"Freaky Tiki": English Construction Worker Transforms Garden Into Tropical Paradise

What's life without a vacation now and then? When you've been working hard all year, you also need a little downtime to switch off and recharge the batteries. Chris Lodge and his wife Sharon were also in desperate need of a change of scenery. However, work commitments and looking after a sick dog meant the couple from Wollaston, UK, have had no chance of getting away in recent times. In fact, the 44-year-old construction worker and his entrepreneur wife haven't been on vacation for 6 years!

But as the old saying goes: "If the mountain won't come to Muhammed, Muhammed must go to the mountain." After a brainwave, handyman Chris used his skills to bring the perfect vacation to his own home. In July 2017, the Brit laid the foundations for a unique construction project that would take two long years of hard work and cost over $40,000. The results are breathtaking.

Inspired by an overgrown section of his garden, Chris had a vision: He wanted to transform his yard into a tropical paradise. With help from his friend Rob, Chris started by digging up the entire garden. He then read up on which tropical plants are best suited to the British climate. Thanks to online video tutorials, the skilled workman had become a hobby gardener in a relatively short space of time.

Using timber, driftwood and rope, Chris built a bridge through his garden. Flanked by palm trees and other exotic plants, the bridge leads to the couple's secret hideaway: a small tiki-style hut. 

The hut had originally been a normal garden shed which Chris had bought for $5,500. After a fair amount of elbow grease and plenty of attention to detail, the construction worker transformed the shed into the "Freaky Tiki."

Chris and Sharon didn't spare any expense or effort to create their ultimate tropical dream. For some of the plants, they paid around $400. The tiki hut's interior furnishings comprise numerous flea market finds and online purchases. Chris had some of the particularly exotic pieces of furniture shipped from the US. The hut's roof is also covered with grass.

The "Freaky Tiki" features a cocktail bar. This is where Chris and Sharon can relax and unwind after a tough day in tastefully decorated surroundings. The optical illusion tropical window also transports the couple away from cold English evenings to warmer climes.

There's something bizarre or downright extraordinary to discover in every corner of the hut, such as this blowfish lamp. As you can see, their hideaway provides the perfect combination of relaxation and entertainment.

Upon entering the hut, you quickly forget that you're in rainy England. "I want it to be a place where all our friends can come too if they’re having a bad day or feeling down," Chris said.

The creative handyman has every reason to be proud. Chris and Sharon have invested a considerable sum of money into the two-year project, but the results speak for themselves.

Chris and Sharon have fulfilled a lifelong dream. Who needs expensive flights, noisy hotels and vacation destinations overrun with tourists? One step into this garden transports the couple to a wonderful rainforest retreat, making the stress from the working day disappear in an instant. It's hard not to be jealous of Chris and Sharon, but they certainly deserve their little piece of paradise.


The Sun


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