2016 was a year of many highs and some low and difficult times emotionally in my life. I was going through many changes emotionally and in parts physically as well. I was seeing a particular story in my minds eye that I had the need to write, the story wrapped around gardens, the characters that would learn so much about themselves from a particular garden. Ok, well back to the book, I got to a point in 2016 where I suddenly remembered the book, mainly by its cover and the title. I went wondering back into Herb Circle one day prior to Christmas as I was hoping to have it as a Christmas gift from my son, but it wasn’t there, the copy they had was sold. I came home and hit the computer looking online to see if one of my two favourite books shops in Perth had a copy, and one did. I let my son know and then hoped that it would be under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning.
I was handed my gift from my son on Christmas day, to unwrap and see ‘A Woman’s Shed’ in my hands. I loved the cover, a wooden shed, with am armchair by the door on its small porch, bits and bobs hanging on the porch roof frame, a couple of small mirrors and a picture hanging on the door, a garden surrounding it, just drew me in the pages that followed. I carefully opened the hardcover, turning to the third page to see another shed surrounded by a lush green rambling garden of cottage plants, roses and more. I fell in love with the image that it was. I have always had a want for my own space, whether it be in my house or a shed outside, but it never really eventuated, until the time over Christmas while reading I made the decision to turn my ‘workroom’ into my ‘indoor shed’ an area that I could call my own to create my characters for my novel and my area for reading with a view out from my desk to my garden.
A Woman’s Shed is filled with a wealth of creative ideas for those of us who wish for our own space, to be creative in what ever way we wish, for painters, sculptors and potters, sheds for builders, sheds for living, sheds for growers, , sheds for makers and sheds for working. I found not all the images of the shed were my particular cup of tea, so to speak, but I found ideas in many photos to be able to use in my own room, but to also extend out into my garden. There are the stories of the women who own these sheds which are also very interesting to read. I love ‘Mel’s’ story of love and loss of her daughter and her place of healing with no computer, no radio, just a place to remember and to heal. (pg56)
I found that it wasn’t just the sheds that caught my attention throughout the book it was also the gardens that surrounded the sheds, this showed even more character in the sheds as they melted into the gardens that surrounded them. The one shed I could see myself in would be Jenny’s (pg 158) tucked up in the rear of her property its a male free zone. She is surrounded by vegetable gardens, herbs. Being able to sit on the porch with a glass of wine and watch the day go by if that is what you wanted to do.
I guess we all have a need for space of our own, and as I live in Australia and A Woman’s Shed is based in the UK, its wonderful to be able to float into such a book that tells of women’s creative stories with their own creative spaces.
If you have the chance to pick up a copy, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do each and every time I pick it up and flick through the photos for inspiration.