Style and Design
The Larkspur, which you may also find badged the Nasmith, Willesden or Wilmslow is a superb corner summerhouse first introduced to the garden building market in 2019. It features a classic corner design with a stunning peaked roof, large fixed windows and lockable double doors to the front. It's available in three sizes so you should be able to find something to fit your space and we'd expect its quality construction, clean lines and realistic price to ensure best selling status.
The building features quality 12mm tongue and groove cladding throughout mounted on a strong 44 x 44mm frame to give a robust durable structure. The roof is finished in attractive green felt while the windows are glazed in virtually unbeakable styrene for both safety and security. The double doors to the front are secured by a mortice style lock and key.
The Larkspur is available in three sizes: 7' x 7' (2.00 x 2.00m), 8' x 8' (2.39 x 2.39m) and 10' x 10' (2.9 x 2.9m). The height of each model is 6'6'' (1.9m) at the eaves, increasing to 8'2'' (2.5m) at the roof apex.
Unless you have purchased a top coat option, the summerhouse will be delivered either untreated or with a factory dip finish only. In that case you will need to apply a final finish at the time of erection and maintain this on a regular basis throughout the life of the summerhouse
Options vary according to the supplier. You may find an installation option, top coat options and in the case of the 10' x 10' model an option to upgrade to four windows.
The Larkspur is delivered flat packed with comprehensive instructions ready for DIY home assembly.
See the details of sellers and prices given above.
The Larkspur is a serious contender in its size and price range. We like the quality of the build - 12mm tongue and groove cladding is largely what you would expect in this type of model while the 44 x 44mm framing used is a step up from some of its competitors. The result will be a strong, robust garden building which should be well able to withstand the rigours of the British climate. The tongue and groove construction will increase weather resistance and we particularly like the fact that this is extended to the floor and roof as standard. Many summerhouses nearer the economy end of the scale rely on solid sheet OSB for their floor and roof and while this is generally adequate for the job it's more susceptible to damage by moisture and the elements than properly treated real wood. The whole thing is rounded off nicely by the green felt finish to the roof giving you a solid, reliable structure which is highly practical as well as visually pleasing.
The overall design is sound. The eyecatching apex roof style is unusual, certainly at this price, while the large full length windows will give a nice airy feel to the interior. You may find an option to increase the number of windows to four in the 10' x 10' model but whether you think this is strictly necessary is entirely a matter of personal preference. Do note that the windows are fixed so you won't be able to open them for ventilation on a hot day although we don't see this as a particular issue as the door can easily be left open to allow air to circulate. Opening windows wouldn't really be a practical option with this type of full length design in any event. The styrene glazing used is virtually unbreakable and is ideal from both safety and security viewpoints. It is more liable to damage by scuffs and scratches than glass so you will have to take a little more care, particularly when assembling the summerhouse. We wouldn't however expect anything other than styrene glazing for the design and price of the Larkspur.
Unfortunately we haven't yet been able to obtain a preview of the assembly instructions for the building but we wouldn't expect you to experience and great difficulty in putting the Larkspur together. It features a fairly standard, pre-formed panel construction system and should arrive with full instructions and all the necessary fittings. You'll need some basic DIY tools for assembly: a hammer, screwdriver (preferably a power model to reduce effort!), drill, spirit level and a craft knife as a minimum. And one point we would emphasise is the need to apply a final decorative/preservative finish. The timber will receive at best only a factory dip finish prior to delivery. While this is adequate to protect the wood up to the point at which it arrives on your doorstep it is crucial that you apply a further treatment as soon as possible and maintain this on a regular basis throughout the life of the summerhouse. We'd recommend that you apply this finish before assembly so you can easily reach any parts that might be difficult to get at or inaccessible once the building is up.
Another point we would mention is that with wood being a natural material it's quite possible that you'll find a few knotholes or other rough edges in the woodwork which need dealt with at the time of assembly. In our view, this is the type of thing that goes with the territory when it comes to economy garden buildings and we don't really see it as an issue. Generally it can easily be resolved with sandpaper and perhaps some natural finish wood filler. Damaged timbers are another matter altogether and should be replaced by the supplier without any fuss.
We like the flexibilty you get from the choice of sizes available. This means that the Larkspur is suitable for anything from a small garden retreat to a full sized outdoor building. And there are some other nice touches too - including the fact that the manufacturer hasn't skimped on door security with the mortice style key lock. Often you find economy models don't have satisfactory locking arrangements leading either to unsightly padlocks or some further unwanted DIY on your part to install a suitable lock.
The Larkspur's main rivals in terms of its size choice are mainly the Barclay and the Hampton, both of which are available in the same sizes. You can also find the Standard and Premier models in the same 7'x7', 8'x'8 and 9'x9' options too. In our view the Larkspur probably just edges all of these in terms of its overall design, higher spec framing and integral door lock. On balance, though, you'll probably find these other models a little cheaper - check out our price guides on the relevant pages to see. The smaller versions of the Larkspur have more competition - see the Picton, Arlington and Blockley. The Picton usually shades the Larkspur in terms of price while the Arlington and Blockelyt feature pressure treated timbers which are well worth having a look at in terms of increased durability and decreased maintenance. But none of these have the Larkspur's overall style which is usually only found in more expensive models. As long as you're prepared to take the time to apply and maintain a suitable preservative/decorative treatment we don't think the Larkspur, whatever its size, will let you down and we've awarded it four and a half stars. A great economy model which should serve you well over the years.