The Shed of the Year competition has received some remarkable entries for 2019's annual contest, with a Shakespeare-themed haven, a playhouse that needed planning permission and a garden-based space station among the finalists.
An artist’s workshop in Bristol, a live-in shed/lorry in Hampshire and a beach bar shack in Northamptonshire are also among the 21 finalists vying for the 13th annual Cuprinol-sponsored public vote.
A new category has been added this year for entrants wanting to show off designs inspired by nature, demonstrating the shift towards unlandscaped gardens, organisers said.
The “Attenborough effect” has seen many sheds displaying a move towards sustainability with the use of reclaimed and recycled materials.
Playrooms have also been popular, with owners apparently keen to find a place for their children to get away from technology and be at one with their imagination.
Categories include unexpected, cabin or summerhouse, workshop and studio, pub and entertainment, budget and unique.
A winner from each category will be decided by a public vote, and shed experts will name an overall winner who will receive £1,000, a plaque and £100 of Cuprinol products.
Head judge and founder of the competition Andrew Wilcox said: “We’ve been absolutely blown away by the incredible, imaginative and innovative sheds entered into this year’s competition. Every year there are more and more outstanding entries that take us by surprise.
“We’ve been really impressed by the aesthetics of the sheds – especially those that entered the brand new Nature’s Haven category, with entrants really demonstrating how important it is to welcome nature into our lives and our gardens.”
Kirsty Woodbine, marketing manager for Cuprinol, said: “This year has certainly seen the entrants up their game with a real noticeable shift towards sustainability and a drive towards embracing our natural environment.
“We’ve been impressed with the recycled and upcycled materials being used by sheddies and the creative designs really show just how much you can do with a small outdoor space.”
Last year’s winner, George Smallwood from Sheffield, harnessed self-watering technology in his Bee Eco Shed, which allowed vegetable and herb gardens to grow and insects and bees to thrive.
Public voting at www.readersheds.co.uk will close on August 29.