Creating a magical potting shed
Back in February 2020, my husband converted the bespoke kid’s cubby house at the bottom of the garden into a roomier version that would be a potting shed for me. The kids had outgrown it and he achieved the transformation by dropping the floor height and cutting a larger door and patching up the floor.
I had never had my own shed before. I decorated the inside with things that I have had forever and leftover paint. I probably got slightly carried away, because The Burrow became something far more than I imagined.
Potting sheds for practical magic
I didn’t imagine how important having a potting shed would be. I didn’t imagine loving a shed.
It is practical for gardening, because it makes seed keeping and sowing easier. I can now always find my tools and access things to keep my chickens happy.
But also, on another level, because I made it a place of whimsy, it’s just a quirky little space, a sanctuary where I can just have a cup of tea for five minutes. Where I feel connected to growing, the garden and permaculture thinking.
I can fit regular small-scale seed sowing in more easily to life because it is an organised space. The kids have used the potting shed too, planting radishes and drawing art for inside it.
There is just something about it that feels…otherworldly. Looking at it, and stepping inside is strangely comforting. It’s real magic.
Reusing and upcycling
What I loved about this project was that we reused and recycled what we could. We bought the minimum items needed where we could not source second hand. My husband found an incredible old door for sale nearby and converted it into a half-opening barn door.
Inspiration for “The Burrow”
Our chicken coop is called “The Bothy” so I needed a name for my potting shed. It felt right to call my potting shed “The Burrow” – a name borrowed from the Harry Potter series.
“The Burrow” potting shed is inspired by the quirky Weasley family home in the Harry Potter novels with a twist of Newt Scamander’s shed from Fantastic Beasts (alas, without the suitcase entry!). It’s also a bit of a Hobbity place somehow and a bit Beatrix Potter.
All fantastic worlds collide in my head, and my shed!
I used anything I had in the house – like a teapot that I loved but being clumsy, I had dropped it and broken the handle. Perfect for a bit of fun in the potting shed…
Gardening like farmer, farming like a gardener
With a green man keeping a watchful eye on the outside of the burrow, it seemed right to have one on the inside. Who better than the source of inspiration for all my gardening adventures in Australia, but Costa Georgiadis!
I had a magazine page (from Earth Garden magazine) that I had stuck onto an old baking tray with a quote from Costa Georgiadis…
“And at the end of the day, it’s all about gardening like a farmer and farming like a gardener”Costa Georgiadis
My brother and sister in law know I am a Costa Georgiadis fan and had bought me this beautiful art by local artist Joan and Rose. It just felt right to have Costa as a green man in the potting shed and I’m fairly sure it’s why the chickens love visiting the shed so much.
I had an epiphany learning how to build soil through his series ‘Costa’s Garden Odyssey’. Having Costa as the Southern Hemisphere green man of the inside of my potting shed seems right and I hope he doesn’t mind.
On a sunny day I can brew water for tea in my Sun Rocket solar camping kettle. The potting trolley (“Any plants from the trolley?”) was our second child’s baby change table, which my husband converted into a moveable potting table.
During the project, I kept a Potting Shed Pinterest board with images that were inspiration for the inside.
I hope sharing this modest little potting shed, “The Burrow” will give some of you some inspiration to pursue your own idea of a little magical upcycled potting shed.
You never know when you might need a little space for some spells of green magic in your life.