I made a few cloches from old squash containers (large ones) and you can see a couple in the background of the picture above (currently covering a couple of bay cuttings). Our fruit trees also arrived this month and now the back garden has a plum, a damson, a cooking apple and two eaters - thanks to Thornhayes nursery for those.
The next jobs will involve more tree-work, I need to trim back an ash and elder and plant a few trees too. Nearly forgot - summer must have arrived early because I have consigned the long trousers to the back of the cupboard. I have managed to do a bit more on the vegetable garden and now have 6 raised beds in place. Work progresses on the gardens but this current bout of rain has curtailed activity somewhat. On one trip down the lane to the allotment garden to dump the shredded parts (into a storage bin) I noticed some large holes in one of my new raised beds. I have been away for the past week or so at the Field Studies Council centre at Preston Montford. At Whixall Moss we discovered an interesting item - a raft spider (Dolomedes fimbriensis)..
Many shed manufacturers do not make provision for fitting guttering to the roofs of their buildings. The first three components are standard components of 75mm (3 inch) plastic guttering system. The last stage is to slide the downpipe onto the adapter at the end of the gutter so that it runs into your water butt.
The first was that for the clamp to be really secure it needs a good grip on the edge of the roof. The unique Hall’s Rainsaver repositionable gutter kit is installed with its patented brackets clamped to the roof edge of your shed.
The versatile bracket design allows rotational and lengthwise movement and positions at the roof edge, ensuring the gutter is always optimally placed for collecting rainwater for delivery into the containers of your choice. Made with standard UV stabilised recyclable plastic materials, guaranteed for 5 years, the product stands up to outdoor weather and has nothing to rust or corrode.
Place the downpipe in your water container and connect to the stop-end outlet, the downpipe presses into the outlet and does not require any additional fixing brackets. Fine tune the positioning of the gutter by rotating in the brackets so the downpipe is vertical. Now sit back and wait for the rain to rapidly fill your water container, then you can if you so wish move the gutter and fill up another. We recommend checking the tightness of the clamps periodically after the gutter is positioned or moved. When your water container is full, you can simply loosen the clamps by hand, relocate the rainsaver to the other side of the shed, or swap the downpipe around to fill up another water container on another corner of the shed. Depending on the size of your shed you may also be able to slide the rainsaver gutter along the shed to fill up water butts next to each other!
We also use standard 75mm guttering so you can extend the kit yourself if you like, and we sell longer kits and spare parts in our online shop. Our new Flexible Downpipe option allows collection of rainwater to be piped almost anywhere.
TWITTERAGEOur website is new and improved, particularly for customers using mobile and tablet devices! Larger farm sheds, garages and carports generally come with gutters and downpipes however, most smaller garden sheds or even workshops don’t.
However, the GOOD NEWS is that there are a large range of quality DIY Garden sheds which are engineered to support water run off with with the need of guttering. This article has been prepared to explain how the engineers have designed the sheds for water run off as well as to go over some common questions and answers regarding guttering for gardens Sheds. Garden Sheds on the other hand are smaller and so adding extra features such as gutters to assist can clutter and not work with the engineered design so they come with an inbuilt solution. When building your DIY Garden Sheds from Cheap Shed syou will notice some space between the trim and the sheeting overhanging the walls.. Some garden sheds have a flat roof and when it rains, the water will flow away in the sheeting ridges towards the front and back before running off between the overhanging roof and trim.
A gable roof peaks in the centre and aids rapid rain run off to either side and also seep and run through the edge of the sheeting and the trim to make sure there is no build up. Also it is recommended to make sure to clear any debris and leaves during or after heavy rain so the water can flow freely. All our garden sheds and workshops don’t have gutters because they have been engineered to handle the runoff without. When shopping for a Garden shed is it worth asking the supplier if the products they provide are designed to handle water run off efficiently before making a purchase.
KrisztianManaging Director at Cheap Sheds Pty LtdKrisztian is the co-founder and Managing Director of Cheap Sheds Pty Ltd and Cheap Sheds New Zealand Limited.
First of all the pallet needed pulling apart - not always an easy job but persistence paid off. The double skinned perspex I used is probably best as it will give better insulation than the single layer stuff. I then placed the frame in its final resting place and propped it up with bricks until pretty well level. Once all six legs were in place the post holes were packed with more sculpins to hold them firmly in place. Once all 6 posts were secured I added a few more bolts here and there (since I had a few spare) and now all was ready for the shed.

There is no water supply in the garden and with a new shed I naturally wanted to add a water butt or two.
I managed to get some small-size guttering stuff from a local DIY store and it was easy enough to fix in place. With the ground not being level I had to chop the ground a bit before putting down a base (brick paving blocks). Summer was a bit of a washout but we managed to get a reasonable crop from the vegetable garden. I have managed to sow a few seeds into the vegetable garden and also tidy up the new herb bed in the back garden. Now the gales are over with and the weather is looking nice again I am getting on with sowing a few more veg and getting the new shed in order.
However it takes a few days for the ground to dry out sufficiently to do any serious digging. Well, complete in the sense that all the beds are in place and the brick paving around them is completed. I have an ash (thanks to John) a hazel (thanks Viki) and two walnuts (thanks Tracey) - bound to be space somewhere. I have been unable to get out to do much in the garden so I'm doing a few IT tasks and planning the vegetable garden.
They seem to have a good range and I am now just waiting for them to be ready for collection. I would like to get another 3 placed before the spring as that would then complete the 'block', see the garden projects page for an update. We've still got a bundle in the freezer, which is just as well as we do not have a damson tree. All the conifers have been stripped of greenery (the last one yesterday) and the material removed (small stuff to recycling centre larger to my log pile). Our friends in Taunton have a house in Brittany and Val (see her Woolly Shepherd website) wanted to nip over and check out the heating. Their two year old daughter (Caitlin) is becoming quite a character, and occasionally a handful. Her family originally came from not too far from here in Somerset (Shepherd and Fish are the family names of interest around Dodington and East Quantoxhead) so we went out looking for some of the old family haunts.
John has just completed his PhD in amphibian research and is now looking for gainful employment.
I started out on a First Aid course (last certificate just ran out) and then spent a week on a Fungi course. Some customers prefer the water butt to the back of the shed where there is no guttering, and maybe guttering on both sides and this previously meant complicated situations with 90 degree bends and problems in supporting the gutter.
You would need to either find gutters which will fit your shed dimensions perfectly and hope they also attach easily without damaging the current design.
They can be used like mini greenhouses and also places to put out larger plants before final transplantation. In addition I found that I could stuff a bit of bamboo cane in the holes and use them to hold the lid down. I wanted a place to store some tools, especially since the area is not right next to the house.
I used sculpins, rough stuff that is commonly used for path foundations as it packs down nicely (and is cheap). Now they are more or less level (I can tweak things a little by adding wooden shims between butt and stand. Upgrade to a modern browser, such as Google Chrome.If you are having trouble placing your order on our website, please feel free to place a telephone order.
Over the winter the website will be re-organized a tiny bit and revised so look out for the changes. I moved a few items into this a couple of weeks ago (including sage, rosemary, chives, thyme and bay). I managed to get outside and chop down a few of the trunks of the conifers in the back garden.
The final two beds (3 metre and 4 metre) are in place and dug over, they just need a bit of compost and old turf and they are ready for planting. It has been a bit too wet to get much done in the allotment but I managed to do a little the other day before the rain returned (with a vengeance). With a bit of luck I should manage to get the final two ready in time for Spring and the sowing season. The holes are already dug out (and back filled) so it should be simple enough when they finally arrive. The back garden is looking rather bare (as I mentioned last update) as al the conifers have been stripped. We met up at Tiverton services and left our car there and travelled on to Plymouth and the ferry. We found several of the farms that were previously in the family and had a poke around some of the nearby churchyards in search of..
I hauled some of these materials down the slope to the 'allotment' garden and started to lay the paving around the first of the raised beds. I managed to get the first of the raised beds in place (see our garden projects page) and tidy up a few pots that needed emptying.
The flexible pipe solves both problems with ease as you can just bend it to where it is needed! I had an old pallet (the sand for my raised beds project - to lay the brick paths - came on it) so had a go at constructing a cold frame from the wood.

The posts were secured with substantial coach bolts (three for each post, 2 on one side and 1 the other). Now it is an anxious time as the weather is colder again and I hope that germination of the veg seeds will proceed alright. Check out the garden page(s) for details of the shed construction and other related items (I made a cold frame from an old pallet).
Looking out of the window I see a break in the rain but the ground is still far too soggy to do any serious digging.
Only the main trunk remains; the rest has been cut down and either chopped up for firewood or take to the recycling centre.
I gave Farmer Mike a ring and he promised to come and look at the fence on the following day. All contributions gratefully received so we got the stuff piled into two trailer loads and carted over the road to our place. The marrow plants have produced masses of fruit this season but have now come to an end - I added them to the compost bin. The movable nature permits multiple butts to be filled simply by moving the gutter to various alternative positions to fill as many butts as you can fit!
The pallet also contained some thicker pieces and I cut some chunks to help join the planks together.
I lifted the felt and inserted a strip underneath, fitting it into the gutter at the bottom edge. I have spent some time around the new shed and managed to get gutters and water butts installed just in time for the showers. With the weather looking so sunny I decided to risk a few early plantings and put out some onion sets and sowed some rocket in the cold frame.
Thank goodness I got as much done as I did, I have 7 beds in place and am just waiting for a few dry days in a row so I can get out and finish the last two off before spring.
Yesterday (Wed.) we went to Bideford and ordered a ton of chippings from the local building supplier. I am so glad we didn't cross the channel to France this week (as was originally on the cards - see previous entry). We arrived in Roscoff at 7 in the morning (local time) and after only half an hour or so were at the house, a lovely little cottage in a village near Huelgoat.
No luck there but later on we found online evidence of some baptisms at one of the churches so we were on the right track.
It is a universal truth that firewood keeps you warm on more than one occasion; in this case the emptying and stacking it up was warm work. Now I have the first raised bed in the allotment garden I was able to transplant some stuff from pots into it as a nursery bed.
An opportunity for me to meet the new baby (Matthew) for the first time (Chris has already visited). However those that want full coverage of their 8ft, 10ft or 12ft garden buildings or even longer, we have extended size kits available and further extensions too!
This will make a big difference as there is no water in the allotment garden and I have to carry water down from the water butt in the back garden. The latter has sprouted quite nicely and is ready to transplant out into something larger already.
I am hoping to plant some fruit trees before the spring and need to get moving on removing the conifers and preparing the ground. John rescued it and has carried it off to Shropshire in the hope that it can be saved (broken leg - looked in a bad way). I have a dozen rosemary cuttings that were taken over a year ago in Milton Keynes and desperately needed to go out.
A big thanks to all the other participants on the course for sharing their expertise with me.
The rhubarb that we brought from Milton Keynes (I had it in a couple of pots for a while) is sprouting back to life nicely - just as well as we used the last of the frozen stuff the other day. The fruit trees are anticipated any day now and I can hardly wait to get them in place - the holes are already dug and back-filled so it ought to be a fairly easy job. Well, the heating was okay so we went for a short stroll in Huelgoat and then headed for the hypermarket on the way back to the port. If any weeds poke through it will not be a problem as I have to run the mower down the track anyhow. Much wine and cheese were purchased (after all, Christmas is approaching) and we caught the ferry back at 2.30.
Mike came up the following day and has added a bit of wire to the top of the fence - should be enough. Now we are back we have wrapped them in newspaper and put them in a crate for storage, should go well with the blackberries in the freezer. After another smooth crossing we returned to Plymouth and were back home after around 28 hours.
I see now how the compost that the previous owners dumped at the bottom of the allotment has slipped down the slope by the fence (our garden is several feet higher than Mike's field. Things will come to a halt for a few days now as I am due to undertake some teaching this weekend (part of the Birmingham University MSc in Biological Recording - see our Education page) and then we have a friend visiting. This will mean another job for me, digging it out and restoring the gap between the fence and the bank up to our allotment.

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