Friday, 25 May 2012

The Crabbit Hutch in pics

As you know, unless you naughtily haven't been listening to me at all, I now have a shed. No, I have a garden office. It's far too glorious to be called a shed. I was going to have a competition to name it but Mike Jarman christened it the Crabbit Hutch and that's what's stuck. I have to say it's nothing like a hutch but never mind!

Anyway, here is the journey from nothing to Splendiferous Garden Office, aka Crabbit Hutch.

First, there was this:

Then, it rained, and the men from Booths Garden Studios arrived. They didn't complain even once, but got on and constructed a huge tent, under which to build. I was mildly amused at the thought that my neighbours would be thinking THIS was going to be the size of the shed.

Things began to look, frankly, unprepossessing:

But soon the Crabbit Hutch was standing forlornly in a sea of mud:

And the lovely men from Booths were looking well-pleased with their job. 

An electrician came and used a HUGE drill bit to drill through my kitchen wall. His comment afterwards: "That was epic."

I began to put some shelves up and bring the stuff up from the flat to the hutch, box by box by box.

And I had my first cup of coffee, in a very appropriate mug.

Soon, things were beginning to look both homely and businesslike, because, of course, 
much crabbit business must be done in the Crabbit Hutch. Behind my desk, you can even see the board on which I'm plotting a novel, so that's good.

At first, Mr M and I were concerned that the hutch wrecked the view up the garden and that the neighbours would be cross about the in-your-faceness, though we had got planning permission. 

But I went out and bought some VERY tall bamboo plants and I think you'll agree it is now very discreet. In fact, we could play Where's the Crabbit Hutch?! And yes, really, it is in this picture:

Only one family member is not looking too happy. She refuses to come in because she hates walkiing on bark. Stupid dog: we taught her not to bark, not to not go ON bark.

And there you have it! I've had one day working in it and it was just wonderful. With the door open, I could hear nothing but birdsong and see nothing but flowering rhodies, azalea, pieris, and a castor oil palm. I've planted dwarf lilac outside and the breeze wafts the smell in. With the door shut it's entirely soundproof so I can listen to loud music and sing at the top of my voice. It is incredibly well insulated so it's cosy and comfortable. I have installed wifi, so I can still use Twitter and be distracted. And I can walk to work with a briefcase.
I love it!

If you're interested in doing the same, Booths Garden Studios are just fab.

And look what Mr M bought me:



  1. Hooray for the Crabbit Hutch!! What a brilliant place to create! Enjoy it to the max...

    1. Thank you! I've been really amazed how different it feels to have a separate office, and how it really HAS already made me separate work from home. It is a very healthy move, I think.

  2. That is gorgeous. Must feel wonderful, and such a lovely setting. Happy for you!

  3. What a beautiful garden you have. Perfect place for an office.

  4. Elizabeth Dunn25 May 2012 at 18:32

    If you walk to work and have a briefcase that means you have to have a Christmas party which is what all real, proper people do. My place of work looks like pic number 3 so I am in awe of yours, not at all real or proper and would love to be invited. PS Can we have a zoom-in of the story board please?

    1. the story board contains rubbish - you don't want to see, honestly.

  5. *raises glass* Congratulations on the official opening of the Crabbit Hutch. May inspiration bless her, and all who write in her. It looks absolutely fabulous, especially when set so discreetly amidst such a gorgeous garden. Nevermind Crabbit Hutch, it's Crabbit Heaven! So pleased for you, wishing you many a happy writing (and tweeting) session in your new office Nicola.

  6. Happy writing in your truly gorgeous space, looking out on your truly gorgeous garden. Lucky you!

  7. Purr-fect! (Cat)
    Hi Mrs M - am coming home for the summer so I can see it! (Spike)

  8. George Bernard Shaw had a writing hut in his garden that revolved ... that's always something I aspired to - but now I have seen yours, I just want that! It's that wall of glass that I love ... (GBS's house is a National Trust property now - Shaw's Corner).

  9. thanks for all your comments. I'm very very lucky to have such a fab writing space.

  10. I might just have to hate you a little for this.

    1. There, there. You may come and stroke it, if you like...

    2. : )
      Feel much better now.

  11. It's lovely. I wish you many happy writing hours within it.

  12. The hutch is a thing of beauty and my envy knows no bounds, but my gardening envy is even worse. Good heavens. I beg you to dedicate a blog post to lots and lots of pictures of this garden, from every possible angle, because it's just... awe-inspiring.

    From these pictures, I'd probably have guessed you live in Sissinghurst or something...


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