About five years ago, I snapped up a small garden shed at Aldi’s during the two-and-a-half day window they allow you to grab any must-have-item-you-didn’t-know-you-needed before they move on to their next set of specials and you’ve lost your chance.
(Aldi’s specials are so reminiscent of the rotating magical land at the top of Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree. You never know if you’ll find the Land of Goodies, replete with tins of biscuits and chocolates, or Dame Slap’s School where bins spill over with lycra, gym equipment and barbells.)
Anyway, when this particular Land of Desirable Garden Equipment arrived, I was seduced by the kit shed and phrases written on the box like ‘easily assembled’ and ‘few tools required’, so I brought it home to put together over an afternoon.
Three gruelling days over Easter later, and after calling in a friend who’d once built the ‘Taj Mahal’ for his chickens, four of us actually followed the instruction sheets …
(… a stunning achievement on its own)
… and completed the task. Most satisfying.
A sturdy little fellow
But despite loving it for the last few years for being so useful, I wasn’t able to get rid of the feeling that it was a little … plain?
So last year, when an artistic friend came to visit for a few days, we made a deal.
#70 Commission a Bespoke Design for the Garden Shed
which she’d plan and execute, and in return I’d cook all her favourite meals for the duration.
Preparing the templates
I messed up badly, though. Against her advice (artists must DESPAIR of some of their clients), I chose bright blue, water soluble paint for the background, thinking it would look like the sky on a hot summer’s day. But after cleaning and prepping and masking the shed, then applying the first coat, it was obvious this particular blue was more reminiscent of the eye-watering gaudiness of Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
Luckily, before we progressed any further, it began to rain, the water-soluble paint sloughed off and so the idea was shelved for another day, another season.
I slowly stripped it back, before repainting it with a dark green oil-based paint ready for its proper makeover, some day in the future.
Looking better already
Recently, when my talented visitor returned, she made good on her promise.
Watching the evolution of a work of art is inspiring, from first seeing it look like Banksy was indulging in some artistic graffiti using the pre-prepared templates …
… to the meticulous application of the paint…
…to the final masterpiece, and the knowledge that I now have the best bespoke-designed little garden shed in the village!
Five years in the making, but don’t all great things take time?
Thank you so much @province_