'A man and his shed' - a combination that is now as familiar as 'Rhubarb and Custard' and has entered the annuls of folk lore on the same page as 'Fish and Chips'.

A shed is a place of his own, a refuge, a workshop, perhaps even somewhere to make sure the 12.10 leaves on time on his cherished model railway.

Literature is full of references to men and the love they have for their sheds.

To reinforce this view, I am reading a book at the moment called 'A Shed of One's Own', before that I finished 'The Joy of Sheds'. My pub quiz team is even called 'Men With Two Sheds'.

What is it with men and sheds and what do they get up to inside them?

Sheds are somewhere to escape the stressful world and domestic arguments. I read once that 47 percent of men had spent a whole day in their shed, a surprisingly low figure in my opinion.

A place to hide...

In a recent survey, just under half of the respondents said they would be 'lost' without this sanctuary and an extreme case of wanting to get away from it all occurred when a Weymouth man spent a year hidden inside one to avoid his creditors.

A creative retreat...

Some men have an old chair and shelf full of books in there, others like Dylan Thomas, in his 'loveliest of sheds', and Roald Dahl write the books. Tourists now come from all over the world to take photos of these literary dens, or in George Bernard Shaw's case, his 'writing hut'.

What you can achieve in a shed is practically limitless.

You may have seen advertising relating how Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started their giant computing company in one. Silicon Valley was born in a shed, now there's a thought.

Another inventive duo, William Harley and Arthur Davidson built their first iconic motorbike in a Milwaukee shed over a hundred years ago.

Ensconced on his own, there was once a boy scout who constructed a nuclear reactor in a valiant but flawed attempt to produce cheap electricity.

Possibly the most important result of the garden shed endeavour was the 'Workmate'. After destroying various bits of furniture, the inventor came up with a contraption that would hold wood steady while it was sawed. Black & Decker refused to see its potential at first, later they sold over 30 million.

A shed is good for your health...

I assume these sheds were mostly purchased by men, as they are a male preserve. This was exemplified when a medical body had the bright idea of setting up a network of sheds, in which men would feel comfortable talking about manly problems.

Not only will buying a shed for your father give him a quiet place to retreat to, but it also looks like it will benefit his health. Think how therapeutic it is to fill old coffee jars with nails, screws and grease and neatly arrange them in rows.

But they can have a dark side. In the survey I mentioned earlier, 6 percent of men wanted their shed as a burial place, and then someone in the future would certainly, to borrow a phrase from Cold Comfort Farm, find 'something nasty in the woodshed'.

Where can I buy a shed?

What would be more appropriate on Father's Day than to buy your dad a shed. 

Visit GardenSite to see a huge range of Garden Sheds of all sizes and materials.

Or Call 0121 355 7701 and speak to our Garden Centre Shed Team.