Well it seems that my little Hobbit Hole has attracted some attention on the interwebs, so I guess now is a good time for an update and maybe answers to a few questions.
Also, thanks to the editors who have been in contact with me!
In terms of commissions, yes - I am willing to consider Hobbit Holes alongside our usual sanctuary/landscape designs. Whether you have a vision or not, we can design, create and bring to life anything you can imagine - the more outlandish the better!
The construction was done over the course of a year as an on/off project while I worked on other pieces, but was essentially completed with around 4 months of solid work. I would not suggest anyone attempts it unless you have an unfaltering work ethic and dedication - otherwise you will end up with just a big hole in your garden (ask my friend Jez..!)
This isn’t my job per se - I run a very wide variety of creative projects/products and engage in all manner of activities. Every day is an opportunity to learn a new skill, understand something better or just to create something. My goal in life is to fund and own a private space company focusing on extraterrestrial permanent settlements alongside a research company with a view to curing senescence; my various projects are my school and seeds.
Also, check out my other mini garden projects here: toriigardens
There we go - that’s as far as we’ve got!
In terms of updates, I’ll try and get images of the working gaming/cinema setup (first screening should probably by the Hobbit..!) and maybe some nice shots of the exterior if it snows this year. Also I’d like some shots of everything completely tidied up as there’s still a lot of finishing touches to be made such as missing skirting, dado rail and whatnot.
Then once done we can start on the next one - which I have extremely grand plans for - mainly in terms of size and with multiple rooms. I’d quite like to design something which is essentially fully catered for inside with the exception of plumbing, so the quicker I can get to the drawing board the better!
Some internal shots of progress being made!
Lots of fun stuff going on - there’s space for the data projector above the seating (last picture) and the automatic drop down screen will be attached to the long straight beam coming across as seen in a couple of the pictures (this is where planning from the start helps!)
With a built in kitchenette and planned gaming/cinema system - this hobbit hole is turning out to be a pretty decent place to hang-out. Especially with the dimming lights and air-cooling system.
The lovely Charley is providing the tour but had no hand in the building - that was solely down to myself and Sensei Alec!
Images of the custom bench / workstation which we created. There is a cabinet underneath with opening doors (still need to fix on the handles!) and the seat was custom made by me using a nice red corduroy material and finished with speckled gold studs. I need to apply the side panels to the seat so it has a fully enclosed feel to it.
It looks quite small in the pictures, but you can comfortably sit two people in there and that’s without putting yourself into the corners (which is very comfy).
Lots of bri-wax used as you can see… still the best wax in my opinion!
Some basic internal timber work - and a Danio yoghurt as well… they’ve got something like 13g of protein per pot which is pretty impressive!
With the top turfed it was time to create a nice entrance and add a few bonus touches.
Closing and sealing the structure was a great step forward - the previous work had taken a very long time to complete so to get a nice watertight hole was a great relief, especially as there had been a few water related problems early on.
The roof was again over engineered to keep moisture out and includes a variety of layered barriers which tuck right around the internal watertight pod created for the interior. We used decent boards on the roof as well so they could take plenty of weight and I’m actually able to get my mower up there to keep the top nice and trimmed!
First off - I’d like to highlight how much of a huge undertaking this was given that it was completed by just myself and Alec. When I started thinking about doing this project he was the only person I know who has a similar working style to me (which is to essentially absolutely smash it until the job is done!) so it was useful to have him on board from the start.
The first stages of the Hobbit Hole build begins with digging a big hole! A much deeper and wider hole than you need for the interior to cater for the protective walls and base. This was an extremely hard job even for the two of us especially as we opted to do it by hand on this occasion - I certainly wouldn’t suggest anyone does it like this unless you have a superhuman working style or I promise you’ll get one foot deep and give in!
With the hole big enough to cater for the basic internal shape designed we created a strong internal wooden frame which was hugely over-engineered to ensure we had a solid platform to work from ultimately. The corrugated iron was used to seal everything in and the panels were all seam welded from top to bottom once in position and then finished with plenty of waterproof barriers. The base concreted with waterproofer and finished with further waterproofing and finally a levelling compound so there was a lovely clean finish inside.
This blog will be highlighting the journey from the above picture to the below! (No hobbit hole to awesome hobbit hole!)
The apple tree in the top photo died from what looked like a fungal infection and the ground underneath it was a completely wasted dark dead space due to the huge clematis towering overhead. It did look lovely but the weight of the clematis on the dying tree made it look as though it wasn’t long before it would all come crashing down, so it was time to do something!
The clematis went across to my neighbours garage and when it flowers it looks amazing, so I took it right back on my side to retrain some lovely fresh growth into my new design here and left all the main vessels going across to his garage in tact and carefully trained across.
The amount of dead, dry wood that came from clearing the clematis out was astounding, so it was really worth doing for a fresh start!