Garden Buildings and Summer Houses
Much correspondence in themagazines seems to be devoted to methods of hiding ugly garden sheds. No doubt if an inherited structure is a monstrosity something must be done, but when gardens are being planned from scratch the problem is very different. Integration into the chosen scheme becomes visually desirable and ergonomically essential. Garden sheds are for use, so access must be easy and unencumbered by plant growth. As with greenhouses initial choice of design is vital; even within a given price range the acceptable and the dreadful invariably rub shoulders.
Inthe idea of a garden house or summerhouse may seem superfluous. Yet a small structure designed as a focal point to provide little more than a covered seat, may provide sufficient of the conventional tool shed needs without devolving into the fully utilitarian. It can still house a couple of folding chairs and a few well-oiled tools (not an unpleasing sight in themselves) can hang on the back wall.
Such a conception fits admirably into the scheme when the back of the house faces north. Here the conventional sitting-out area immediately outside is predominantly in shade, so this essential part of a garden for living in has to move down into the sun. In such situations the view back to the house becomes so much more important. Obtaining privacy in a terrace garden is more difficult.
The view back is apt to take in those inevitable but non-aesthetic features such as an oil-tank or coal bunker, or both. Again access for both delivery and visits from the house, in the case of solid fuel these are at least daily, must be arranged for ease and convenience. The coal man is unlikely to have time to take great care of a cherished screen with a hundredweight sack on his back. It is a help if they can be linked directly with any stepping of a wall as in the case of a protruding chimney breast. The screening wall or fence can then more satisfactorily follow an already existing line. Care is necessary to minimise the effect of any such screen, or it only serves to draw attention to that which is supposed to be out of sight.