The Veg Plot

Inspiration for a garden living space

how to build a fire pit

Last year, Rich finally built a shed on his allotment to house his ever expanding collection of tools and home made ciders. He showed off about it quite a bit, writing a few blogs on the subject and shoehorning it into any conversation possible. He even managed to persuade me to part with one of my precious hop cuttings to grow up the side. He hasn’t mentioned that hop plant for a while… I suspect he killed it.

His transformation into village shed-bore is made more intolerable because his sturdy wooden hut is much better than the three run down sheds in my garden: the doorless bike shed (home to left over cider apples, now rotting); the leaky wood shed (home to DIY debris, now rotting); and a tool shed which is rapidly losing slats of wood and, as a result, houses rotting tools.

One day I intend on tearing them all down and building a super-shed in their place. I have plans, but they involve the level of finance and effort that will take some years to muster, so until then I’m looking at constructing something a little smaller. Something that will improve the garden as an outdoor living space and give me crowing potential to slam back at Rich. But I don’t know what just yet…

For inspiration I’ve taken to the internet, in particular a site all about home and garden design inspiration: homify. Skipping past the pages dedicated to sofa choosing, kitchen islands and ‘matching your bedroom to your Zodiac sign’ I alighted at the garden section and have picked out a shortlist of five potential projects.

1 Fire pit

I have a friend who reckons installing a fire pit is the best thing he’s ever done. Outdoor dining (and drinking) is a warmer, brighter and whole lot more fun experience. A circular ring of flame looks like the thing to build, allowing merry imbibers to huddle around, basking in its warm glow.

For inspiration: ‘fantastic fire pits

2 Barbecue

Sticking with the flame theme it would be good to have a barbecue that’s a little more reliable and sturdy than the rust-on-wheels I currently light up once a year. Something more permanent. A stone built mecca to the god of charred sausage.

For inspiration: maybe not quite this extravagant, but you get the idea

3 Decking

Seating options in the garden currently consist of an uncomfortable bench surrounded by weeds and a small table and chairs that are in an even worse condition than the sheds. New furniture is in order, and perhaps I could go the whole hog and create a decking-based outdoor room.

For inspiration: decking idea books

4 Gazebo

Thinking bigger, as a stepping-stone to super-shed, I could see a gazebo fitting well in the garden. Besides providing a contained environment to outdoor breakfasts and evening drinks, it would also act as a climbing frame for hops or grape vines. And eventually I’m sure I could combine it with the super-shed for the full outdoor building experience.

For inspiration: ‘easy steps to tackle a gazebo build

5 A pond

I’m not much a fan of garden ponds. But Rich is. Would I really consider building one just to make him envious? It would open up whole new planting opportunities. And be great for wildlife. And maybe with some nice lighting might make a decent feature after all…

For inspiration: ‘how to build your own garden pond’

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