Monthly Archives: March 2014

Famous authors who created from the tranquility of the garden

It seems that a surprisingly large proportion of authors prefer to work in a quiet bolt-hole out in the garden. Perhaps there they can let their creative juices flow away from the distractions they’d otherwise encounter in the main home or in a traditional office space. Not even a phone for many, and certainly no spouse, kids or visitors to disturb them. Perhaps this, together with the peace and tranquility which the garden lends, is the secret to their success …

Captain Corelli's Mandolin by  Louis de BernièresThe Surrey novelist Louis de Bernières of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin fame is one of the many famous writers who do all their creating in the solitude of a garden shed, log cabin or other similar timber-framed outbuilding out in the garden.

Jilly Cooper. Photograph by Allan WarrenWhile this seems to be a predominantly male thing (see below), one exception comes in the form of Jilly Cooper OBE, who is most famously known for her Rutshire Chronicles. She does seem to be one of only a minority of female authors who prefer to create in a garden studio, shed or outbuilding (Cooper’s is actually a converted barn although she calls it The Gazebo).

George Bernard Shaw, 1936. Photographer: unknownGeorge Bernard Shaw, who is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize for Literature and an Oscar, was another famous “garden shed” author. However his was a rather grand affair which even included a bed mounted on a turntable so that it could be turned to any angle so as to make best use of the light.

Interior of Charles Dickens' garden office - etching by Samuel Luke Fildes from The Graphic, 1870Another very upmarket garden outbuilding was used by Charles Dickens in his Gad’s Hill Place garden in Kent. It was built in the style of a two storey Swiss Chalet which even included an ornate veranda at which he could often be seen pacing whilst deep in creative thought. Shown left is an etching of the interior where you can see Dickens’ desk and empty chair. Continue reading

Garden buildings late Feb through March 2014

Here we have a few more recent garden offices and studios to show you from projects during late February through March.

"Colgate 25" office or studio building built recently in a Camberwell garden (London)First we have a recently finished, widened ‘Colgate 25′ garden studio/office with extra windows & larch cladding. This one is a “25″ meaning it has been built to a lower (2.5m) roof height so as to make it possible to site close to the property’s boundary without the need for planning permission (learn more about planning permission requirements for garden studios and buildings here). This outbuilding was built in Camberwell, London. At time of writing a standard “Colgate 25″ garden building is priced from £7,535 plus VAT (including installation). The more attractive ‘full’ height version is priced from £8,253 + VAT, also including installation. Both starting prices indicate an internal size of 2.4m x 3.6m but this can be extended or widened if required (like our Camberwell example shown). The specification is extremely high and includes 6 double power points, double-glazed windows and French doors in stained soft wood, telephone point, internal and external lights, venetian blinds, very high specification insulation, and much more. Learn more about our Colgate range of garden buildings here.

'Synchro Alpha 25' garden office building recently built in Rogate, West SussexNext we have a ‘Synchro Alpha 25′ which we recently built in Rogate in West Sussex. Usually the Synchro Alpha garden office/studio comes with a contemporary looking, flat, painted, exterior finish, however this particular one uses Siberian Larch cladding as agreed with the customer (our garden buildings are bespoke, so pretty much anything can be altered from the standard specification). Prices start at Continue reading