Garden sheds: Making them your own

Red accents and a garden angel say “welcome.” Images by Diane Morey Sitton.

Tool sheds, potting sheds, she sheds—call them what you will. Few garden structures are as functional or as full of personality as these one-of-a-kind buildings.

Jim Charlier, renowned Buffalo, New York, gardener, uses hooks to hang long-handled tools in his colorful shed.
Large windows on a she-shed provide fresh air and an herb garden view.

Look around. Garden sheds run the gamut from simple metal buildings to Victorian cottages with gingerbread and stained glass. There are rustic log cabins with cathedral ceilings, country cottages with “farm” vibes, and even slick, shiny silos used to house mowers and mulching machines.

Skylights help brighten the interior of this log retreat.

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Despite their individuality, many sheds share common features that add to their usefulness, their appeal, or both.

Look! It’s a tool shed disguised as a silo.

Weathered furniture tops the list. Not only have old tables, cabinets, dressers, and bookcases proven themselves elsewhere, but when repurposed to give a garden shed extra storage or an added work surface, their scratches and dings add character. Likewise, shed owners cherish farm sinks, salvaged fixtures, vintage windows, hand-hewn doors, and other architectural artifacts for their alluring patina, connection to history, and utilitarian value.

Rustic collectibles furnish this mini-porch.

The best thing about garden sheds is that even if your budget is sparse and your shed is underwhelming in its design, there are ways to get “the look” while making the shed all your own.

Who wouldn’t want to rock away the afternoon on the porch of this tiny green shed?
Personalize garden sheds by displaying collections inside or outside.

Start the transformation by following the tips below.
–Decorate with your favorite colors.
–Display family heirloom tools and implements.
–Showcase collections of vintage nozzles, antique pots, garden books, and paintings.
–Grow plants in a sunny windowsill.
–Paint the door a vibrant color.
–Use decorative hooks to hang long-handled tools on a wall.
–Cherish the chipped paint on repurposed furniture.
–Display garden buds and blooms in a bottle.
–Throw down a rug to make the space cozy.
–Use the outside walls to display signs and sayings.
–Put a cozy chair by a sunny window.
–Add hooks to the door for your garden apron and hat.
–Put light on the subject with a chandelier or an industrial fixture.
–Store clippers and garden gloves in a favorite basket or crate.
–Store seeds in small glass jars.
–Paint a floral design on a metal garbage can, and then use it to store potting soil, mulch, or fertilizer.
–Fly a flag or a colorful banner.
–Share the space with your pet by including a pet bed, toys, and treats.

A vine-covered arbor frames this secluded potting shed.

Remember, whether you create a haven for hobbies, a sanctuary for solitude, or a space for potting and puttering, garden sheds bring to light the focus and the folly of the folks who build them.

A vibrant door and lush plants soften this tailored-to-perfection garden shed.

And that’s the fun of it!

Hobbits? No, just a kid’s playhouse situated in the garden.
Posted by Diane Morey Sitton
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