July “shed” report
July 3rd, 2008
Lots has been happening in the media this month as Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways appears in print (newspapers and magazines) and online. We’ll even be featured on TV later this month, when Central Texas Gardener (Austin PBS station KLRU) airs a half-hour segment and interview (click here for air-dates).
GARDEN RANT invited me to post today as “guest blogger” and I was thrilled to participate. Thank you to Amy Stewart, Susan Harris, and their partners-in-crime, Michele Owens and Elizabeth Licata, for the wonderful opportunity. Click on over to read my essay, “In Praise of Sheds,” and to see which reader-post wins the free copy of Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways. I’ll choose the winner who gives the best answer to my question:
“What’s your dream shed and how will you use it?”
SUNSET magazine: Thanks to my friends at Sunset for embracing the Shed-Lovers Lifestyle! Kathy Brenzel, garden editor, with support from editor-in-chief Katie Tamony and executive editor Irene Edwards, commissioned a version of the book’s “Newsroom” chapter for Sunset’s July issue. It’s titled: “Home Office With a View.”
The mini-profile about Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press reporter Martha Mendoza, featuring Bill Wright’s photographs of her closet-sized shed-office, allowed me to include details that didn’t make it into the book. The piece captures a-day-in-the-life of this talented, versatile writer and mom, as she moves effortlessly between the Santa Cruz bungalow she shares with husband Ray and their four children, and her 64-square-foot potting shed-turned-office.
Kathy Brenzel also produced a vibrant sidebar about Stylish Sheds, including photographs of three west coast sheds in Bellingham, Wash., Los Angeles, and San Diego County. We couldn’t be happier with the coverage!
ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION: Features writer Rosalind Bentley noticed a copy of Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways sitting on the desk of an AJC colleague and started paging through it. She discovered two greater Atlanta area properties and became more curious about the phenomenon of converting aging shacks into architectural whimsy.
Rosalind called me up and we had a lively conversation a few weeks ago. With the exciting title: “Author Debra Prinzing turns sheds into backyard treasures,” Rosalind’s Q&A with me appears in this Sunday’s AJC. It is now posted online with a web gallery featuring eight of Bill’s awesome photographs. We’re very pleased that the article highlights the backyard cabin of our friend Mary Martin, who died prematurely last month, as well as the welcoming retreat owned by Atlanta friends Brenda and Gerald Lyle.
Rosalind writes: “With a little elbow grease, that 1930s lean-to might actually have some life left in it.”
Here’s an excerpt:
Q: What was it about sheds that captured your attention?
A: Anyone who likes to garden or likes being in the garden is predisposed to having a shed of some kind. And I’d always admired potting sheds and little structures that could be fanciful. I’m drawn to beautiful and little pieces of architecture.
Q: With so many people moving back into core cities, people often tear down the little house and the little detached garage that won’t hold the big SUV. Your book seems anti-big.
A: People are drawn to these backyard spaces as a way to hit the pause button and escape, even if it’s for half an hour.
The act of walking outside of your home and crossing into nature and entering a new space, tiny as it may be, it has some kind of meditative quality to it. It gets away from the computer and phone and all the electronics and detaches from the over-Blackberried world.
PACIFIC HORTICULTURE: The Summer 2008 issue of this wonderful journal features a lovely review of Stylish Sheds by writing coach and friend Paula Panich. It will be posted online soon (check back for a link), but here is a little excerpt:
The twenty-eight sheds and hideaways in this book will induce shack-envy in anyone without one — and it might be difficult to find people who don’t dream about one. Tucked away in yards from Washington through California, into Texas, across to Georgia and up through Long Island, Manhattan, and Connecticut, these intimate structures are inventive, if diminutive, acts of architecture. Re-imagined garages, potting sheds, tool huts, even a 1930s log cabin, a makeshift boathouse, and a barn have been transformed into sanctuaries for writing, designing, painting, gardening, dining, napping — and, one would imagine, the whole range of mostly solitary human activity, excluding (it is hoped), engaging with objects that beep, blare, bedevil.
A few other stories are coming down the pike, including Bill Wright’s and my spread for the July issues of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air magazines (to come – waiting for my husband and son to smuggle a few copies home on Monday when they fly back from the US Track & Field trials in Eugene), and a soon-to-appear piece in – get this – The Irish Times!