Four things that define the great British garden
In celebration of National Gardening Week (30 April – 6 May 2018) we’ve taken a look at some of the defining features of the British garden.
The Garden Shed
The humble garden shed really came to life during the 1930s as the British suburbs evolved and new housing estates sprang up across the country. Traditionally providing storage for garden tools, deckchairs and the trusty lawnmower, they were also a convenient hiding place for Dads keen to escape the household chaos and find some peace and quiet. After all, the word "shed" comes from the old Anglo-Saxon scead, meaning shade, but more specifically ‘a place of quiet, obscurity and seriousness’.
These days sheds are experiencing a surge in popularity and with a spare room in the house a luxury for many, the garden shed now finds itself taking on roles such as household office, pub, playroom or even cinema. There’s a National Shed Week, Shed of the Year competition and the annual ‘Hug a Shed and Take a Selfie Day’ on May 5th. The garden shed is without doubt, an icon of the British Garden.
The Perfect Lawn
One advantage of the plentiful rain we have in the UK is the role it plays in the creation of our lush green lawns. Nothing says ‘sunny summer Sunday afternoon’ quite like the sounds and smells of lawnmowing. Traditionally, lawns were only for the wealthy due to the cost and effort involved in maintaining them but the introduction of the mechanical lawnmower brought them to the masses. Whether you prefer your lawn strictly stripy, wonderfully weedy or carefully clipped, we have have a range of lawnmowers to suit every need.
The British back garden is home to a vast variety of wildlife – from insects such as bees, butterflies and ladybirds to mammals including foxes, badgers, hedgehogs and bats. You’d be amazed at what you can find, even in the most urban locations. It’s hard to avoid the odd garden visitor but the extent to which you actively encourage wildlife in the garden is up to you. Many of us are keen to attract garden birds with bird tables, hanging feeders and bird baths. Bug houses are also common features and are great projects for kids to help them learn more about nature. To find out more about attracting wildlife into your garden, read more here.
The Garden Gnome
Love them or hate them, the garden gnome has been a staple feature of the British garden for hundreds of years. Originally imported from Germany in the middle of the 19th century, the cheeky terracotta characters peaked in popularity in the 1970s and came in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. The story goes that gnomes lived under the ground and helped plants grow whilst humans slept, hence them often appearing with ladders, wheelbarrows and garden spades. However, they are now considered by many to be outdated and tacky and as a result their numbers are dwindling. Maybe it’s time to give these happy heroes a boost and encourage a revival – would you give a gnome a home in your garden?