The Gypsy Vardo the perfect garden shed
I have a client who has been telling me about how they want a special, bespoke decoration in their garden. Not only must it be beautiful, but should be colourful, and on top of it all, be a space to go inside if the weather turns when they are entertaining. I showed them umpteen garden houses, but none were interesting enough, and all would have to be painted by an artist to get the look they are shooting for.
Then, last night it came to me just before I drifted off to sleep, a vardo (traditional Gypsy wagon) is the perfect answer to their thus far empty search. Of course I immediately popped out of bed and started doing some research into their history, pricing, and where I could find one for them.
Turns out this is not a difficult thing to accomplish in the least. So, I gathered the information from the very first site, as it was extremely informative, in order to propose the solution to them. I have since done that, and they were beaming over the idea.
Now, I want to pass some of the new found knowledge I have on these highly decorative works of art. While we might think that the travellers built these themselves, more often than not they were commissioned by recently married couples.
The handcraft took between six and twelve months, and were made by specialised coach builders. The materials used were woods of oak, elm, ash, pine, and walnut and great efforts were taken to adorn them in the proper fashion. The ornate patterns were both done through carving and paint (sometimes even goldleaf.
These caravans began to decline with the arrival of motorised vehicles, television, and films. These brought fewer people to large scale fairs and circuses. In addition, seasonal farming was less frequently available. By the 1950’s most specialists builders had passed on, and their skills were not taken up, or pursued by the upcoming generation.
Luckily, there has been a revived interest in these caravans, and they are once again, like shepherds huts popular for gardens and as cheap holiday accommodation.