Few gardens are complete without a potting shed. As well as a practical place of work and storage, sheds can be an attractive focal point, especially when painted or used as support for climbing plants such as roses or clematis. Not infrequently, they are also a place of refuge: somewhere to take shelter from a rain shower, drink tea, eat sandwiches, and contemplate the growing fruits of the gardener’s labour. With all of that going on, it certainly pays to choose the right potting shed.
When looking to buy a potting shed, the first consideration is the size and layout of the garden into which it is to go. Smaller gardens inevitably require smaller potting sheds. However, this need not necessitate any compromise in either quality or style.
Although usually thought of as freestanding structures, potting sheds can also abut a greenhouse. An abutting structure can be a fantastic compromise for a gardener desirous of having both a greenhouse and a shed, but precluded by space constraints from two separate structures. Equally, much larger structures are available for those with gardens to fit them and who also wish to benefit from the inherent advantages of abutting structures. Chief among these is that abutting structures have a smaller footprint than would a separate greenhouse and shed. Another, perhaps less obvious benefit, is the internal door between the greenhouse and shed sections of an abutting structure. A gardener hard at work in the potting shed during a cold snap might happily open that door to use the greenhouse’s heat to warm numb, cold fingers.
The positioning of a potting shed may also dictate its size. Few gardeners are happy to lose prime growing ground to a built structure. This is why most sheds are sited under trees or against hedges, where any shade they will cast is of no consequence. However, just because a potting shed is to be tucked away in a little-seen area of the garden is no reason not to pay attention to its appearance. Indeed, sheds over-hung by trees may be in more need of weatherproofing than others. Although the trees may provide some protection from rain, sap, bird droppings and leaf fall can all pose issues. Looking for a shed with a maintenance free roof, such as powder-coated aluminium, is a very good idea. So, too, is remembering to take advantage of guttering to channel rainwater into a water barrel.
Buying and erecting one’s own shed presents the opportunity to custom-design its interior. Although many people favour greenhouse-style shelving and staging, others prefer the flexibility of open space, which they can customise in a more ad hoc way, for example with portable or folding tables. Finding a potting shed supplier that encourages gardeners to customise their own inside space is a definite bonus.
A final thing to look for is automatic roof ventilation. This can be a feature of more deluxe models, and can be a real blessing during changeable weather, negating the need to dash in and out, opening and closing doors.