My Garden She Shed

I had never thought much about having a garden shed, specially for me . I suppose that growing up it was always the Dads that had garden sheds full of tools and things so I was conditioned to think that it was a “man thing” to have a shed. What started to make me re think this was a combination of my Pinterest addiction and sheer frustration of not having a proper home for my garden things. I was seeing these amazing “She Shed” trend as well as Pot Sheds in Pinterest. So I said to Pete….”Hey Babe do you think you could make me a wee garden shed?” “Sure thing” he said… Now I have an amazing shed and I totally love it. I love it so much that I thought I’d share how we (Pete) built it, and how I organised it.

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how we Designed it

To figure out what sort of shed would be best, I needed to be clear on how I wanted to use it . The purpose of the shed was to house all my garden things that I use, tools, pot, feed, sprays etc. Obviously it needed to be handy to the garden so I could access it easily. Additionally I needed the design to be one where I could open the shed and have everything at easy reach from the door.

We had the perfect position for the Shed (albeit needing to get rid of a big old Daphne bush) which dictated the size of the shed . It could not be too large at all, which actually gave us the opportunity to get creative with the plans.

Pete was is charge of the build and in some way the design too, I helped by checking out online Timber Sheds and came across these which were exactly what I wanted. Pete then took the basic design and worked out a plan for our Shed.

A shed that pete Built

Have you heard the term “over engineered”? well that’s how Pete described our shed…in short it’s the place I’m going if we have a tornado. The best way to show the build is in this pictorial and the explanations of each stage.

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Stage 1

Cement in the foundation posts and frame up the floor

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Stage 2

Flooring down, Frame work up for the sides, wall lining and bracing in.

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Stage 3

Putting in the shelving

TIP: Pre stain/paint makes life a lot easier. This stain is just left over from the decking stain , Resene Kwila Timber stain

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Stage 4

Putting up the external cladding, with Plywood panels

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Stage 5

Roof and tiling. We used Asphalt Shingle roofing tiles for the Shed.

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Stage 6

Final touches, staining to match the house

We used Resene Woodsman stain in Pitch Black

Now most of you know that there is actually alot more to it than those pictures show, so if you are interested in wanting more details on the building of the Shed, Pete has kindly documented out all the measurements and materials and I’ve developed it into a guide with plans on how to build the Shed.

To access the guide just pop your details below to receive your very own copy

FREE Garden Shed Plans

A comprehensive guide including plans to build this small garden shed

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    Shed Organisation

    Now the fun begins! Build done and it’s my time to get my organising socks on!

    I had vision of drawing outlines of my garden tools onto the walls, yip that was a thing, back when I was a nipper, the neighbourhood Dads used to have their tools on the peg board wall at the end of their garage. They would have the shapes of the tools outlined on the peg board just in case they forgot which tool went where. I always thought it was a bit weird until I grew up and became an organising expert.

    Garden Shed inside tools on the back wall.png

    The best part of the shed is the back wall which Pete carefully designed to hold all my garden tools. He even wrote the names of each tool so I knew where to return them. By just putting up a few well placed nails I had all my tools lined up and they remain perfectly organised. 

    On both sides of the shed, Pete installed simple shelves, On these shelves I have my most common reached for items because it’s the easiest to access area in the Shed. All my garden feeders are corralled into a carry all basket so I can pick it up easily and take it outside. I tend to do all the “feeding” at the same time as I mix them with water into the feeding can (on old watering can). This is really helpful over the spring and summer season as you do need to feed regularly to have a healthy crop.

    Garden Shed containers on shelf.png

    On the other side are all my sprays, manly for insects and spiders and other wee creepies. Hint don’t spray into cobwebs directly above your head , you never know what might be waiting in hiding in the cobwebs. I do have to be careful not to muddle up weedkiller with Organic Oil spray so I make sure that I label everything, on lids and the sides. Under the shelves I have all my large spray containers that I use to disperse the sprays. These are again well labelled so I know not to put the wrong sprays into them. Also I have all my weed and pest control spray containers on one side and the liquid organic sprays on the other. I just put up nails which I then place the sprays guns on, so this keeps them well contained and the guns have somewhere to hang. You will notice in the photo that I have used the space in between the frame work for storage. These are awkward items to store, so I thought by just criss-crossing the wall with bungie cord I could manage to have these items stored vertically and not take up too much room. Never forget to use your vertical space if you are tight for room.

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    On the other side of the shed I managed to create more shelving with these amazing boxes which I scored from Junk & Disorderly for only $12 each, a total find!!! One holds all my pot plants (indoor) stuff, pots and such like. In the other box are the soil and lawn fertilisers .

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    Between the top of the boxes and the shelf there is the perfect space for the bag of pea-straw. I always a have a bag on hand and it’s the perfect spot.

    On top of the shelf I have a couple small baskets that once upon a time were plant baskets. I just use them for storage now.

    One I put my “hand cleaning” stuff in. Often when I am in the shed, I have very dirty hands from the garden so having hand wipes and disinfectant handy is great. I also have a pile of towels I use for two purposes, drying my hands and cleaning off my garden tools. In the other one I have some bits and pieces that I use in the garden, like garden ties etc. In the corner I use a old broken jug to store my pruning tools.

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    Now a little awesome idea I had, has turned into my mini garden office!!! The back of the shed door was unused space so I painted it with black chalk paint, and along with a wall magazine rack which I scored at the local hospice shop for $4 , I now have all my books, garden diary and notes on hard. The blackboard is handy to write notes to myself, like when I’ve feed and sprayed and things I need to do next!!. This is great use of vertical space.

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    Another wee genius ideas of mine was my garden toolkit. It was actually a spare tool kit Pete had (he’s a Tradie) which he wasn’t using. It just seemed to be the perfect size for me. I carry all my essentials in it so I always have these with me when in the garden. I just love it and it has a handy wee trick where you can slide the kit itself along the belt so when bending down it sits on my back and doesn’t get in the way.

    Garden tool kit.png

    And finally the coolest thing of all , is this little seat on the side of my shed which Pete made for me, man he’s thoughtful. It’s where I sit and clean down all my tools at the end of my garden session. Yes I am one of those who looks after her garden tools, always making sure they are cleaned, sharpened and oiled. It is amazing how long things last when you look after them. My loppers, secateurs and hedge trimmers were given to Pete and I when we got our first house, which would be over 25 years ago!

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    Having my own garden shed is fantastic and it’s such a great design and so practical , I just love it.

    Don’t forget to grab the Guide and Plans, above if you are interested in building the shed. Feel free to ask any questions, we are happy to help.

    Also , as always I’ll love your feedback and do share your ideas and thoughts

    Make sure that you follow us on social media, where I share lots more on the garden, just click on the link below

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    Happy Tidying and Gardening!

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    Getting my garden ready for spring

    Spring time in the garden is the best!!! Beautiful blossoms out on the trees and the scent of fresh blooms and newly cut grass...hmmm just take it all in. Spring time in my garden has to be the busiest time in the garden all year and I love it. This year spring has been somewhat wet and I am feeling very frustrated at not being able to get out into the garden. However this weekend wet or shine will have me in the garden getting the garden ready for spring and the coming summer. So let me take you through how I "spring clean" my garden!. 

    Twiggy, My little helper in the garden.

    Twiggy, My little helper in the garden.

     

    the Lawn

    Now I am no expert when it comes to lawns and I don't even mow the lawns, however I hate weeds in my lawn. Over the years I have used a few different approaches to the old lawn weed issue, nothing actually beats digging out the weed root and all, however it's very labour intensive. So I simply just spot spray the weed with a natural weed killer .  Sprinkle a bit of lime over the lawn to help balance the ph level and replenish the nutrients. A quicker and easier option is to use Weed n Feed which I have used before and works well.

    It's also a good time to sew some lawn seed if you have patches to repair. We have had a bit of damage to the lawn on the west side of the house that we have landscaped, so it just needs some seeds sown around. When doing lawn patch repair try and make sure you get the same grass seed as the exisiting lawn, otherwise your lawn might look a bit patchy. A good way to do this is to take a close up photo of the grass and take it into a garden centre, they will be able to match you up with the right seed.

    the edges

    There is nothing like a tidy and neat lawn edge. I am a bit particular about my lawn edges and this time of year they can get away on you, so giving the lawns and garden path edges a good trim can make a big difference. It's good to do this now to prepare for the the spring and summer growth. 

    I also do some trimming and light pruning of bushes and trees, mainly my roses. Here in Auckland you do not get the cold frost so the roses tend not to go dormant, so I wait until September to give them a good prune and stake them in preparation for the rapid expansion of size with the spring and summer growth.

    the garden Weeds

    A good old dose of Round up on paths and driveways is needed at this time of year. I just make up a concentrate mix and use a spray applicator and walk around the house attacking these little blighters!.

    It's also a perfect time to weed your garden beds. I do not use any weed sprays on my garden beds, just dig them up with my trusty trowel. Over the spring and summer months you do have to regularly weed the garden other wise the weeds can get out of control, but hey it's a great work out. A good weeding job once a month should be sufficient to manage the weeds.

    the food

    All plants get very hungry in spring with all their new growth so it's really good time to provide as much food and nutrient to your plants now to prepare them.

    In my vege patch I add in my home grown compost mix, it smells really good and the vegetables love it. I also add in sheep pooh pellets as the vegetables plants start to produce. Make sure that you have a good watering system also set up. This year Pete is putting in some water tanks so we can use the rain water off the roof to the vege garden in summer. 

    fresh compost on the vege garden

    fresh compost on the vege garden

     

    My citrus plants get a good dose of fish compost, any organic citrus fertiliser is good and pea straw around the base to keep the moisture in over the drier summer months.

    Last winter I planted out a Hydrangea garden, two plants so far and will be adding another one soon. Over the flowering months, the flowers changed colour from blue/white to a pink/red.  I have read that you can actually change the colours of the flowers by changing the ph levels in the soil. My research has identified that I have a more alkaline soil and therefore a high ph level, probably over 7. Therefore I need to add aluminum sulfate to bring down the ph levels, ideally to 5. I could also try adding in coffee grounds and or fruit and vege scraps as this would also help to bring the ph levels down. To fertilise the bed I need to add low phosphorus and high potassium. As we produce a lot of coffee grounds I will give that a go and see if this can help and add in the appropriate fertiliser, fingers crossed

    my white flowering hydrangea

    my white flowering hydrangea

     

    New plants

    Early spring is a good time to plant out any new plants that you want in your garden. This year I will be adding another Hydrangea and some Hostas, so I am on the hunt for these in the garden centres.

    Other Spring chores

    Besides the actual garden, there are a number of spring chores we also do around the outside of the house;

    • Clean the outside windows and walls
    • Wash down patios and outside furniture
    • Spider spray around the external doors and windows

    Although it sounds like a lot of work, it is not really, generally with two days of solid work in the weekend you will tick off most of these chores and have your garden and outdoors space all ready for the arrival of spring and summer...so you can sit back and relax and enjoy your beautiful outside space.

    Happy Gardening everyone! 

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    If you like this post , check out my post this time last year on creating a seasonal vegetable garden. 

    Make sure that you subscribe below to get my regular newsletters, where you get even more awesome tips and ideas on organising around the home and garden.

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    How to prepare the seasonal vegetable garden


    My very first vegetable garden was as a teenager …a long time ago. I had a little piece of dirt near the bike shed. I recall the poor quality of the dirt and the frustration with my limitations with access to good compost. However I did manage to produce a lot of raddish's and rhubarb. The raddish's were sweet, hot and yummy and the rhubarb got turned into fruit crumble with lots of sugar and cream to dull the tart taste.

    Forward several years, actually decades and I'm still at it and still loving getting my fingers in the dirt.

    It is spring here in New Zealand and I am just in the middle of getting my spring and summer vegetable garden planned and prepared. I love this time of year, fresh blossom scents in the air, followed by sneezing fits, dam the pollen.

    Vege garden

    2015/16 Summer Vege Garden

    I thought that I would take you through how I prepare for each season. It is very much the same process, just different crops depending on the season.

    Planning

    It all starts with my notebook, it's my garden bible. In my notebook I write everything down about my garden, what I planted, where I planted, when I planted, quality of the crop, health issues, weather, everything that I experience in the garden for the season. 

    I do this for each season. This gives me a really good view of how my garden works and what grows well and where. As I am currently planning for my spring and summer garden I look back at last years spring/summer garden notes as reference.

    I decide, based on the success of last years crop, what I am going to plant, noting the variety to buy.

    The garden planting plan is the next step. I do rotate my crops so, again checking on where I planted last year is important.

    Once I have mapped out the planting plan, I then work out the timing.

    Timing? Ok so to work out when you want your crops to be ready you have to work backwards to figure out when to plant. Simple example of that is new potatoes and baby peas for the Christmas dinner. To be able to harvest in time for Christmas day I must have the potatoes in by early September.

    If you are not sure of the timeframes just check the information on your seed or plant packs. They normally describe how many weeks to harvest.

    Gardening
    Gardening

    Preparing

    This is where you realise that you are not garden fit, but don't worry you will be by the time you have finished. It is just a matter of hard manual labour, digging, turning soil over and composting. You can use your own compost or source some from the local garden centre. Just ensure that it is a good quality one as you don't want any bugs or foreign weeds in your patch. This is where I do a shout out for ZooDoo, yes that local zoo pooh that has been turned into rich organic matter. It's a bit smelly but pretty special.

    You must have a lovely rich soil base to grow strong healthy vegetables, so this stage is really important.

    Planting

    This is my favourite bit, as once planted I sit back and watch my babies grow. 

    You may be planting out over a couple of weeks depending on the timing of your harvest.

    I do cover my seedlings initially to protect the from the birds. Do be careful not to cover for too long as they need full light to grow well.

    I like to plant at the end of the day and water them well in the cool of the early evening.  I think this is the best time to water as it really soaks in.

    Always read the planting guide just to ensure that you are planting them out appropriately.

    As an example Corn needs to be planted in a square/block as opposed to a row.

    Vegetable garden
    Vegetable garden

    Weed, feed and water

    Growing vegetables need a lot of food and water. During the growing season I build up the soil by composting regularly.  

    I do try and be as organic as I can be with my feed and compost as I believe it makes yummy vegetables. There are some good organic options that you can source from garden centres. However I do not think you can go past good old worm juice.

    Over the years, I have noticed from my notes, that I don't get as much disease and bugs when  I have been consistent with good feed and compost.

    And lastly don't forget to water, a lot. In Auckland we are blessed with rain, however even in summer it can get a bit dry so I do water the vegetables. A couple of times a week is good if it is very dry. I always water in the early evening as its the best time for the soil to absorb the moisture.

    Vege harvest
    Vege harvest

    2015/16 first harvest of peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes.

    I hope that you enjoyed this post and may be you got something useful from it.

    Please let me know if you have any questions or any other aspects of  seasonal gardening that you want to know, such as composting, feeding, or crop varieties.

    Enjoy the fruits of your labour!

    Hugs and smiles

    Tania

    My First blog

     

    Kia Ora everyone, I can’t actually believe that I am really doing this. It’s my very first blog on my lovely new website

    Firstly let me tell you a bit about myself.

    My Mountain, my place

    I am a Kiwi gal, more really a Kiwi woman, age and all that. I live in Auckland with my husband and two children. My mountain (this is how we describe where our family roots come from in New Zealand) is Mt Aoraki, otherwise know as Mt Cook

    My home town of Timaru is on the coast and I got to see Mt Aoraki every morning from my bedroom window. Most of my childhood was spent in the McKenzie country, which essentially Mt Aoraki reigns over. I truly believe I was blessed to have grown up in such a breathtakingly, beautiful environment.

    Following my dreams

    Well at the age of 47, my journey to become a Professional Organizer and become my own boss lady has just begun.

    I have always loved organizing and planning.  I love making my house a home and have a lot of experience and ideas on home organization and management.

    Gardening is a real passion of mine, especially  vegetable gardening. Over the years I have built up a bit of knowledge on how to produce a great crop.

    My goal is to be able to share as much of my skills and knowledge about organizing and planning to help people to overcome the noise in their head, the clutter in the home and the mess in the garden.

    The other experience I want to share, is of raising a family while working full time in the Corporate world. I have a lot to share, not only about working full time and raising a family, but also about being a woman and having a career and the struggle and juggle that comes with that. I have learnt a lot about being really – freakingly organized – to cope with what is really, chaos sometimes.

    And finally, you would have guessed, I am a planner addict. I have been using them even before they become so popular.

    Stay in touch...Please!

    So, if you are interested in reading and seeing more about my ideas and learnings on home organization, life planning, garden planning and care, home management , home renovations, how to multi task, please subscribe to my blog below.

    I’d love any feedback, as I am just starting out on this journey and have sooooo much to learn. I really look forward to hanging out with you all on my blog!

    Hugs and smiles

    Tania