How Do I Keep Animals Out Of My Flower Beds Sheds – A Brief Look at the History of the Garden Shed

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Sheds – A Brief Look at the History of the Garden Shed

England is a nation of cottage lovers, a recent survey shows that 20% of us own cottages. From garden sheds to bike sheds, wooden sheds to metal sheds, sheds have a long history and many uses beyond storing flower pots and garden rakes.

Shed is a derivation of the Old English word spelled shadde, shad or shedde first documented in 1481 when it referred to “the year in which there was a shadow in which were six great dogs.” Although we still keep animals in such buildings, the need for storage separate from our house is as strong and ancient as our need for a roof over our heads.

As long as people have been in caves, smaller caves and hollows have been used as warehouses separate from living spaces. The evolution and development of the shed runs parallel to the development of the house. As homes became free-standing (as opposed to carved into caves), so did the shed, although it would be some time before that name came into use.

In the same way that wealth plays a role in the splendor of homes, wealth affects the shed. While most can fit everything they need in a 6×6 Apex roofed wooden shed in the bottom of the garden, the wealthy can afford small outbuildings that are as opulent as their homes. It is fitting that the nation of shed lovers was the same nation that the rich caused England’s folly to be born.

English follies, such as Wimpole’s Folly in Cambridgeshire, are structures that serve no other purpose than their original storage needs, and would often be built for decorative purposes only in the gardens of the wealthy. From Gothic towers to elaborate brick sheds, the craze shows that even the rich love sheds.

Although many centuries have passed since the madhouse was built, sheds are still in great demand in England and there are often more than one in the garden. So why own a shed? A shared garden shed is more than just a way to prevent children’s bikes from rusting (or being stolen from the garden), and the range of activities carried out under the gable or peaked roofs is varied. In fact, it could easily be argued that as the extravagance in shed design has decreased, so has the diversity of their uses.

Often associated with the need for comfort and retreat, many hobbies can fit into a garden shed. From brewing beer to storing collections of old computer magazines, workbenches stocked with power tools, space to separate numerous forms or recyclable trash, or simply somewhere to house what can no longer fit in the garage. There are sheds that have been converted into gyms with the installation of home exercise equipment or sheds by the pool that serve as changing rooms or even saunas.

So when you’re walking around a garden center or looking for a shed online, the question is no longer “what do I need a shed for?” it’s “what couldn’t I do in the shed?”

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