A magical potting shed – The Burrow

Share:

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.

The front of the potting shed showing a stone plaque of a green man and a handmade sign 'The Burrow'
A green man I’ve had for years from the UK. I made the sign from scrap wood

Potting sheds for practical magic

I didn’t imagine how important having a potting shed would be. I didn’t imagine loving a shed.

The front of the wooden potting shed showing a wooden door with a dragonfly knocker.
The door is recycled from an old house, split to form a barn door. The door handle from a different old door, the door knocker was a gift.

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.

Inside the potting shed with garden tools hooked onto spaces on the walls.
Places for some simple tools

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.

A few simple tools

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.

A panoramic photograph of the wooden bench in the shed.
Practicality – a potting bench with storage underneath

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.

A photo of the potting shed with evening sun lighting the door.
Evening sun on the beautiful reclaimed 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 window of the potting shed looking out to a young lemon tree.
The southern window, peeking out to the lemon tree

“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!

Looking in through the window, with cobwebs and a solar light inside.
Solar lights in a jar for a little light inside, cobwebbed windows encouraged
A leaf-shaped plate with the words of W B Yeats inscribed "The world is full of magic things patiently waiting for our sense to grow sharper".
A quirky plate with a quote from my favourite poet, W.B. Yeats
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
Seeds organised in old shoe boxes, flower presses
Saved Black hollyhock seeds with a bit of imagination and a broken but beloved mug.
An insect hotel made from bamboo sticks, attached to the outside of the potting shed.
Open to all fantastic mini-beasts – the insect hotel
A Beatrix Potter window decal.
Mixing in a bit of a Beatrix Potter

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…

Mr Todd in a teapot. Peter Rabbit is on the shelf below.

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
The potting shed wall with a portrait of Costa Georgiadis by Adelaide artists Joan and Rose.
A magazine page (Earth Garden) stuck onto an old baking tray
with a quote from 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.

The potting shed wall with a portrait of Costa Georgiadis by Adelaide artists Joan and Rose.
Beautiful art by local artist Joan and Rose.

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.

A Sun Rocket solar kettle outside the potting shed.
Sun Rocket solar camping kettle and the potting trolley.
A chicken sitting on the open barn door of the potting shed.
The chickens know that there is a chamber of secrets – a tasty cache of sunflower seeds inside.
Looking out from the potting shed in autumn.
Late autumn from inside the potting shed – the plum tree just losing its leaves
The Burrow, nestled at the bottom of the garden.
Our block is 874m2.

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.

Share:

Share your thoughts....