On top of the world Who hasn’t at least once dreamed of having a tree house hideaway, a hidden place of your own in the leafy branches of a majestic tree, from where you can look out over your world below?
So when my daughter suggested that we could put her summer house, which until then had been in a shady corner of the garden, up into the branches of our cherry tree, it was just the excuse I was looking for. Our tree house plan became our shared dream.
Children’s tree house
A children’s tree house can be anything they want it to be; a fort, a pirate ship, a castle, Tarzan outpost, Indiana Jones hideaway.
A secret place from where they can escape with friends to create their own worlds and games for hours on end. They’re a great way for children to connect with nature too; hiding amidst the spring blossom,
watching spiders building webs, ants and insects going about their business and birds perching in the tree..
They enjoy picking the ripe cherries of our tree in July, spotting animal shapes in the changing clouds, picnicking and playing with friends in their lofty retreat.
Tree houses for grown ups
For grown ups a tree house can be just as relaxing; you get a different perspective on your garden, your childhood sense of wonder returns and your imagination kicks in.
As you stop and watch, from the middle of the tree; the light on the leaves, the beautiful colours of a rainbow, the sun setting or the moon appearing and the stars coming out.
Building your tree house
Our design for the cherry tree house required a platform supported on strong posts around a mature cherry tree.
For the sub-structure of posts and joists we used recycled timber which had been accumulated over several months.
The deck was clad in smooth softwood boards and the handrails and the vertical sides clad in Western Red Cedar.
The old summer house was given a new lease of life, raised up on to the new platform, and repainted.
Slightly sludgy tones, rather than artificial shades of green, always look better against foliage, so the tree house was painted in an eco friendly eggshell paint called Trilby from Earthborn.
It’s neither a green nor a grey but wonderfully sets of silver foliage and dark green leaves.
A log store and storage cupboard, for toys and chairs, were built within the structure and a ladder along with a set of steps, allowed the tree house to be clambered up to from both sides.
Lighting your tree house
Up lights show off the cherry tree’s architectural qualities; lights inside the tree house and a comfy cushioned seat built of the deck make it a cosy evening retreat to relax with friends over a glass of wine.