Garden and Potting Shed Styles

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Garden and potting sheds are as diverse as the people who own and use them. Charming and intriguing, these simple structures seem to beckon us to approach, peek inside and let our imaginations run wild. These small outdoor buildings also serve as a back drop for artists and artists at heart to express their own sense of style.

My own garden shed built by my domestic partner David Heald.

Once viewed as simply a necessity used for functional purposes— to house garden tools — many garden and potting sheds now serve as an extension to the garden or as the focal point of the garden itself.

Whether it’s decorated with antique garden tools, farm advertising signs, folk-art bird houses, fishing buoys, or covered with creeping vines and lush moss, a gardener’s personality is often expressed through the individual style and flair of their potting shed.

Potting Shed in Maine

Designers, environmentally conscious builders and passionate gardeners aren’t the only people who enjoy the sense of character and timeless appeal that a well-used and -loved antique potting shed can emit. Structurally sound vintage garden sheds are now in high demand. Silvery barn boards and shabby chipping paint trim in hues of sea green and robin’s egg blue instantly evoke memories of days gone by. A few of the questions that an old garden shed that has retained its character evoke are: How many years has this building been used? What sort of old tools did it once house? How much time did the former owner spend in it? Was the shed modeled after someone’s home? Was it ever used as a child’s play house?

A seasonally decorated shed can be particularly endearing. A simple twig wreath hung on the entrance of the door may be filled with forsythias in the spring, and adorned with tiny potted pansies in the summer. Bittersweet twisted around the wreath in autumn followed by sprigs of red winter berries for the holiday season are all subtle and effective ways to celebrate and acknowledge the changing seasons, all while adding visual appeal and charm to the surroundings.

Sandra J. Barnard’s potting shed built for her by her husband.

Gardener’s today often include window boxes, seating areas and rustic outdoor furnishings around their garden sheds. Scaled down versions of porches, make shift canopies, hammocks and courtyard areas may also be found. The reasoning behind this is quite simple and perhaps the most gratifying: today’s garden sheds serve as a peaceful sanctuarys, private escapes—and for some— a home away from home.



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