This weekend, I’ve been taking down the old shed in my garden. This is the second old shed I’ve taken down, and it’s always a job that leaves me with a tinge of sadness.
My garden shed was functional but had lots of rot and with no garage, we really needed extra space. So, the shed is now off to shed heaven via the local tip and a new, larger metal replacement is waiting to be put up.
As excited as I am about the increased space and bike workshop potential, I’m going to miss my old shed. There is something cosy, beautiful, and nostalgic about a proper wooden shed. In their own little way, they’re a part of history.
I have no idea how long my garden shed had been up, but I’d venture it was at least 20 years, and maybe longer. It would have seen so many different weathers, safely stored several families’ belongings, and been a pottering sanctuary for many a gardener.
My Little Blue Shed
Allotments are of course full of wonderful old sheds, and none were quite as lovely, quirky, or retro as the tiny blue one I inherited on my first plot. The shed was about 4ft square, and wobblier than jelly on a space hopper. The door just about clung on to the hinges, and there were more plastic sheeting and corrugated iron than a genuine roof, but I loved it.
I found all sorts of timeworn gardening paraphernalia inside, such as biscuit tins-turned-seed boxes, tent pegs, and tools which I’m sure were used by a succession of allotment holders over the years.
As odd as this may sound, the shed even smelt nostalgic. That classic woody scent that only an old shed can hold hit me as soon as I opened the door, reminding me immediately of the enduring nature of our allotment plots.
I’d regularly stand inside at the end of the session and admire the years of makeshift repairs which had kept the shed upright for all this time. I enjoyed imagining the flasks of tea that had been drunk, and the harsh winters that the shed had fought off as the small blue structure became a permanent feature of the allotment landscape.
Eventually, the old shed became too rickety, and as hard as I tried, I could shore it up no more. I replaced the shed with a new one (pictured), and for old times’ sake, I kept a few of the better slats to make a planter.
My new shed was bigger and cleaner, but as with most things, they don’t make sheds like they used to. It remains to be seen whether the successor stands the test of time in the same way the little blue one has.
I’ll always remember the old sheds, they had so much character and for me are as much part of allotment and garden life as the veg beds.
However, I do have my favourite ever allotment photo to remind me of the faithful shelter, and I never need much of an excuse to dig that out. I like to think I look pretty content – after all, happiness is a man with an allotment shed.