Requesting a greenhouse without glass is one of the more unusual inquiries that our Marketing Department has received, but it was all in the cause of art and we were pleased to help out local designer Julian Bull create his latest installation.
So long a male reserve, the garden shed is now gaining popularity among women. Today's 'She-sheds' are last year's 'man caves' and used for a variety of purposes as Nathan James Dodd has recently discovered.
One large DIY chain reports that sales of sheds are increasing by as much as 50%. Taken in isolation this might not such a surprising figure, but interestingly it's not men who are the main purchasers - this rise in sales is being driven by women.
Although both sexes see sheds as valuable places to get away from the confines of their household, women have more ambitious plans than using them to store domestic clutter, lawn mowers and various garden equipment.
Sheds owned by women are being turned into offices and creative spaces. Very practical if you need to juggle family life with running a business as the shed office couldn't be much closer to home.
Appropriately kitted out, they are also transformed into gyms, quiet retreats to practice yoga, art studios and, if anyone else is allowed in, places to hold children's parties.
Summerhouses and log cabins are included under the general term 'shed', and without any rules these retreats can be styled in so many ways to suit individual taste and practical requirements.
Sheds are extremely versatile and, due to their strength and weatherproof nature, can operate as a functional office or alternatively a comfortable space where you can separate yourself from the stresses of the everyday world.
Contemporary or traditional, the shed can be used throughout the year, equipped with heating and other facilities, a welcoming space far different than any damp and rodent ridden preconception.
No wonder women are being increasingly convinced that sheds, summerhouses and log cabins offer a great opportunity to have a place to call their own away from any masculine influences and this means that sales will no doubt continue to rise.
Dazzling with colourful interest in the brilliant sunshine, this year's Hampton Court Palace Flower Show will prove to be a tremendous attraction for everyone as it caters for both keen gardeners and families who just what a day out in magnificent surroundings.
After all the dry hot weather that much of the country has experienced over the last few weeks, the lavender in David Coton's garden is at its most colourful and scented, he's cutting the flowerheads to make lavender biscuits or drying them for pot pourri. Here are more jobs you can do in the garden during July.
At this time of the year you'll find a fabulous selection of summer bedding at our Garden Centre in Birmingham. David Coton will be planting the bedding in containers this month to achieve a wonderful display of colour and here are some other jobs to do in the garden in June.
As part of a project designed to sow ideas, grow inspiration and cultivate futures, 300 London schools are growing their own picnic this summer and their reward could be a £500 voucher from GardenSite.