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Monday, February 25, 2008

Take back the Shed!

This photo is one of the oldest slides of our garden. It was the inspiration for our name, "Old Country Gardens".

When we moved here, I was already bitten by the gardening bug but I knew nothing about garden design. I saw all this land out back and thought the only way it could be planted was like a farm, everything in rows. Our yard no longer looks anything like this but I'm so glad I have this old photo to remind me of back then.

When we first moved here, I stored my gardening tools in our two car garage. We never had one of those before but somehow managed it fill it immediately on move-in day. To this day we can only squeeze one car in there.

It wasn't long before I knew we needed a shed. I was wasting precious time every day running back and forth from the gardens out back to the garage every time I needed a tool. When Don agreed that we needed a shed, I drove him crazy looking for the perfect one. It had to have windows, window-boxes for me to plant and I insisted on the door being centered.

The color of the shed alone was a whole project, I drove around town looking at other sheds and comparing different colored wood stains. My darling shed had curtains on it's windows before my daughters bedrooms had curtains, how could I resist those lace valences with picket fences on them.

The inside was another project. We bought flooring from the remnant section, cabinets and a counter top too. We didn't get to choose colors but I was so happy with what we got. Little did I know what a light colored floor would look like after a rainy day in the garden.

This is what the interior looked like the first few years. My daughters were children then and they'd spend days inside playing board games or house. I couldn't get them to make their bed but they'd sweep the shed in an instant.

Recently I tried to find a new photo of my shed. If you've read my recent posts you'll know how upset I was when our neighbor ruined the wooden fence and installed this hideous white vinyl elephant. Maybe that was the beginning of the problem. Maybe it was the day my mom was giving the shed a spring cleaning and let out a shriek when she found a mouse.

What ever it was, I started to avoid my shed. It became a place where I opened the doors, threw something inside and ran off again as fast as possible. The plant material around the shed has filled in so beautifully yet the only recent photos I found were two taken in July of 2006 during a garden tour here. My youngest daughter Emily took photos of people in the garden and the shed was captured at the same time. You can see here that the window boxes had rotted off by then. I miss them!

This last photo shows the shed out back. By the summer of 2006 the interior was totally ignored, the only enjoyment I was getting was working on the landscape around that shed. This brings me to the title of my post. It's time to "take back the shed"!

As soon as our snow melts, I'm going to get in there and empty out all those mouse filled birdhouses. The mice must think it's mouse condominium heaven in there..."ooh look honey, which house would you like? The one with the peaked roof or the one that looks like an old mans face...".

Really, I am!


GardenJoy4Me said...

Melanie . Soon I will have to stop looking at your blog .. you live in garden heaven and I can't take it any more ! hehehe
Ok .. I have a few rent paying mice that the squirrel mafia aren't too friendly with .. thus the term "rent" .. and yes ! .. I jump UP and OUT (Sir Issac Newton would be thoroughly impressed with that move !) of the shed if I see something even close to a little beastie there.
I have to share the shed with the "golfing fisherman" so you can imagine how squeezed in I am .. BUT ! I have a potting table and some shelves .. none the less, I don't think future pictures will be coming .. too scary for the general public ! LOL

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Definitely take back the shed! It is so lovely. Your garden is so beautiful.

Dave said...

I understand about filling up the garage! We've been here a year now and the cars have yet to get inside. I've got the two lawnmowers, all the yard tools, and an assortment of other gardening related items as well as non-gardening items. I hope a shed is in our near future!

Here's an idea for your vinyl fence dilemma. Dig in some poles at 6-8 foot intervals and stretch wire between them. Then plant good vine plants along the wires or try espalier with a relatively fast growing tree like a purple leaf plum or whatever you like. Trumpet vine might work. I don't know your zone but I'd be tempted to plant a grape vine.

Wicked Gardener said...

What a shame to let such a pretty shed go downhill. I understand. For me it is my pool. What once was entertainment center of my home is now literally a cess pool of guilt and resentment. We both need get them back. I found your blog on blotanical, and I look forward to seeing how the shed is coming.

Gail said...


I am so glad you stopped by my blog with your good ideas...

You should see my mosaic shed...I store all my mosaic supplies in there and it is a BIG MESS...I couldn't mosaic anything in there now.

So many projects so little time.


Anna--Flowergardengirl said...

Shedding is the first thing on my list after I get settled in the new house, new job, other new job, and cooking again--lol. Now we shall shed together. Deal? I do mine and you do yours and we will both be grateful. Yours use to be such a beautiful place. We are big girls now but we still want to play. I loved the photos of you yard and your dreams.

Anonymous said...

Your neighbors fence is much more attractive than anything in your yard. The shed is just awful.

Melanie said...

Dear anonymous, thanks for taking the time to post your feelings on my shed.

The good news is the only opinions here that matter to me are ones that are kind or those that offer constructive criticism. It seems you fit in neither category.

jess said...

Hey, Melanie! Beautiful gardens. Please let me know the names of all the plants you have lining your driveway (on your top banner). They're hard to identify from the photo. Best, Jessica Damiano

Marcela Munoz said...

hello your shed is gorgeous!. I hope you give it a good use in the future. I recently moved to a nice house and my neighborhood decided to build up a horrible vinyl fence like the one your neighbor did. I'm so disappointed to see this hideous fence every day, I hate the plastic -fake feeling, the shininess it looks. I still have the wooden fence and in part of my side. What did you do to overcome this ? please ? I don't want to be mean with my neighbor but this is just awful.