Open to the elements, this small yet roomy potting shed brings workspace, storage and decorative cottage charm to the garden while blending it into the scene. We built this budget-friendly open-air structure in a weekend. See how we did it here.
A small garden planted around the shed helps to meld it into the site. As plantings mature, it will become more entrenched in the landscape. Add some curves to the surrounding beds to counter the angular lines of the structure.
Use a variety of foliage colors, shapes, and heights to keep things interesting. Limit the colors of flowers to a palette that coordinates with the shed and any plantings nearby. This continuously blooming Endless Summer hydrangea echoes the color of the shed. The blue blooms are surrounded by Heucherella ‘Solar Eclipse,’ Veronica ‘First Trio,’ tapioca, and Little Devil ninebark.
Welcome birds with a small feeder made from an old teacup and saucer. Use epoxy to glue the cup to the saucer and let dry. Glue a copper female adapter to the bottom of the saucer. When dry, slip it over a length of copper pipe buried a few inches in the garden bed.
Vintage aluminum cookie cutters in animal shapes adorn the edging around the front bed. Each cookie cutter is hot-glued in place then, a small screw is inserted into the wood to secure it.
Edge garden beds with found items such as old glass insulators that once covered telegraph and telephone poles. The heavy pieces make a sparkling edging and come in different sizes and configurations in clear or turquoise glass.
Building such a simple structure allows you to create a shed that’s uniquely personal. We painted the shed in bright matte hues from Annie Sloan Chalk Paint that give it presence in the garden. You can choose more economical latex paint, in colors such as a sage and crisp white that blend or complement your garden. Customize it with options from the finish materials you use to the details you place inside.
One planted window box in the front makes a nice feature. You could add them on all four sides of the shed to further blend your structure into the landscape.
A floating window hangs above the front wall to mimic the look of an enclosed shed.
The handmade stained glass panel creates the same effect over the back wall.
Use a variety of materials when decorating a shed to keep things visually interesting. Glass, iron, porcelain, and brass add patina and sparkle. Up on top, an ornate furnace grate frames an old fan blade, creating a unique floral ornament for the roof pediment.
On the interior of the shed, inject even more style notes by going with a cottage look as we did, or opting for a farmhouse, rustic or cabin style. A fabric apron beneath the worktable gave us our overall color palette and the style cues for the cottage decor.
Saturated pastels and bright colors drawn from the fabric show up on the structure, small metal stool, the accents, and the plantings. The floral motif is a natural in the garden. It repeats in the pediment ornament, child’s watering cans and the stained glass panel.
Keeping things neat, vintage locker baskets and an old bushel basket contain soil amendments and mulch behind the floral apron.
Roomy enough to add a shelf underneath the worktable, this area offers plenty of storage space for potting soil and fertilizers. An old blue metal tub holds a complementary orange hose from DRAMM.
An ample work surface provides a spot to pot plants, store necessities, add decorative flair and write up your gardening journal.
A well-used tackle box gets a new lease on life as a toolbox for small gardening supplies and seeds.
Small tools, plant tags and markers find a home in a vintage African violet pot.
Keep a journal of your gardening efforts from year to year. Tuck in plant tags to remind yourself of horticultural requirements. Save drawings of bedding plans and stow receipts for guaranteed shrubs, trees, and perennials.
Turned stair balusters used as shelf risers, scrolled brackets supporting a vintage frame and a window frame with muntins enhance the cottage style of the decor. Adding architectural detail with salvaged pieces brings unique character to your shell.
Screw a metal funnel to a post for a handy place to keep your gardening twine. Thread the twine through the funnel tip for an easy-to-grab solution.
Iron cultivator tines offer a tidy spot to hang your gardening hat and apron.
An antique frame encloses a painted chalkboard, ideal for making plant lists or sketching garden plans.
The hinged chalkboard rises above brackets that swing out to support the framed piece as an additional work area. It’s just the right size for cutting and arranging flowers.
If you have the room, create a small seating area near your shed. Provide cushions for comfort, a side table or two, and some containers planted with cheery annuals and waving grasses.
A folding tool box allows you to set up a portable potting bench anywhere in your garden or just add a pretty display of fragrant potted herbs and vintage tools near your seating area.
Photos by Chris Hennessey
© Caruth Studio