She shed: Garden retreat and garden storage


OSU Extension master gardener volunteer


A true she shed is a retreat. A place for you to set up your artist studio, a quiet place to curl up and read a good book, a crafting space or a music room.

It can also accommodate an overnight stay if your house is overflowing with house guests.

If you choose to share, your grandkids will think you built a clubhouse just for them.

There can be different degrees of a she shed. With careful planning and dividing, your shed can double as both garden storage and garden retreat. Mine is still a combination of both and a work in progress.

The fun part of setting up your shed is in the hunt for “accessories.” You don’t have to spend a lot of money. By shopping at flea markets, garage sales, antique shops and re-stores, treasures can be found.

Adding shelves, peg boards for hanging tools, and bins to store soils can free up needed floor space.

Why hang boring shop lights when a wonderful old chandelier will jazz up your shed. If you can’t find an old rug, try painting a rug on your floor.

I found an old garden table without the chairs and created a decoupage top with colorful calendar pages.

If you can find an old gym locker, they don’t take up much space and can become quite colorful when painted.

Kitchen cabinets from a remodel, a rescued overstuffed chair and an old trunk can make your space homey.

Don’t plop your shed in the back corner, however. Make it a focal point of your landscape by planting a garden around it. This makes it a great place to take a break and enjoy a cold beverage between your garden chores.

String some festive lights around your area, re-invent your potting bench and table into serving stations.

I have old wash tubs that make excellent ice tubs to hold drinks. This all allows your garden retreat to become an excellent spot to have a garden party. Adding a fire pit makes your gathering cozy with s’mores in the future.

As we head outside to get our landscape ready for the new season, let the men have their “caves.”

Decide if you’ll have a retreat-only she shed or if you’ll combine your space to include garden storage along with a getaway.

Take some time to design your floor space, surrounding garden layout, then head out to find treasures to enhance both areas.

Before getting a new shed, be sure you get the best size for you and follow local building codes. Details on sizes and sturdiness are available at:

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