Ta-dah! Yet another harebrained scheme…..

IMG_3440And here we have it, the unveiling of The Project – Pretty, Practical and Full of Photo-taking Potential! Let me introduce you to the bothy…..

bothyAbothyBBothyCEven the Golfer looked at me blankly when I said I was going to build a bothy as until then I hadn’t realised the word was not in everyone’s vocabulary – and indeed may be more of a Scottish term, although not used exclusively in Scotland. Traditionally, a bothy is a one-roomed hut, usually located in remote mountainous or moorland areas and for use as a shelter by anyone passing, but were sometimes provided for gardeners on large estates – look it up if you are not sure. Mine, however, was created to serve a slightly different function, a slightly harebrained function you might have thought if I had described the scheme to you prior to its construction. The Golfer certainly thought so but is now quietly in awe of its success.

Do you remember when I climbed the scaffolding around the ash tree that The Golfer was lopping and lusted after a vantage point, which until now was totally absent from the garden? Well, I now have my vantage point, definitely full of photo-taking potential, from which I can survey much of the back end of the garden, increasingly covered in leaves as you can see:

IMG_3444And how does the bothy provide this? Having used reclaimed bricks (half taken up from the front of our house where we have relaid paviors to provide easier parking for the campervan) and slates it already looks as if it has been there many years, but this facade hides a secret – it is backless….. The door and window are decorative rather than functional and the open back allows access to storage for all the plant supports and paraphernalia that are a pain to store in the shed over the winter and tend to get stacked (thrown) in a corner of the garden instead:

BothyDSo if the bothy is backless, then the ‘chimney’ is of course backless too, and I can quickly scale up it on the recycled breezeblocks and there is my vantage point:

bothyEHarebrained, but inspired…..

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54 Responses to Ta-dah! Yet another harebrained scheme…..

  1. Christina says:

    Yes, definitely inspired, and ……you ……built …….it? I am in awe! You may have inspired me to construct something too, but I think brick is beyond me. I will have to ponder. In the mean time, well done, brilliant!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christina – and do have a go at brickwork as it is not difficult and really is just putting one brick on top of another (and our extension that I did all the blockwork for is still standing after 16 years…). It’s quick to do too – and makes an immediate impact, even more so with old bricks. ps the Golfer did the roof joists and other timber work of this

  2. rusty duck says:

    It is straight out of Chelsea. Gold medals to both of you!

  3. VERY well done and delightful. I think it is inspired. Good for you. (It is also a new word for me here in Portland, ORE, USA–I LOVE learning these new words from you.)

  4. Not harebrained …ingenious

  5. Cathy says:

    Hare-brained certainly, but what a good idea! I would never have come up with something like that! Well done to you both, for the idea AND putting it into action – you must be a good team! I shall look forward to views of your garden from up there in the future!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy – we do indeed make a good team and are fortunate to have the skills or the confidence to develop the skills to carry out any schemes we might have.

  6. Renee says:

    That is genius and gorgeous! ICongratulations on an idea well-executed!l

  7. Anna says:

    Oh what a bijou des res for all the gardening paraphernalia Cathy and a perfect perch for you. I had imagined all sorts but not a bothy. We are in Cumbria at the moment where there seem to be a few of them πŸ™‚ You and The Golfer are a most creative couple – congratulations on another successful venture!

  8. pbmgarden says:

    I just love that you thought of this and actually did it! Very smart addition to your garden. It is nice to have an upper vantage point to view the garden.

  9. bittster says:

    ha ha, that’s fantastic. What a nice little addition to your space. Sure beats a rickety little pre-fab shed, and the new view isn’t too shabby either!

  10. I had a feeling that “The Project” had something to do with the earlier discussion of having a high point from which to view the garden but I definitely never envisioned this! I’m glad you explained the origin of its name as I hadn’t a clue what the sign meant when I saw your first picture. With its dual purpose of storage and vantage point, it’s a brilliant solution! It’s also very photogenic in its own right. And, like everyone else, I’m truly impressed by your skills in putting it together.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris – it may have seemed an odd idea on inception but it fits the bill perfectly. I especially love how it looks as if has always been there.

  11. johnvic8 says:

    Clever, clever, Cathy. And I had to get on top of an eight foot ladder to get the high view.

  12. Pauline says:

    Well done, a great addition to your garden, it certainly blends in with everything else and looks as though it has always been there.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Pauline – that was the idea, although originally I was thinking of using some left over breeze blocks but that would have meant having to render and then paint them. It was definitely worth buying in more recycled bricks to top up those lifted from the front of the house

  13. Annette says:

    OH Cathy, you never fail to surprise me and even Monsieur just looked at it and was impressed by your skills! Wow, well done!!! For a second I thought you’ve furnished the bothy with a stove but it’s the garden heating next door.

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you Annette – I knew you and Monsieur would approve! I wondered if people would notice that ‘patio heater monstrosity’…. I hadn’t until I cut out out mahonia and the mile-a-minute that was smothering it! I just try and ignore it now 😦

  14. Love it!! You inspire me to think of something similarly mad to do once we have the oil tank out. Lovely brickwork – knew it would involve brickwork. A Folly but with value beyond the decorative! Though I am slightly disappointed you don’t plan to camp out in it in true Bothy style…

    • Cathy says:

      The Golfer has already suggested it could be a substitute doghouse for use when appropriate πŸ™‚ I knew you had guessed about the brickwork – I am thrilled to have dreamed up another project involving bricklaying because I suspected I was getting to the end of such potential projects (unless of course I replace all the fences with a 6 foot high wall of course…). Follies with a purpose – I love them! Look forward to your similarly mad project…go for it girl!

  15. That is simply amazing – and the bricks are, too! Quite ingenious. Must be a Scottish thing, as the Carr side of my family is known for ingenuity also. I never would have guessed that the shed was backless. I just might apply that idea to a compost bin. It reminds me of sheds and barns in certain parts of New England, where the backsides never get painted to save on expense.

    P.S. I have a golfer, too, so I feel your pain (ha, ha!).

    • Cathy says:

      I used reclaimed bricks some time ago to build an enclosure for our compost heaps – and next to the original sheds it too looks as if it has always been there. I like the concept of not painting the backs of sheds and barns! ps the Golfer does have his uses though, which are many and varied

  16. Chloris says:

    You make it sound so easy, but I don’ t think it is really. I thought your project would involve bricks. It is amazing , how clever of you and how creative. I love it. And what a wonderful idea to be able to climb up the chimney and admire the view. You will be like Bill the Lizard in Alice in Wonderland. But in reverse.

    • Cathy says:

      Honestly Chloris, the bricklaying only took about 12 hours and the whole project was less than a fortnight with just an hour or two each day, depending on the weather, and the Golfer’s carpentry skills were only required for 2 or 3 hours or so. But Bill the Lizard…! I had forgotten him, but from now on the chimney will be known as Bill’s Chimney – which makes it sound like a rock climbing feature. I must admit I did think I could send naughty children up it to give it a scrub….:)

  17. CathyT says:

    You built an extension Cathy? Good grief. And now this lovely little bothy (like the idea of the open storage area at back – not to mention those lilac tripods, I seem to remember them earlier in the summer). You are indeed a creative couple. If that had been me and my husband we would have spent a year arguing about which was the back of the bothy, and which the front (and done nothing!) Hats off!

    • Cathy says:

      We are pretty good at getting on with projects – far more enjoyable than the more mundane or maintenance jobs! Oh, and the extension was a bit like the bothy but on a bigger scale – just rows of blocks on top of more rows of blocks…honestly

  18. croftgarden says:

    There are times when you leave me struggling for words – and not just because I admire your practical skills or ability to think outside the box. It is a remarkable edifice even though it reminds me of the brick buildings at the bottom of the yard of the two-up-two-down terraces in the north where I was born. Mind you these had backs and no chimneys, although they were also used for storing coal and the tin bath!
    In this part of the world, bothys were (are) also illicit drinking dens and distilleries!
    However your latest folly has a touch of the gentile even if it isn’t quite as romantic as a tree house.

    • Cathy says:

      I am sure a bothy could be romantic in the right circumstances…and thank you for prompting me to think of a keeping a bucket in it….it will be most useful. Oh, and when it is emptied of plant supports in the warmer months I could of course let it out for other purposes, like distilling or storing spare coal…

  19. Julie says:

    A brilliant plan Cathy & I am completely awe struck that you built it!

  20. hoehoegrow says:

    How fantastic is your bothy! I am in awe! I covet it ! It begs to be photographed !

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for your adulation!! I have to confess that I am still at the stage of walking up to it and and admiring it, hardly believing it wasn’t there a fortnight ago!

  21. AnnetteM says:

    Just catching up on older posts – I got a bit behind. I am so impressed with your building skills and your imagination in knowing what you wanted in the first place. Well done. When can you come up to Scotland as we have a few projects needing doing? Bothy, of course, is a word that is used a lot up here.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for your kind comments about the project (and I am afraid I took a general knowledge of the word bothy for granted). Who knows where it would have taken me if I was a little younger (did I say that…?) – and I suspect it is different with your own garden if you have a very close affinity with it. I would probably be rubbish coming up with ideas for anybody else’s! When we visit my Mum we are always called upon to do things for her – very difficult to get anybody local when you live somewhere quite remote, and even in Aberdeen I am sure there is limit to how far tradesmen will travel.

  22. That is fabulous! I LOVE it! I don’t think that is a harebrained idea at all. and I even learned a new word, too πŸ™‚

  23. You’re quite handy aren’t you!

  24. lol, I love it Cathy πŸ™‚

    and I knew the word bothy before moving here, it was a word I learnt along with walking in remote places, in some countries they are spaced along trails for walkers to use, I can’t remember where now but there are some for this use in the UK,
    well done on your building, Frances

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Frances – I believe there are bothies for walkers in the Lake District as well as parts of Scotland too. I wonder where you did your walking….

      • no where that exciting Cathy, just the pennies and yorkshire to begin, then I did an outward bound course in Scotland before traveling to the USA and Canada, it was reading about walking alone and learning what I needed to keep safe, walking in countries where I didn’t know the language was always done through a company, Frances

  25. I just love it, Cathy! What imagination! A bothy AND sitooterie – my childhood revisited! Have you ever visited Stone House Cottage, near Kidderminster? It’s full of follies erected to display their collection of climbing plants. A fascinating place to visit. You could give them a run for their money! πŸ˜‰

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Ali – and yes, we have been to Stone House which I did indeed like very much for this reason (as well as the wonderful phlox and monarda which were in full flower when we went). I am always on the look out for quirky additions for the garden – even better when they have a practical use too!

  26. Pingback: End of Month View: Is It Really December Tomorrow? | Rambling in the Garden

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