The Perfect Shed
Every gardener needs a space for storage. Even if you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse, it makes sense to have a shed where you can keep your tools so that the growing area in the greenhouse can be maximised. And if you can’t squeeze a greenhouse into your garden, then why not go for a shed that has windows so that it can double up as a growing space too?
After several years of pondering what the best option was for my own garden, I finally have a potting shed. I’ve always thought potting sheds were magical places. Gardens such as Heligan in Cornwall and York Gate near Leeds have fabulous examples with old tools and terracotta pots, conjuring up the sense that many a happy hour was spent in there.
There was a stone building that was being used as a shed when I bought my house, but it had an internal brick wall that divided it in two, there were no windows and it had two doors. I couldn’t use the space how I wanted to and it inevitably became a bit of a dumping ground for pots and seed trays and half-full bags of compost. I didn’t want to knock the shed down though, as that seemed like such a waste.
I finally decided how I wanted the shed to look and managed to find a builder and joiner that could do the jobs, and work started just before Christmas. I wanted to have windows across the front, so stone was removed to make an opening; this stone was then used to fill the bottom half of one of the doorways. The slate roof was removed so that a waterproof sheet could be put underneath and the slates were put back with the addition of a roof light window to allow more light in and to provide a means of ventilation on hot days. Finally wooden windows and a new door were fitted just in time for the start of the growing season.
Inside I’ve whitewashed the walls to reflect light and I’ve reused the tool rack that was already there. An aluminium potting table has a handy storage shelf underneath and I’ll have plenty of room to sow seeds and take cuttings. Old scaffold boards have been repurposed as shelves for all my pots and trays, and bits and bobs such as twine and secateurs. The deep windowsill will be the perfect spot for seed trays and pots of young plants.
I’ve always thought sheds should have some personality and not just be purely practical places. A friend has bunting in hers and I’ve added these two wrens to the tool rack, which were a gift from a friend at Christmas. I also plan to have a few plants in here too. I have a carnivorous plant that will help to keep flies under control and I’m waiting on a delivery of some scented leaf pelargoniums that I’ll plant into some old terracotta pots. I’ll now have more space to overwinter borderline hardy and tender plants, but best of all: I’ll have somewhere to potter, doing garden jobs, even when it’s wet and windy outside.
1 Comment(s) on this post
Om Louise Curley
Louise is a horticulturalist, garden writer and author of the award-winning book The Cut Flower Patch. She’s passionate about the power of plants to make us feel happy and is an advocate for organic gardening and encouraging wildlife into gardens.Get to know Louise Curley
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18 May 2022 19:04
What is the size of that nice shed?
24 May 2022 09:13
Hi Johann, Thank you for your question and your kind words about my shed. The external dimensions of the shed are 10ft (3m) x 8ft (2.5m) and the walls are 1ft thick so the internal dimensions are 8ft (2.5m) x 6ft (1.6m). I hope that helps.