Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Gardener's Dream

It's always so strange to be sick when there's gorgeous weather.

I have so much to do. I don't have time to be wonked out on the couch!!!
Since my mind is still pretty befuddetated, I am putting images and ideas in and letting them simmer for when I can put more logical thought behind them.

I know, I know .... life is so tough!

.... feet up on the couch in my pretty living room, looking out the window, doing a little bit of world travel through  the wires, looking at gardening books, dreaming a little (that part is actually a little bit beyond me at the moment), drinking cup after cup of tea ....

 .... Being in a cloud of these ....


Really, honestly, I am getting a bit stir crazy.


Since I have a bit of forced time on my hands, I thought that I would share with you one of our other projects slated for this summer.

I really think that I must be the luckiest girl in the world!


It's really a case of  we need to do this so that we can do that and, before we do that, we have to do this so that we can get to the really important thing that we have to do after all the rest is done and out of the way.

Did you catch that?

Have you guessed what the next upcoming project is?

after puppies, of course!


Oh, I am a lucky, lucky, blessed girl, indeedy!

After dreaming of  a garden shed for forever, one has landed in my lap.



This picture of the barn and milk house were taken when we first bought the house.

Our original plan was to turn the small building into a playhouse for the boys. We haven't been able to get into it for, at least, a year and a half because of a huge pit that we had to dig in front of it. (don't ask ....) This winter, Mr. Tom had the idea to turn this into a garden shed and to use some of the stacks of windows that we found in the barn to make a greenhouse.

The boys will be fine. They already have a ranger station in a little shack in the woods.

Do you get the idea that I just cannot believe this is happening?

A potting shed seems, to me, to be every gardeners dream.


The very first words in  The Potting shed book are,

"What I dream about is a proper potting shed."  ~Thomas C. Cooper

Well, there you are!

There is something very romantic in the thought of a garden shed.

No, not the soppy kind of romance - there's something intrinsically idyllic in the thought.

Photo by William P. Steele.

Why I think potting sheds are romantic
  1.  Many of them look like little playhouses or cottages or cozy shacks.
  2. They are usually located in or, on the verge of a garden. (Well, am I right or am I right?)
  3. They are tres shabby chic!
  4. They are an incredibly beautiful textural heaven.
  5. Many wonderful and favorite novels (many of them children's books) have a garden shed.
  6. They are like a secret hideaway.
  7. They are full of gardeny/botanical type of things. Don't garden spades just droop with romance? (Hand trowels and forks and big metal watering cans, too!) I mean, the thought of Peter Rabbit in Mr. Mcgregor's garden is always floating somewhere in the back of my mind when I see one.
  8. All of the huge and great gardens have them. 
  9. I believe that they hold a secret but I don't know what it is yet, having never had one before.

Photo from Laura Ashley "Guide To Country Decorating"

Beyond all of this, though, ....

I really need a space to keep all of my gardening shtuff! Pots aren't little and I hate it when they get scattered and broken. Gardening tools are so awkward to store, too. There's twine and broken bits of pottery and gravel and peat moss and bamboo stakes and, oh, all sorts of stuff that need a home. It will all be centrally located and have a place where it's meant to be (and not in the way!)

Finally, a little, sheltered space  that I'm not afraid to get dirty when I plant my seeds.

A place that I can slosh water on the floor.

A place to organize.

Photo by Iain Kemp from The English Home August 2009

A place to shelter and dream and watch things grow.

I must be on the mend!


Katy Noelle

P.S. My vicious bunny's name is Flopsy. We've had a Pete and an angora puff ball named Mopsy. Flopsy was a prophetic naming of this cutie but I think it's a he - oops! Well, Flopsy works both ways and he has a nickname, too - Jeffrey. (It's kind of a long story.)


  1. Perusing your blog is therapy for me.
    It's delightful!


  2. Dear Katy,
    You have put into words *exactly* what I feel about a potting shed. "A place to shelter and dream and watch things grow" What a lucky lady you are! You better get better soon and start all those wonderful projects :0) xxx

  3. Dear Katy Noelle, Whilst I am very excited for you at the prospect of having a potting shed, garden shed, or, as I prefer, a garden bothy, I cannot quite agree that having one is shabby chic. Now, I do know what I am talking of. My life is surrounded by shabby chic. All of these places for putting 'things' in the garden simply become dumping grounds and are best avoided unless you are very tidy and very disciplined [which you may, of course, be].

    What worries me more is the thought of a glasshouse made from salvaged window frames found in your barn. Think aesthetics here, dear Katy.

  4. Hello!
    Nice to be on your blog and see all those lovely pics!
    I also love gardening, country houses, birds, nature,aso
    Hope you'll feel better soon!
    warm greetings from Holland;

  5. Dear Edith, I cannot tell if this is a stern warning born of deep experience (watching others, of course) or if your tongue is firmly in your cheek at this very moment.

    I HAVE had a garden closet that stayed very tidy. Actually, it was more a piece of a wall in the garage 'closet' and it smelled like gasoline in there. At the same time, on the "back porch" (which was a terrible dumping ground - old house - no storage space - 3 very young boys - kites and trikes and craft paper and boxes from big presents) .... as I was saying, on the back porch, I had a garden bench (which I just realized, with joy, that we still have in one of the barns somewhere). Both the garden wall and bench stayed rather tidy. Tidy is in the eye of the beholder, is it not? It remained 'artistically' tidy but I couldn't get to it for all of the other stuff crammed into that space. Therefore, what I am trying to say is, I have hope, Edith - hope!

    As for the windows, which we have a plethora (in the true sense of the word) of, I have learned that, if Tom has an idea, it will turn out wonderfully!

    In any case, I'd rather have a dumping ground hidden in a shed instead of on the back porch that I have here! =]

    I hope that this has allayed your deep concerns for me!

    Love, Katy

  6. P.S. I know ALL about the spiders, too!

  7. Dear Katy [as I now think of you - please see my response to your recent comment], Well..sheds...!

    1. To be shabby chic it MUST be a bothy - anything else is simply practical and a tad dull.
    2. Anything which may be described as a 'tool', including things electrical, MUST be hidden away, perhaps inside a distressed French armoire.
    3. It MUST, at the very least, be furnished with a comfortable chair - perhaps a Lloyd Loom in a suitable Farrow and Ball [or American equivalent] colour.
    4. A certain level of dust, mustiness and spider activity is a MUST to be truly authentic.
    5. A well thumbed garden library, unopened seed packets, plant catalogues, at least one trug, balls of twine, etc. etc. are a MUST for decoration.
    6. The facility to make and drink tea is a MUST. But, please note, the 'Gardener's Mug' is totally unacceptable - a Rockingham trio would be ideal.
    7. Having assembled everything, then KNOCK IT BACK as my friend P would say [i.e. doubly distress it].
    8. Enjoy!

  8. Dear Edith, I will certainly take your advice to heart, although, silly American girl that I am, I had to go and look up bothy, Lloyd Loom and Rockingham china. My reaction was basically, "Oh, in my dreams!" (the chair and china, I mean) Truthfully, I did have something like this in mind but had NEVER thought of the capability to make tea. There won't be any electricity. What does one do then, I wonder?

    Love, Katy

  9. Hi, dear Katy-

    I hope- you feel a little bit better.
    Here in Germany you can get a medicine called "Melissengeist"- maybe Mr. Tom knows it??? I swear on it- it helps- and you feel better soon... stay warm- and calm and it´s a good thing, to look in wonderful books for dreaming. I like garden books, too!

    Have a nice day, lovely angel-

    hugs- Ines

    kiss the bunny from me ;-))

  10. I really enjoy this post about the potting shed. It's a delightful destination for gardeners. I appreciate the picture of your barns. Adventure lurks there.

  11. Hi Katy Noelle, I enjoyed every single word! Gave me some inspiration!! Lovely pictures too!!

    Wishing you a wonderful, creative, sunny, happy, weekend!


  12. I like your dreams and ideas for a potting shed Katy and you certainly have the outbuildings on your land to house one.

    What a ding dong you and Edith have been having! Those comments did make me chuckle:-)

    I have that book - great for daydreaming!!

    ... btw, when are the puppies due to arrive? You will have your hands full then my dear.


  13. Hope you feel better soon xx

  14. Dear Katy Noelle,

    You are definetely on the mend!!! Otherwise your post would not be this long, or your ideas this eleborately described. You made me LOL. Glad you are feeling better! I enjoyed your comment on my garden house very much. I hope I inspired you a little :-). Loved the story about your family sailing together. It must be lovely to be out on the water enjoying each others company and the big blue ocean. Only sailed once before on a lake, and found it a bit frightning. We had very strong winds and the boat almost collapsed. We flew across the water and top speed. Luckily our friends were experiences sailers!

    Your potting shed sounds very romantic. Enjoyed your 9 points :-). Your so like me! Go for it girl. It will be lovely. Everytime I approach our little house I can feel myself glow inside. The garden and the house feel like a bit of heaven! I hope your potting shed will feel the same once it is finished.

    Saw the book of Vita Sackville West on your table. Have you seen her garden? We have been there several times. It's so beautiful....

    Well, have to stop now...this comment is getting far too long! Sorry!!

    Wish you a happy weekend!

    Lieve groet & take care,


  15. Dear Kathy Noelle,

    Me again! I enjoyed your correspondence with Edith. The two of you are one of a kind!

    Lieve groet,

    Madelief xxx

  16. GASP, katy! a potting shed! how positively dreamy. i am awful with plants but would love one for its shabby-clubhouse aspect. will you hang pretty curtains? (just humor me and say yes)

    love your pretty blog. i think we photograph things in a similar way. so happy you found my blog so that i could find yours.

    hope you are feeling better!

    happy weekend


  17. Your photos are beautiful. Something so beautiful about old, aged clay pots. Nothing new is as seductive.

  18. Good for you! I look forward to seeing your potting shed take shape.
    Have a good weekend,

  19. Oh a potting shed is delightful. Nope don't have one myself, but you are right, so very romantic to have one. You are a lucky girl! Have to say that I love your blog, the way your write just makes me smile. Reading your blog is like being right in the same room with you, sipping tea and listening to you. Don't know if that makes sense, but it's how I feel each time I read a post of yours. Hope you cold is nearly it's nasty end.

  20. Indeed, a potting shed is every gardener's dream. It's so nice to have a place where you can store your gardening tools and equipment and all other stuff that would not fit in the house. My garden storage shed is also where I keep materials and stuff for my hobbies of collecting stamps, coins, and framed dried flowers and leaves. It is such a wonderful place and I love to stay in it.


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