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Hurray, Tina has arrived! - the garden shed of the project garden has been put up

24 Jun 2020

The garden house Tina from Palmako shines in a new colour.

The garden house Tina from Palmako shines in a new colour.

The project garden of spoga+gafa is gradually taking on its ultimate form: The garden shed has now also been erected. The garden blogger, Beatrice Degenhart, showed it to us.

Beatrice Degenhart was commissioned with the concept and realisation of the sustainable show garden on a plot of allotments in the Sülz district of Cologne this year. Some background information: The focus theme of spoga+gafa that is being staged in September is 'Sustainable Gardens'. Hence, the trade fair organisers will be occupying themselves intensely with the different aspects of this segment throughout the whole summer. Furthermore, spoga+gafa exhibitors have the opportunity to participate in the freshly designed project garden with their products.

Mrs Degenhart, the garden shed of the project garden has been erected. Did everything run smoothly?

Degenhart: Yes, I was slightly concerned at the start, but everything went well. Of course we had already laid the foundations when the garden shed arrived. Everything is slightly delayed this year as a result of the Corona crisis. The house is from the company Palmako from Estonia, is called 'Tina' and has a surface area of 7.5 square metres. It was delivered in three packages. We had two craftsmen, who helped us put it up. It took around five hours to erect. The only thing still missing is the interior design. Chairs, a table, cupboard... We primarily intend to use the shed in future to process and store what we harvest from the garden. But I am also looking forward to being able to use it as a place of retreat during my lunch break.

Everything revolves around the theme sustainability in the spoga+gafa garden. Which aspects should be taken into account in this connection when choosing and erecting a garden shed?

Degenhart: There are most certainly other building materials that are also environmentally-friendly, but in my opinion wood is the first choice for a garden shed - not solely for reasons of appearance. It is a regrowing raw material, which doesn't pose a burden during the usage phase or subsequently. Provided, of course, it isn't treated using toxic substances for instance for impregnation purposes. Our 'Tina' is made of Nordic spruce wood that originates from European forests. This is a type of tree that grows in large quantities and which can thus be processed without any concern. No important habitats for animals or people are destroyed during the woodcutting process. The transport routes here within Europe are not too long either. This was important to me. Thus we didn't consider exotic, tropical woods for our sustainable garden. In the case of garden sheds made of spruce wood, the specialised trade offers an impressive selection of styles, shapes, sizes and colours. So, something suitable can be found for every garden, every taste and every intended purpose.

However, one can take on a sustainable approach beyond the choice of material. The location also plays a role. For example, we chose the shadiest place in our allotment for our garden shed. There the building doesn't heat up too much even amid strong sunshine in the summer. So, cooling technology isn't necessary on hot days. On the other hand, we are contemplating installing a solar panel on the roof for the future power supply. For this purpose a spot in the sun would have been more practical. We shall have to wait and see how both considerations can be optimally combined. Another option would be planting extensive greenery on the roof in the form of easy-care Sedum plants. That looks good and is also of high ecological value. Incidentally, we are already collecting the rainwater from the roof in a rain barrel and are using it to water the plants.

Garden house Tina before the painting. It is built from Nordic spruce wood, which is particularly robust and durable.

Garden house Tina before the painting. It is built from Nordic spruce wood, which is particularly robust and durable.

A garden shed is an acquisition for several years. How can it be cared for and maintained sustainably?

Degenhart: The most important factor that influences whether a garden shed will be durable and thus also sustainable is actually determined while the shed is being built. A good foundation is decisive here. The shed can only be erected immaculately and precisely if the foundation is sufficiently stable and totally level. This in turn means: the doors will close properly and no moisture can penetrate inside. This is why the foundations should be laid by a professional or you should at least consult an expert. Of course, after a few years the shed will need a coat of paint or a few repairs carrying out on the roofing felt. But if you keep your eyes open and regularly take action when necessary, you can enjoy the benefits of such a wooden shed for a long time. In the case of glazes, adhesives and paint you should additionally also make sure that they are natural-based products and don't contain any chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Because in order for a garden shed to be ecological, the materials that are used over the course of years for the repairs also have to be eco-friendly.

It is also worthwhile making sure that the shed's interior furnishing and furniture are sustainable too. For example, if a shed is also used frequently during the cold months and has to be heated, you should seal and insulate the walls, as well as the windows and doors so that no valuable energy is wasted. Here, natural insulating materials such as wood wool, mineral wool and hemp fibres are suitable for making the shed winterproof in an ecological way.

More on sustainable gardens and the garden project of spoga+gafa can be found in the blog of Beatrice Degenhart:

Author: Roland Moers