My Potting Shed

When we moved into our home many years ago the gardens I envisioned were in books; not in my yard. But, there was an old chicken coop: rustic shelves, small windows that didn’t close properly, crude wooden beams, and a table made out of a vintage door. Perfect!

Clay pots, rakes, shovels, and trowels made their home there along with watering cans and potting soil. I hung a painted, oval sign on the door: Potting Shed.

Being surrounded by overgrown forsythia bushes, the shed was secluded. After removing grass I planted Lady’s Mantle, variegated ferns and bright blue Forget-me-nots; it became my secret garden.

And then in 2011, Hurricane Irene hit Connecticut. Winds howled around our home and we heard a loud crashing sound; a large, weeping willow tree crushed the forsythia bushes, the secret garden and my potting shed.

We were saddened by the sight of the shed: a caved in roof and massive tree branches sticking out of gaping holes. The shed that lived its life housing chickens on someone’s farm long ago, the shed that gave me a place to pot colorful pansies in spring and rust colored mums in fall.

Fall faded into winter and then spring came. During that time I began researching potting sheds, hoping that some day we would build another one. I googled images of potting sheds and loved the ones that were made using old windows and doors. I researched architectural salvage places. If you’ve never visited an architectural salvage place and you love treasures from the past, it is the place for you. My husband and I wandered around a warehouse stacked with mantles, moldings, fences, gates, windows and doors. We found three, several paned windows, a transom window and a solid wooden door with a window on top. All were covered with several layers of paint and the windows had broken panes; a little work and they would return to their original glory.

We had windows and doors but still no shed. That summer we contacted a company to build our shed and they agreed to cut openings the same size as our windows and doors. In the fall of 2012 our potting shed found a new home in our yard. A friend installed the windows and doors; we filled the shed with the waiting clay pots and tools and closed the door for the winter months. And what was I doing during those months? Researching how to organize the inside of a potting shed.

That spring my husband and I put together wooden boxes for a raised bed garden. I planted seeds and seedlings and tended my first vegetable garden. Finally, at the end of the summer we had time to organize the inside of the shed.

Our potting shed holds more than tools and clay pots; it holds conversations, laughter and good times shared with each other and friends. xxoo

Click on any picture to scroll through the images.

  19 comments for “My Potting Shed

  1. Kim Stafford
    January 23, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    I’ll bet you cried when you lost your old shed, even though your new shed is awesome. I love the multipaned window and door. When I replaced all the windows in my house last year, your brother laughed at me when I kept all the brass hardware from the old windows. I’m selling (read: donating) the hardware to an architectural salvage place as soon as I can find one.


  2. January 23, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    Ellen, I spent much of last summer looking for an architectural salvage yard in my quest to find and repurpose and old piece of fence. Your story is heartwarming and the shed looks like a wonderful place to sit with a cup of tea or a glass of wine and some dear friends.


    • January 24, 2015 at 1:10 pm

      You and I are kindred spirits; searching for objects from the past.
      Sometimes in the early morning my husband and I take our coffee into the shed and often late in the day we enjoy wine and cheese there. It is a cozy spot for catching up on life with friends. πŸ™‚


  3. janette andrews
    January 24, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    I think this journey would make an amazing book with the photos. My best memory of my visit to CT was our conversations over a glass of wine with Janie. It was an intimate spot to hide out and share. Love you, Janette


    • January 24, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      I have fond memories of that day; the conversation and all the laughs we shared. πŸ™‚


  4. Amy
    January 24, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    What a pity you lost your old garden shed. But your new one is simply scrumptious! So happy for you! xox


    • January 25, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      I never thought I could love a potting shed as much as I love the one I have now.
      Every day I appreciate it more.:)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. January 26, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Wonderful space! I love to visit architectural salvage yards and imagine the stories behind the pieces.


  6. January 28, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Wow, you did such a lovely job! You need to post a photo in the snow tho πŸ˜„. Hope you weren’t hit too badly and that spring arrives in no time!


    • January 29, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      The post I’ll be working on this weekend will include snow pictures. Two feet of snow fell and winds created drifts that were higher. I am dreaming of spring. πŸ™‚


  7. joenesgarden
    January 30, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    That is a very cool shed and, as a true gardener, I’m sure it will bring you many fond memories over the years. I had pined for a shed and finally bit the bullet a few years ago and purchased a cute shed from Kloter Farms in Ellington. It’s a quaint red, with white trim and black shutters.. I, too, spent some time organizing the inside … which is still a work in progress … but I love that I have a place that is mine to organize with my gardening gear. Every gardener needs a shed!


    • January 31, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      I love that: “Every gardener needs a shed.” Yes, we need a place for all our stuff! πŸ™‚


  8. February 7, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    As heartbreaking as it must have been to lose your potting shed, the new one is so much more! I’m in awe of your beautiful new space!


    • February 7, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      I never dreamed the new shed could be so nice. It’s a fun place to be.
      Thank-you for stopping by and leaving a comment. πŸ™‚


  9. February 8, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I love that green door with all the little window panes! I never thought of putting a comfortable conversation spot in a potting shed. You’ve made it more than functional. Thanks for showing us.


    • February 8, 2015 at 3:57 pm

      Green is my favorite color and that paint color is called: Spring Green, and spring is my favorite season.
      After the shed was on our property, my husband and I put the wicker furniture in there to get it out of the rain. We spent a lot of time there planning how to organize the shed and where to put tools etc. It was such a comfortable spot; we left the furniture. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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