Denise gardens in North Mississippi and is past president of the Tippah County Master Gardeners.

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The Potting Shed: A Place to Begin
by Denise Pugh    

The front entrance faces the setting sun and captures the much needed natural light and warmth of winter sun.

A place for everything and everything in its place: A playhouse, a winter sanctuary, a herbarium, an atrium and a structural winter solstice are all descriptions I have given to my “potting shed.”  I have been a gardener since childhood, but it wasn’t until after my husband and I built our home I realized the need for a potting shed. I was spending a great amount of time walking to his shop to gather my gardening “things” before I could start on my project for the day.

I hoped, dreamed and browsed magazines for several years before deciding upon the perfect shed. In 2002 we embarked upon the construction of a 16 x 20 brick structure that has proven to meet all of our gardening expectations. The building is divided into two rooms. The northern entrance has double doors and serves as the holding area for gardening tools, clean pots, water hoses, wheelbarrows and a small tiller. The front entry to the building is the workroom. It contains cabinets with cabinet doors fashioned from corrugated tin and electric fence insulators for door pulls, a sink, stainless steel growing/work table, ceiling-suspended grow lights, gas heat and storage. Since this building is only a few steps from my back door, and since it looks like a small replica of my home, both my neighbors and I enjoy this new addition to the property.

In the summer, this structure is the place I begin and end my garden workday. However, in the fall and winter this structure is my gardening sanctuary. Plants are overwintered, seedlings are started on heat mats, and most of all I have a warm place to sit, drink tea, browse garden catalogs and dream of the next season of possibilities.

If a potting shed is in your future plans, there are a few things to consider:

·      What is the primary purpose of this structure? Aesthetic or functional?

·      Where will this structure be sited in relation to the seasonal changes of the sun?

·      What are the desired building materials? New, recycled, brick, wood, concrete?

·      Are water, gas and electricity accessible at this site?

·      What are your space requirements?

·      What is your budget?



The potting shed is sited on a northeast to southwest sun exposure. This double entrance provides adequate space for large items. The structure is traditional brick exterior with a concrete porch and stained concrete flooring inside.

The garden tools are always organized and available with this built-in rack.

Wheelbarrows, fertilizer spreader, tiller and hoses are at home and ready for use in this utility portion of the potting shed.

The worktable and heat mat have just been emptied of their winter seedlings. Grow lights are beneficial on those gray, cloudy days of winter. A small, wall-mounted natural gas heater provides warmth on the coldest days.  

A whimsical storage cabinet adds personality to the workroom.


Storage cabinets and a sink are timesaving components providing a place for washing both hands and tools. The cabinets house fertilizers, hose accessories, gloves and additional hand tools.



Posted: 07/18/11   RSS | Print


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