For many of us, the long bank holiday weekend signifies two things: DIY and gardening. This Easter, our great nation will be united in building, decorating or planting, right through to Bank Holiday Monday. And with that in mind, I was only too happy to oblige when Shedstore invited me to review some of their garden products.
Shedstore are a leading UK online retailer of sheds, greenhouses, summer houses, playhouses, fencing and many other associated garden products, with over eighteen years of online trading experience. So, with the deliveries piling up beside our front door, and armed with my screwdriver and hammer, I set about building some of their furniture.
Devon Wooden Herb Planter by Grow-Plus
First up, was the Devon Wooden Herb Planter. Measuring 5’0 x 1’8, it comes with four dividing compartments, giving the gardener the opportunity to section off different plants.
The first thing I noticed was the weight of the flat-pack; this item is built to last. Pressure treated, and with a fifteen year anti-rot warranty, this is a sound investment for the garden.
The instructions were relatively easy to understand, but for speed and practicality, assembly is a two-person job, certainly when it comes to moving the planter into its final position as it’s pretty weighty. It’s also worth bearing in mind that with a height of less than 13 inches, it sits low to the ground, so is perhaps not recommended for people with back problems.
However, on the whole, I’m very pleased with the quality of the planter. It’s sturdy, looks attractive, and can be painted or varnished to suit your garden. I managed to assemble it within an hour. It would suit a patio or terrace, and is the perfect size for the narrow alley beside my kitchen. I decided not to add the dividing compartments because I plan to use it for growing strawberries, so don’t require the segregation.
Pros: Solid, easy to assemble and attractive.
Cons: Sitting low to the ground, it might not be the best solution for gardeners with back problems.
Palram Lean to Silver Mini Greenhouse
If you need somewhere to grow tomatoes this summer but space is limited, it’s definitely worth investing in something petite but practical like the Palram Lean to Silver Mini Greenhouse.
Thankfully, my Dad was on hand for this project! Like a true professional, he had the kit out of its packaging in the blink of an eye. However, he was surprised by the number of components there were to the unit. The aluminium frame is broken into several smaller pieces, and with so many different screw types, Dad ended up using three different screwdrivers. Perhaps more of an issue was that each structural piece was labelled with a piece of numbered self-adhesive tape. To join the pieces together, two items had to have the same number. Great in theory, but unfortunately, several numbers were completely missing! Whether they were lost in transit, or were never attached, who knows? Someone with limited DIY experience may have come unstuck at this point, but not my Dad. Being the DIY King that he is, he tossed aside the instructions altogether and ended up assembling the greenhouse as he saw fit.
A couple of hours later, I helped him move it from the garage to its final position. Although he did manage to assemble the greenhouse on his own, again, I do think this is more of a two-person job.
There are holes at the back of the structure enabling you to screw the unit to the wall or fence which really makes it feel secure. And as the glazing material is polycarbonate, there is no chance of breakage or injury. The whole piece is practical and pleasing to the eye.
Coming in at £159, and with a five-year guarantee, this is a great piece of kit for the gardener with limited space, but you’re going to need all your skills and incredible patience to put the unit together! The manufacturers might want to re-consider their system of using matching numbers on ill-fitting tape.
Pros: A sturdy unit for gardeners with limited space.
Cons: Not the easiest to assemble.
Premium Garden Wooden Work Bench
Finally, the Premium Garden Wooden Work Bench is a very attractive unit.
Made from 100% FSC pine, it comes complete with three drawers, side hooks, storage shelf and a zinc worktop. It has a ‘shabby chic’ style, something that will certainly appeal to the Insta-gardeners who like kitting out their pastel-painted potting sheds with quaint furniture.
I unpacked the box and read the instructions, and it all looked straightforward. One person can easily assemble the unit themselves. However, there were some screws missing, so I lost a bit of time rooting around in my shed trying to find replacements. It was also clear that some of the pre-drilled holes didn’t align with the adjoining sections, so the allotted bolts couldn’t be screwed into place.
However, I was able to fix these issues with a bit of extra drilling myself, and the bench soon came together very quickly.
Without a doubt, it’s an attractive looking bench. It’s perfect for the occasional gardener, someone who does a little potting up now and again, or for someone looking for a feature piece of furniture for their greenhouse, shed or conservatory.
Pros: A stylish feature piece.
Cons: Might not hold up against daily, heavy use in the garden.
Overall, I have been impressed with Shedstore. They offer a wide range of products, they deliver quickly, and their customer services team are professional and efficient. You’ll need your wits about you when assembling some of the items, but to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever bought a piece of flat-pack furniture where this hasn’t been the case!
So, if you’re looking for something for the garden this weekend and can’t face those DIY store queues, you could do a lot worse than going online and checking out Shedstore. They’ve also got some great online discounts at the moment.
(These products were sent to us free of charge to review, but all opinions and images are my own).