left me, but my shed still loves me."
There is various merchandise that dedicated sheddies can purchase to show the world their love of sheds, which includes calendars that show a different garden shed for each month of the year. They include handy little reminders such as: 3rd July – new moon and 19th July – rearrange paint tins in size order. There are miniature sheds to collect to display on the mantelpiece; not only do they look attractive but they can be an investment as well. A potting shed from the Magic Roundabout series was sold for over £1000. And last but not least a piece of merchandise not for sale but a sight to see: a full sized knitted garden shed; knitted doors, walls, roof – the lot, all made by a group of enthusiastic knitters.
As from 2007, there is now a dedicated week in July to celebrate sheds – National Shed Week. Although not formally recognised by the government (a petition was sent to number 10 for National Shed Week to be accepted, but they said "was intended to be humorous... no point about government policy" and it was rejected) it has become a highlight for dedicated sheddies. The climax in National Shed Week was the Shed of the Year competition, with a high quality garden shed as one of the top prizes. Nearly 700 sheds were entered, and the categories included: the garden shed, garden shed office, and unique sheds. Over 2,500 votes were cast and the winner was a shed in the unique category – a garden shed that had been converted into a Roman Temple. The shed now features: four 2.2 metre plastic/fibreglass Roman columns, Roman window bars, interior mural panels, and an amphora (a type of ceramic vase with two handles and a narrow neck) to name but a few Roman artefacts that was added to the shed.
You may think the winner of the Shed of the Year competition was of interest to only sheddies, but mainstream media was very interested: the shed’s story was on TV programmes, radio stations and in newspapers across the UK, and a film company was interested in using the shed in one of their films.
This year, National Shed Week will start on July 7th 2008 and anybody can enter their garden shed for the Shed of the Year completion (somebody did suggest they change the name of the competition to The Shed Factor.) There will be four judges that include TV property guru Sarah Beeny and beach hut expert Dr Kathryn Ferry.
So what’s stopping you from entering your garden shed into this year’s competition?