Sunday, August 4, 2013

Before and after: garden utility area

There is a spot in the back garden that has always been rather awkward. It is a clear space that sits behind a a large stand of mahonia and in front of the woodshop. For years it has looked like this:

I put that portal there some time ago, always intending to do...I dunno, something. (I really have no idea what I was thinking.) And so it has stood, odd and mysterious, a gateway to nowhere. Unfortunately, this area is the first thing you see when you come out of the back door. So this summer I decided to do something about it, making it an attractive garden utility space, with a place to store all my most commonly used tools.

I put two small sheds back there, one with shelves for hand tools, organic fertilizer, drip irrigation supplies, and so on, and the other without shelves so that I could stack all my long handled tools inside, out of the weather. I spread some gravel and made a path to keep the mud at bay (not that we actually have many days in which there is enough rain for mud):

Then I used some redwood I had from an old deck we tore down last year and built a fence to hide the ladders, wheelbarrows, and etc.:

I also used the same wood to make a new gate, and sent the old one to live here, where it keeps the dogs out of their favorite area to pick fence fights with the old dog next door:

 The new gate was made to match this decorative panel, which is just across the way from the utility area:

Behind the fence is a new compost bin. The old compost bins are still working fine, but this one is even closer to the kitchen door, which makes it more likely that I'll use it when the weather or mosquitoes are at their worst:


  1. Great after! I like those sheds, they may be the perfect answer for my "Where did I leave the X, Y or Z?" questions.

  2. That looks so much tidier, and well organized. Well done!

  3. Wow! Your hard work has really paid off -- it looks great! I long for new and improved sheds and better organization for my gardening items.