Great Ideas for Garden Sheds

, written by Benedict Vanheems gb flag

Green roof on a garden shed

Sheds are more than just somewhere to stash the gardening tools. They’re a place to brew up a warming cup of tea (or something stronger) on a cold day. Somewhere to kick back and read the news. And, with a little creative thinking, your shed can evolve to become every bit as unique as you are.

It may not be prime real estate, but one’s shed is a much-loved asset and in so many cases, a thing of great pride. There is an inseparable bond between a bloke and his shed!

Kitting Out a Garden Shed

Let’s leave the wackier ideas aside for a moment (though do take a quick look at the link – your jaw will drop!). Just what should every common-or-garden shed include to make life easier for the gardener that uses it? Here are a few ideas.

Hooks: And lots of them! Hooks everywhere, on every wall. Oh, and on the ceiling for good measure. A well thought-out shed will have hooks for every garden tool so they’re easy to identify in one sweep of the eye. By neatly presenting your tools, there’s none of that grappling around in a darkened corner to find the right fork. Easily-accessible tools will save time and considerable faffing. Hooks = tidy shed and tidy mind.


Shelving: Like hooks, shelves are invaluable in a well-organized shed. A bookcase works well. Or stack up old wooden fruit crates on their sides to create a beautiful vintage look. Allocate each shelf a specific use. Keep gardening books at eye level, and heavy items down below to stop the shelving unit from becoming top-heavy. The shelving is where those useful bits and bobs are kept: string, watering can roses, boxes of seeds, tins of paint, plant labels, pots etc. Shelving at the right height can also be used as a potting bench.

Comfort: If your shed is away from the house – on a community garden perhaps – it makes sense to provide a few creature comforts. This will give you somewhere to sit down out of the sun or rain, or to warm up/cool down with a hot/cold drink. Big sheds could accommodate a decrepit but much-loved armchair, more modest sheds a slim-line stool or two. Include some means of making tea or coffee: a small camping stove (taking due consideration of fire safety); rodent-proof tins containing tea, coffee, sugar, powdered or long-life milk; and, of course, mugs, kept dust-free with a protective wrap of plastic.

A frost-free shed also makes a great place to store garden produce such as potatoes, onions and apples, so make sure to allocate a space for this.


Practical Ideas for Shed Exteriors

Don’t forget to put the outside of your shed to work. Fit guttering to collect rainwater from roofs into water barrels to store for irrigating your plants.

An increasingly popular and wildlife-friendly option is to give your shed a green roof, by growing plants on it. Green roofs like the one shown at the top of the page are beautiful, natural-looking and, with the right plants, can be zero-maintenance. It’s even possible to grow shallow-rooted herbs such as thyme on a shed roof. But for the simplest, no-fuss approach, a roof brimming with sedums is the answer and will draw in bees, butterflies and hoverflies from far and wide.

The external walls of any shed can be pressed into service too. Hooks on the outside are great for stashing lanky bamboo canes come the end of the season.

Sun-facing walls can become another growing surface for warmth-loving fruits such as grapevines or passion fruit. And then there’s the opportunity to hang up food and homes for wildlife, including bird feeders and bug hotels.

Finishing Touches and Shed Security

British sheds have a reputation for eccentricity, with whole television programmes, books and websites devoted to them. But as a starting point a coat of paint can help your shed to stand out or blend in. Camoflage effects and soft greens look great in a garden, helping the shed to settle into its native habitat.


Sadly, shed break-ins are all too common. Secure the door with a quality padlock that isn’t easily picked or cut off with bolt cutters, and use tamper-proof hinges. Draw curtains when you’re not there to hide your shed’s contents – or leave windows bare if there’s nothing valuable inside to show potential thieves that breaking in would be a waste of their time.

If your shed has a nice view then a bench outside to drink in said view while enjoying a brew is a must. It will encourage you to linger a while longer, which in a garden setting is only a good thing for mind, body and soul.

Why not use our Garden Planner to work out where you have space for a new shed in your garden? Click on the selection bar drop-down menu above your plan and choose Garden Objects from the list. Scroll through to find a selection of metal and wooden shed icons to add to your plan.

Please share your own ideas for shed-based bliss below. Or if you’ve got any practical suggestions to keep your shed spick and span, we want to hear about them too. Crucially, enjoy your shed – it’s a reflection of you after all.

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Show Comments


"How do I contact you in South africa"
Rapitse Montsho on Monday 2 October 2017
"Hi Rapitse. We're contactable by email - please use the 'Contact' tab at the top of the page to find our contact details."
Ben Vanheems on Tuesday 3 October 2017
"Started reading this article and then stopped abruptly at "there is an inseparable bond between a bloke and his shed." I'm no feminist but seriously? Half the people on our allotment site are women and, weirdly enough, they love their sheds too! Disappointing in the 21stC."
Karen on Wednesday 18 October 2017
"Hi Karen. My apologies - this was in no way meant to be sexist and I'm mortified that it may have been interpreted that way. There are, naturally, amazing sheds and shed enthusiasts in all of us. We at GrowVeg very much appreciate that anyone and everyone can love gardening and, of course, all the wonderful eccentricities that come with it!"
Ben Vanheems on Wednesday 18 October 2017

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