Outdoor sheds, be it a garden shed, a potting shed, or a garden shed for storage, are integral parts of your backyard landscape. They can add character, blend into the surroundings or make a statement as more than just additional storage. For those with a particular love of their garden, the shed should not only serve a function but allow you to showcase your green thumb too.
Who said sheds should be boring? Gone are the days when sheds are seen as backyard eyesores or are left dilapidated. Now the common storage shed is more a part of the home landscape, and they can even add value to the house. Potting or storage sheds are more versatile these days, with a choice of different materials, colour finishes and styles. So, if you are a garden lover, your garden shed might just become a centerpiece in your backyard.
A garden lovers shed should provide storage for gardening tools, equipment and out of season items. More than that, it should complement the style or theme of your home and your entire garden. Here are 12 ideas for garden lovers looking to spruce up their backyard shed.
Garden shed idea #1: Build a Path
The purpose of pathways in the garden is to connect your house to your garden shed, potting shed or other parts of the garden, as well as to provide a visual separation to your space. You can choose to run your path from your shed to more than just your back door: why not to an inviting fire pit area, a cozy hammock under a tree, a sitting space in your favourite garden corner or your veggie garden plot.
You may use different materials for your walkway. Choose from stones, pavers, crushed rocks, slab rocks, pebbles, stepping stones or even a hardy ground cover plant. Pretty it up with different shrubs or smaller plants along the walkway, add solar-powered LED lights for ambiance and practicality! And make sure you run your pathway design right up to your shed, to help the continuity of the space. For that extra garden lovers touch, add an archway to make a grand entrance for your shed and really showcase the power of your green thumb. For something more subtle, colourful stepping stones can add colour and depth to the walkway.
Garden shed idea #2: Install a trellis
The trellis is a great alternative to colorbond or traditional fences. It adds style and flair to the garden and can do the same for your gardens potting shed. You may use a trellis to partition the shed from other areas in your garden and add some climbing plants for added privacy. Plant honeysuckle or jasmine in a pot near the shed, and you will be in for a treat with the sweet fragrance of the flowers.
Imagine the beauty of a shed surrounded with bougainvillea and its long-lasting flowers all-year round. Don’t forget to periodically prune any climbing plants to ensure that they don’t get out of hand.
Aside from planting climbing flowering plants, you can also hang a smaller metal or wooden trellis in a sunny spot on or near the wall of your garden shed and create a hanging garden. Herbs are great in small pots, and you can add color to your shed wall by painting the pots with different colors. The Boston fern and the Bird’s nest fern can easily grow in containers and are best for hanging.
Garden shed idea #3: Add a patio or small pergola
A patio can serve as an extension of your garden shed space. The floor can be made with timber, gravel, cement or pavers. What a perfect space to potter with your gardening projects; close to all your equipment but out in the open air enjoying the scents and sights of your garden. You may decide to add some chairs and create a little seating area, some freshly cut flowers from the garden will set the tone nicely.
If you choose to add a pergola, you can hang lavenders on the ceiling to make the patio smell sweet and inviting. You may use colourful fabrics, retractable canopies, or umbrellas to cover parts of the patio. The added shade will make it easier to work on warmer days too! For the true garden guru, a green roof on your shed’s pergola would be the ultimate in a garden lovers landscape, see # 10 for more!
Garden shed idea #4: Landscape around your shed
Landscaping can turn a simple, box style shed into a beautiful outdoor shed. Aside from adding color, landscaping can help hide unsightly posts or camouflage a boring concrete slab. It can make the area livelier and more inviting, and the flowers will make the shed smell wonderful. Basil and citronella, among other plants, are very good insect repellants. Herbs will come handy for when it’s time to barbecue, and chamomile and mint are great for fresh tea and cocktail drinks.
If the space around your potting shed is limited, consider installing planter boxes on the windows and filling them with quick-blooming flowers for a lovely touch. A quick and easy option is to add potted plants inside and outside the shed. Inside plants are known to reduce stress and improve the air quality inside a room, making you happier and healthier. You may look at modern planters that use hooks and reused wooden crates. You may also use old ladders as shelf for the planters.
Always incorporate the design of your garden shed with the whole landscape. If your garden has wooden accents like fences and birdhouses, try to stick close to this design. If the design of your house is rustic, your shed design should not involve the use of glass with frills.
Garden shed idea #5: Blend your shed into its surroundings
Although some want their shed to stand out in the garden, others do not want it to look out of place and awkward. Choose a colour finish that complements your garden. Paint the outside of your shed in neutral colors like greens, creams, or light greys to offset the colors of the trees, shrubs, and flowers. You may choose to match the shed to your fencing, so the entire area will serve as a backdrop for your brightly-colored plants and flowers.
Garden shed idea #6: Add irrigation and water features
Garden and potting sheds should have a steady source of water for the tasks that you will engage in during the gardening months. You will need a water system to keep the plants hydrated. You can set up a system that can collect rainwater from the roof -- for use in your garden -- instead of getting water from your water line.
The sound of flowing water brings tranquility to any place especially to gardens. Water features are also beneficial for the birds, insects, and bees. You may make your own feature inside or outside the shed and transform an unassuming pot to a peaceful fountain. Stacked rocks or statues can also be a focal point for a retention or small pond. Waterfalls and man-made ponds can also serve two purposes: as a centrepiece in the patio and as a home for fish or water plants.
Garden shed idea #7: Install outdoor lights
If you are planning to entertain friends in the garden, you need to have outdoor lights. These allow others not only to see the path but also to admire your garden in low light. Add fairy lights around the door of your shed or the trunk of your favourite trees, add solar torches or string lights along the walkway to illuminate your garden. Inside the shed, you may put fairy lights inside a jar and use it as a lamp instead of using ceiling lights to make the shed more intimate.
If you are planning to work in your garden shed or even just to access the items in your garden shed storage, you need to be able to see clearly where you are going to prevent accidents. Perhaps a motion sensor light on the shed’s doorway would work? And ensure lights that are bright enough are available inside the shed space.
Garden shed idea #8: Set up a dining area outside the shed
Any garden lover will want to showcase their space and share it with their loved ones. So why not have the perfect dinner spot: set up a small table and some chairs in the shed patio, or add a lounger to just enjoy the peace and quiet of the garden. Compared to having a single stem of flower on a vase in a restaurant, you are surrounded by flowers and nature when dining alfresco in your garden. You can even get herbs in the garden to add to your salad and drinks. If you have a great setup in your garden, your friends will want to be invited to your place time and time again.
Garden shed idea #9: Extra garden storage space
Garden shed storage is important for any garden lover. From pottering right through to green thumb, you do not want your tools and the extra seeds and pots from your potting shed to be lying around your garden. Make sure you allow a space in your garden shed for storing your tools and gardening needs. There are many ways to create storage inside your shed.
Garden shed idea #10: Install a green roof and green walls
If you are not planning to add solar panels on the roof of your garden shed, you should consider green roofs. Green roofs not only make the shed look better, they also help with sound insulation and reduces your need for cooling and heating. Before turning to a green roof, though, you have to check whether your shed roof can withstand the additional weight. Succulents like aloe, cacti, and sedum can easily withstand heat and are therefore the best candidate for green roofs in tropical regions. Bear in mind that succulents will absorb water and will become heavier, so plan for additional support, if needed.
If your space is limited for planting greens and landscaping, the best solution is the green walls. Also known as “living walls,” green walls are vertical gardens that can be placed anywhere. Green walls can even be added inside your shed to humidify and increase the oxygen in the air and act as a filter for dust and other pollutants. Green walls are becoming more popular in densely populated areas where there is less space to plant.
Garden shed idea #11: Bee-Friendly
Bees help your garden become more beautiful by pollinating the flowers. As such, bee bungalows are essential for bees to hide and rest in. This can be done by drilling holes on blocks of wood with an 8 millimetre bit. You can stack these wood blocks outside the wall of your shed or you may hang them under the eaves of your shed where there is no direct sunlight. You can include a dead tree log for a nesting site. If you want to have your own honey, you can also have a commercial kit for bee homes added in your shed.
Aside from bees, you can also attach bird boxes on the shed wall. This will serve as a great accent at the same time; this will invite the birds to your garden. Make sure, though, that it is far from the children’s and cat’s reach.
Garden shed idea #12: Use unconventional materials
You can find great materials in the junk that you can upcycle or recycle for your shed. Broken glass can be used to make your own stained glass window or skylight. Marbles and the bottoms of glasses can be used to add colour to the wall or to the porch or on a DIY concrete table. Palettes and wooden boxes can be used as planters or storage for your gardening tools. Wood cuttings can be used as decorations on the shed wall or can be repurposed as walkway or a base for your plant box. Add your personal style and stamp to your garden shed, not just your garden!
You can enjoy both a great garden and a garden shed no matter how small your yard space is; you just need to choose your style and allow your creative juices to flow. Just look at your shed as a part of the entire yard and not a separate place. Use your available resources and try to incorporate whatever is available in the yard including tree stumps, large rocks, or trees in your garden shed design.
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