Welcome, Pond Cottage!
I've always wanted a garden shed - or, to be more accurate, a garden shed-with-a-bed. After much guilt-tripping (Can I afford it? Do I need it?) I now have one such. I can just wander out through a gate over to the pond, and there it is. But it's called Pond Cottage.
Initially just a shed...
Initially (when in negotiations with Non-Gardening Partner) it was very definitely a shed. That made it sound less frivolous and more functional - the sort of outbuilding that a real gardener deserved.
Shed Floor, Head Gardener, and Cat
It came in a kitset, already painted powder blue. NGP and I did the foundations and floor. The builder put the 'shed' up, and I painted it a rusty red. All terribly sensible, and I managed to skillfully side-step NPG's persistent question - why did I need a shed anyway?
A better name?
I was quite happy to keep on calling it a 'shed', but then my hiking friend visited especially to have a peep. She was adamant - my little building was far too beautiful, and the word 'shed' just didn't do it justice. How about 'The Shed'? I suggested, miming the upper case letters. No. This made it sound like a trendy gourmet country restaurant. The 'shed' was my home not-so-far-away from home, a place to which I would retreat with a book, or just sit and look at the pond.
Red Pond Cottage in the Garden
My friend, being an English gentlewoman, then suggested the word 'cottage'. Hmm... This was more promising.
Pond Cottage in Spring
Rose Cottage? Not really a very rosy spot - the surrounding gardens are leafy and spiky underneath tall Australian gum trees. Phormium Cottage? Accurate but not romantic enough. Cabbage Tree Cottage? This has the required New Zealand flavour, but unfortunately the cabbage tree behind the shed was modest in size.
Pond Cottage is named!
'Describe it to me' my friend insisted. 'It's just a shed by a pond' I said, helpfully. My friend gazed thoughtfully at me. 'Pond Cottage - Pond Cottage! We'll call it Pond Cottage - oh, but of course it's entirely up to you'...
Pond Cottage and Gunnera
My lovely friend always supports me when I have silly ideas (that's what true friends do, after all). And she's right - my shed now has the perfect name. Welcome to Pond Cottage. NGP and I finished everything - the verandah decking, lining and insulating the inside, painting the walls, and so on. In went the essentials - a bookcase, a chair, an electric jug for making cups of tea, my collection of retro wall ducks, and a bed. In 2012 I painted it green - a much more restful colour.
Green Pond Cottage Photographs
You're welcome to pop by anytime. But in the evenings you might find a sleeping gardener, snug in bed. In the daytime Minimus the cottage cat will likely be snoozing on the verandah cane chairs.