Getting around the utility shed problem

Most ordinary gardeners – those not lucky enough to have room in the garage, or a garage at all – have the same problem. Whether it’s a tool shed or a pool shed, how do you disguise it, or integrate it with your garden. A beautifully designed shed can put a serious dent in your garden budget.

In this amphitheatre-like garden on the Beach Garden Tour 2011, the shed is inevitably a focal point, even with a lily pond and waterfall to distract you. I thought they came up with a cute solution.

[Ed: I should clarify that many Toronto homes include a vinyl garden shed very much like the one above. They’re designed to last forever. And ever. So if you don’t have the cash, it can be hard to rationalize replacing yours just because you want something prettier.]

Why not hide it in plain sight? A few pots of paint and a steady hand with a brush, and a ordinary prefab vinyl shed sports a trompe l’oeil façade. I’d say this is making a virtue of necessity.


  1. In this case, I'm not persuaded. When the picture came up, I thought it was a garage.

    The general idea sounds good though – even though it would introduce extra up-keep into the garden. My taste, none the less, sticks with wood as looking good.

    I'd love to have room (and, as you say, the money!) to have one of those Swiss chalet style summer houses with glass windows and a veranda.

    And when I see double decker sheds so they can double up as play houses for children! Well, then imagination really gets going.

  2. Hi, Esther, I totally agree about wood, so I guess I should have been clearer — many homes, in Canada particularly, are stuck with older vinyl garden sheds that at one time were "all the rage" because they were indestructible. And, it's true, they are indestructible… which is why having one in your yard is such a dilemma. So if you can't afford to replace it, what do you do? Something like this.

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