GBDW – Sheds and Outbuildings Wrap-Up

– Posted in: Garden Design

Well, there weren’t as many responses to this topic as I’d hoped, but never mind: We still have quite a few great posts on the subject, and hopefully we’ll pick up a few more along the way. Most of us are blessed (or cursed) with some sort of outbuilding, after all; the question is whether we treat it as a design opportunity or as a strictly utilitarian structure that’s best ignored or hidden. The latter approach is certainly a reasonable one, especially if you have a sizeable garden with plenty of structure from fences, trellises, and other vertical elements. But if your space is already limited, or if your shed is in a highly visible site, maybe it’s time to give it a makeover so it does double duty as a delightful visual element instead of an eyesore. Most people worry about the cost of sheds, however you can get shed kits which allow you to build your own shed at a great price. With this being said, even with the use of small garden storage boxes will provide you with at least some space to store your gardening essentials, if you find that your garden isn’t big enough for the outbuilding you had initially hoped for. Anything is better than nothing. If you don’t have a shed and would like one, then check out these sheds for sale. If your garden shed isn’t all you wish it could be, check out these posts to find some inspiring ideas.

Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop – Sheds and Outbuildings (Nan at Gardening Gone Wild): Kick-off post for this month’s topic.

The Shed Revisited (Frances at Fairegarden): No excuses needed for the garden shed at Faire Garden! A coat of paint, a clever windowbox planter, and a charming companion garden turn this kit shed into a lovely landscape feature. For more on its history, check out the appropriately titled Shed.

Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop: Sheds and Outbuildings (Heirloom Gardener): When I was a kid, a fort was simply a conglomeration of picnic-table benches and old sheets. Seeing the great fort that Heirloom Gardener’s husband built for their kids makes me think I should have held out for something a little spiffier. The first link leads to her recent post with a photo of the fort in its garden setting. For more info on how it was built, visit Gardening with Children: How to Build a Children’s Playhouse (the Fort).

Buffalo’s Shed Spread (Jim at Art of Gardening): Trust Jim and the other participants in Garden Walk Buffalo to come up with an amazing array of out-of-the-ordinary outbuildings to amaze and inspire.

Outhouse Tool Shed (Lois at Lois deVries’ Garden Views): Mom built me a super little shed that looks like an outhouse, but Lois has that beat: a real, old outhouse that now serves as her garden shed!

Garage in the Garden (Barbara at Gardening Gone Wild): Barbara’s garden may be new, but she already has a shed setup that’s the envy of any gardener, complete with potting bench, ample storage space, and extra windows to create a great greenhouse-like space.

Where Elvis Lives (Steve at Gardening Gone Wild): Steve’s splendid garden shed has served many purposes, except perhaps the one for which it was originally intended. Find out how Steve is working on changing that – and find out exactly who Elvis is.

From Eyesore to Asset: New Shed Evokes Fond Memories (Pam at Digging): Pam has moved on to a new garden, so the story of Green Hall at her previous garden is now even more memorable.

If anyone else has a shed-related post they’d like to share, don’t be shy: Leave us a link below! For even more inspiration, check out Debra Prinzing’s new book: Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways. You can find out more about her and her book at her web site, Debra Prinzing.

Nancy J. Ondra
Nan gardens on 4 acres in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. In the firm belief that every garden ought to have a pretentious-sounding (or at least pretentious-looking) name, she refers to her home grounds as "Hayefield." There, she experiments with a wide variety of plants and planting styles, from cottage gardens and color-based borders to managed meadows, naturalistic plantings, and veggies--all under the watchful eyes of her two pet alpacas, Daniel and Duncan.
Nancy J. Ondra

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10 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

VP October 31, 2008, 5:16 am

Hi – my post went up this morning – we must have been writing about sheds at about the same time last night.

I’ve written a brief introduction to my shed and why we chose it with links to the posts I’ve done previously. This includes a putting our shed together plus a glorious celebration of a great British icon, the Allotment Shed. I’ve also put together some useful links, including a step by step guide to installing a living shed roof, a site which fully celebrates the great British shed and another dedicated to homeworkers who use their shed as their workplace.


Wonderful, VP! Thanks ever so much for taking the time to put this helpful post together. What a great resource!

Helen/patientgardener October 31, 2008, 7:36 am

Sorry didnt contribute to this one as I dont have a shed!!

That’s ok, Helen. Hmmm…maybe you *need* a shed?

Mother Nature's Garden October 31, 2008, 8:27 am

Great series! It is so inspirational because of all the wonderful ideas. Thanks.

It’s great to hear comments like that, Donna; thank you!

uncle wilco October 31, 2008, 8:30 am

Some great sheds there but are they worthy of the title Shed of the Year?

Holy cow – who knew that there was an entire blog (and web site, too) dedicated to garden sheds? Thanks for letting us know.

Frances October 31, 2008, 8:39 am

Hi Nan, I still love that shed in the first photo. Those colors are spellbinding. Thanks for doing these workshops.

Um, yeah…I used up all my best shots in the kick-off post, so I had to repeat some of the sheds with images taken from different angles. Should have known I wouldn’t fool anyone. I’m glad you didn’t mind seeing them again, anyway! (I should mention that both of these sheds are at work – Linden Hill Gardens in Ottsville, PA: The first is the office and the second is our Gift Cottage.)

Nancy Bond October 31, 2008, 9:37 am

Hi Fran — you can include this post if you like:

It’s not exactly useful at present, but it speaks to days, long ago, when it was. I love the shed above, especially the bold color!

Thanks so much for sharing this link, Nancy!

Shirl October 31, 2008, 12:25 pm

Sorry Nan – my intentions were good for this one too. I began tidying my lovely new shed. I even got the blind up – sorry no post went up though. Time ran out. Have a great weekend 😀

If you have time to get to it later, Shirl, don’t forget to leave us a link. You’d be amazed at how often these wrap-up posts get accessed in our archives, even many months later, by folks looking for design ideas.

Karen November 3, 2008, 12:15 pm

Here’s a post about my shed. I use it for general garden and lawn use, and it is about half-full, so I have plenty of room for potting.
Thanks for the opportunity to share it!

I’m so glad you joined us, Karen, and I appreciate the link to your post. We sure do want to hear about your shed!

Jeannie Hanson November 6, 2008, 10:45 pm

living in suburbia, there’s not as much space for outbuildings…but you still need them! So, that’s why I was excited about the “outhouse/tool shed” I found at the Redwood Barn Nursery. And…it looks simple…and it looks like I could talk my husband into making me one! Check it out:

Good luck with getting your shed made, Jeannie; it looks like it would be really handy, and cute too. Welcome to GGW!

Christine May 3, 2009, 8:58 pm

Hello! I am looking into converting a very old henhouse 12 x x20 into a living space for my sister who can not afford her own place. Love to hear if anyone has done that out there. There are squirrels, a rabbit and a chicken calling it home right now. There is room to put a loft to sleep. I was thinking this is cheaper than buying a cabin kit and I won’t have building inspectors and all their rules as I don’t have to move the shed. Any suggestions? Thanks so much!

I’m afraid that I don’t have any experience with a project like this, Christine, but maybe some of our readers will see this and chime in. Be sure to check back often!

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