Stor­age in a small gar­den

In a small gar­den, the ‘shed’ may boil down to a set of shelves, a row of hooks, a cup­board, a con­tainer... JEN­NIFER STACK­HOUSE has ideas for tiny spa­ces

Gardening Australia - - CONTENTS -

There’s noth­ing that makes me greener with gar­den envy than a neat, tidy shed. I am not sure why, but the smaller and neater the shed, the more en­vi­ous I be­come. One of the best neat and tidy sheds I’ve seen re­cently was in a gar­den at Shear­wa­ter in Tas­ma­nia, which I vis­ited with mem­bers of my lo­cal (Ken­tish) gar­den club.

I wasn’t the only one with se­vere shed envy. Ev­ery­one felt it when we rounded the back cor­ner of the house and saw the small wooden shed tucked into the cor­ner of the gar­den, with its door swung open to re­veal shelves well stocked with gar­den­ing needs. The door was hooked open for easy ac­cess, but it could also be closed and locked away when not in use.

Owner Tony Dick made the shelv­ing us­ing a re­cy­cled pantry door. He is now re­tired but pre­vi­ously worked as a joiner, and sal­vaged the door when re­mod­elling a kitchen. Tony says he knew he would one day find a use for the pantry door, which was made from cel­ery top pine, a na­tive Tas­ma­nian tim­ber.

To trans­form this into a stor­age rack for his shed, he sim­ply screwed the old pantry door, with its wooden racks, to the in­side of the ex­ist­ing shed door. It is fit­ted with hinges that al­low it to swing right back against the wall, where a latch holds it open. In­side Tony’s shed is also well or­gan­ised, with a bench, pot­ting mix stored un­der­neath, and ex­tra shelves and hooks for gar­den tools. A win­dow al­lows lots of light into the space. A well-or­gan­ised shed isn’t meant to just im­press vis­i­tors, it also makes gar­den­ing eas­ier and more ef­fec­tive. Time that is wasted search­ing for se­ca­teurs or the trowel is time when you could be out there gar­den­ing.

Don’t de­spair if your small gar­den, court­yard or bal­cony doesn’t have space for a tra­di­tional shed. Gar­den stor­age can be com­pact enough to fit in a small space but still fit a lot in. Cup­boards, benches and walls can all dou­ble as stor­age space.

Ex­te­rior cup­boards made from durable ma­te­ri­als such as ma­rine-grade ply­wood can serve as a com­pact shed, with space for long-han­dled tools. Mount the cup­board on the wall to save even more space.

Benches make great sense where space is lim­ited. Fit­ted with un­der-seat stor­age, a bench can house long-han­dled tools as well as smaller items, fer­tilis­ers and bagged goods. Shut the lid and you also have some­where to sit.

If space is re­ally lim­ited, it’s pos­si­ble to have small hand tools ac­ces­si­ble by hang­ing them on a tool rack mounted on an ex­te­rior wall. Se­lect a spot that’s shel­tered from the el­e­ments and out of reach of chil­dren.

STOR­AGE SYS­TEMS & TIPS

Where space is tight, buy tools that are easy to store, such as hand mowers or tools with collapsible or de­tach­able han­dles. There are even some fold-up wheel­bar­rows avail­able.

Aim to keep the floor of a small shed clear by hang­ing up as much as pos­si­ble, us­ing the wall space. Stor­age spe­cial­ists of­fer op­tions for the safe stor­age of gar­den tools, in­clud­ing util­ity tracks to mount in­side the shed, with hooks to hang spades, forks, rakes and other tools with long, straight han­dles, along with lad­ders. There are even hooks avail­able to wall-mount your trusty wheel­bar­row. Use peg­boards for small tools such as se­ca­teurs and trow­els, and shelves or racks for the bulky items.

If off-the-shelf sys­tems aren’t for you, there are many ways to repur­pose items and cre­ate homemade stor­age so­lu­tions. Turn the page for great ideas to help you or­gan­ise your gar­den­ing sup­plies.

FROM MAIN A metal cabi­net and re­pur­posed kitchen ta­ble do the job in a rooftop gar­den; gar­den­ing prod­ucts are neat and ac­ces­si­ble in shelves that were made from an old pantry door.

CLOCK­WISE FROM LEFT Hose brack­ets are es­sen­tial in small spa­ces; a wall-mounted pal­let holds long-han­dled tools; un­der-deck stor­age with ver­ti­cal green­ery; use wall space for pots, tools and pro­duce; this shed-cum-pot­ting area takes up very lit­tle space; a hook for ev­ery tool.

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