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Garden Centre

Expert offers shed loads of advice

Dougal Philip, founder of the New Hopetoun Gardens garden centre in West Lothian, has shared his top tips for designing your personalised dream shed with the Scotsman.

Exteriors are the first point to consider – will it be "a thing of beauty" or best "hidden in the garden"?

A 'shed' can denote anything from an out-of-sight storeroom to a stylish summerhouse, Mr Philip notes, so the next decision to be made is functionality.

Positioning is critical to making sure the storage shed performs its task successfully – sheds installed for freezer space or housing the children's bikes should be easily accessible from the house, as should a luxury shed with sauna or steam bath installed – unless you want to make the neighbours jealous!

Meanwhile, increasing numbers of people are using their sheds as a retreat for contemplation or writing a la Alan Titchmarsh – the blog for shed workers testifies to the growing popularity of the shed as a thinking space.

But for those planning to spend longer spells in their ideal shed, getting hands-on when selecting woods and insulation is vital, Mr Philip stresses, ensuring a comfy sojourn each time you visit your garden retreat.

track© Adfero Ltd

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   Rare Plants Fair        Rare Plants Fair
   Rare Plants Trampled        Rare Seeds Elude Botanists
   Rarest Plant Flowers        Rates cut to 15-month low
   RBGE to house rare plant        Record-breaking Potatoes
   Red Kites Poisoned        Red Roses a Rip-off?
   Red Roses For Anne Boleyn        Red squirrels 'coming back'
   Regal Flight Paths        Relaxing gardens 'last for years'
   Renault goes green at Gardeners' World        Renewed interest in gardening sees improvements to allotments
   Repeat Order After 200 Years        Replica wicker 'popular outdoors'
   Reprieve for Field Margins        Research finds prize gardens not protected
   Research into polar regions launched in Europe        Researching Plants
   Resident to open garden to public        Residents invited to enter garden competition
   Residents turn wasteland into 'garden of hope'        Residents victorious in garden clash
   Respect Wildflowers        Retailers want action
   Return of Bill and Ben        Return of the Barn Owl
   Return of the Bittern        Return of the Garden Gnome Liberation Front
   Return of the Large Copper        Return to 'sensible' gardens
   Revamp your garden at Country Living Spring Fair        Reviving London's Square Gardens
   RGBE opens £1.6m visitor centre in Scottish Borders        Rhododendron Threat
   RHS Awards        RHS commissions budget gardens for Chelsea Flower Show
   RHS Confirms Chelsea        RHS Daffodil Show
   RHS Events in Scotland        RHS Great Autumn Show
   RHS Honorary Fellow        RHS names best gardens
   RHS offers great Valentine's idea        RHS President to Step Down
   RHS to Extend Tatton Flower Show        River Pollution Investigated
   Rivers: Clean Bill of Health        Roadside Nature Reserves
   Robot Gardener        Roman find in Garden
   Rooftop terraces 'full of promise'        Rose Holiday
   Rosemary Verey        Roses are... Blue?
   Row over Statue's Location        Royal Apple Juice
   Royal Chelsea Flower Show        Royal gardener visits a Bedmond garden
   Royal Herbal Remedies        Royal Horticultural Society London Flower Show
   Royal visitor opens garden        RSPB warns of climate change impact
   Rude Fountain Restored        Sackville-West Sale
   Save Our Junipers        Saving the Water Vole
   School opens eco-garden        School orchard 'teaches kids a lesson'
   Scots battle to save ancient orchards        Scottish gardeners win awards for train stations
   Scottish wind farm scaled down        Sculpture at Holland Park
   Seafront gardens get recognition        Seasonal citrus shades for summer
   Second warmest winter recorded        Secure accessories, police tell gardeners
   Seed can attract garden birds        Serious Flower Shows
   Shearer joins garden fundraiser        Sheds ripped apart by storms
   Sheffield garden set for revamp        Shooting Star Show
   Show For The Stars        Shrubs and patios top for garden lovers
   Simple steps can save energy        Slugs to be combated with ducks
   Small garden - think big        Small Gardens at Chelsea
   Smelly flower pulls in punters        Snow for Sale
   Snowdrop Spectacular        Soil too Fertile for Flowers
   Solar lights pinched from garden        Solar panels getting thinner
   Southport Flower Show        Sparrow 'in decline'
   Spending time in the garden 'may improve quality of life'        Spider Garden
   Sponsoring Chelsea        Spring Show
   Spuds help to take kids into their gardens        Start of Spring
   Storm Damage at Versailles        Storm on a Lawn
   Storms lash northern gardens        Storms to push up insurance premiums
   Stormy Weather Ahead        Stripes sizzle as garden decor
   Summer gardens are 'great for young minds'        Summer Washout
   Summer weather will be 'typical'        Supermarket to help garden recyclers
   Supermarkets scoop animal welfare awards        Survey of Urban Birds
   Swindon show goes ahead        SWT calls for peat use reduction
   Tatton show 'set for success'        Tea for You?
   Teenagers Raid Hemp Crop        Telly favourite cleans up in York
   Telly favourites at garden show        Temperatures set for record in 2007
   Terrestrial barrier reef planned        The Detriments of Digging
   The Duchess's Fountain's        The Duchess's Garden
   The grass is always greener on the… roof?        The Internet Comes to Chelsea
   The Most Famous Grass in the World        The Queen gets green fingers
   The Secret Garden        The Wisdom of Sage
   Thousands of claims after storms        Threat to Ancient Woodlands
   Threat to Berlin Gardens        Threat to British Birds
   Threat to South Downs        Threatened Species Revive
   Tiny moth 'biggest garden terror'        Tips for a summer garden
   Tips to transform gaudy garden furniture        Tomatoes Good for the Heart
   Town Gardens        Tragic Hedge Dispute
   Trailing the Snail        Trees felled to improve views
   Trees in Cities        Tribute to Royal Parks Man
   Tropics expanding north and south        Trouble over Diana' Garden
   Tulip Festival        Tulipmania - The True Story?
   Turbines will make 'significant impact'        Turning Leaves into Petals
   TV gardener gives toddlers tips        TV Gardeners
   TV Gardening Accused        UK Gardens scoop the jackpot
   UK Lottery Funds Wild Plant Habitat        UK wastes £8 million worth of food
   Ulf Nordfjell wins gold for garden at Chelsea Flower Show        University promise not to close garden
   US taking climate change seriously        Valentine's Orchids
   Valuable garden furniture 'needs protecting'        Valuable Vegetables
   Value of garden goods and furniture on the rise        Vast seed vault nears fruition
   Victoria's Garden Restored        Villagers open their gardens to the public
   Vintage lawnmowers go under the hammer        Virtual Plants
   Volunteers re-landscape garden        Volunteers turn wasteground into community garden
   Vulture Visits Guernsey        Warm weather boosted sales of outdoor furniture
   Wartime Shells Dug Up        Wasp spider set to reach northern gardens
   Watch the birdie        Water butt boost to community project
   Water Gardens to be Listed        Water meters 'need installing soon'
   We Love Roses!        Weather Causes Chaos
   Website of the Year        Weekend Plant Fair
   Weekend show a warm up for Chelsea        Welsh fork out for their gardens
   Welsh garden scoops environmental award        Welsh National Botanic Garden Opens
   Which? names best compost        Who Can Afford Organic Food?
   Wholegrain Proves its Worth        Wicker Man of the West
   Wild Summer Weather        Wildflower Conservation, Progress or Not?
   Wildflower Paradise for Sale        Wildflowers Make Farming Profitable
   Wildlife at Number 10        Wildlife Exhibition
   Wildlife found in Lennon's garden        Wildlife Sites Destroyed
   Wildlife Survey        Wildlife Week
   Wind farms may hinder radar        Wind swept garden open to public
   Wind turbine company to help fuel poor        Wind turbines not bogged down
   Winter 'a good time to sort out garden equipment'        Winter Garden for Sheffield
   Winter garden tips offered        Winter is second hottest on record
   Winter weather cuts garden flower count by 60%        Witch hazel recommended for spring colour
   Women & Gardens        Women are Born to be Better Gardeners
   Women Gardeners        Wordsworth Anniversary
   Wordsworth's Daffs        Work Begins on Canals
   Work on £5 billion urban centre to begin next month        Work on borders, says expert
   World Heritage Status for Kew?        World's Hottest Chilli
   Worms Clean Poisoned Soil        Year Round Mowing
   York centre set for water-recycling initiative        Yorkshire Garden to Close
   Yorkshire Gardens Reprieved        Young gardeners prepare for green-fingered competition
   Young gardeners win top environmental award        Young offenders help cultivate garden
   Young people move into their gardens        Youngsters plant edible garden
   Zero carbon new homes target        Zimbabwean Sculptures at Kew