As any gardener knows, it takes a host of specialized tools and gear—spades, trowels, shears, gloves, and the like—to do the cultivating, weeding, transplanting, and pruning that plants require. A garden shed offers a dedicated place to keep it all, plus lawn-care equipment and supplies, away from the unrelated clutter in most garages.
But a shed can be much more than a mere storage locker. It can serve as a focal point on your property, adding a defining element to your garden. It offers a pleasant space for puttering and potting, starting seeds, propagating cuttings, and dividing plants to share with friends. And it can be a snug, peaceful escape from the demands of a schedule-crammed life, and a place to commune with the outdoors.
In order to function at its full potential, no matter its size, a garden shed needs a few key features: at least one window—operable, ideally—to let in light and views and fresh air; enough floor space and headroom to allow you to stand up and walk around; and a worktable of some kind, for tinkering with plants or doing garden-tool maintenance.
Beyond providing for those basics, let your imagination be your guide. As you’ll see in the following pages, these houses-in-miniature inspire outsize creative expression. “Sheds are truly intimate spaces,” says designer Ken Smith, owner of . “That’s why we see people going to great lengths to personalize them, trick them out, and make them suit their individual needs.”
Read on for our guide to all things garden shed, from choosing the right size to picking the best place to put it.
Shown: Set amid a riot of summer blooms, this garden shed sports a pyramidal bonnet roof, a type of hip roof that changes pitch near the eaves.
8-by-8-foot prefab Zenith Garden Tower, from $7,000;