In these humble backyard buildings gardeners’ dreams take root

Places Where You Go to Pot

Nearly twenty years ago, when the Realtor brought my wife and me to the house we would eventually buy in Fairfield, the yard was covered with a foot of snow. Nevertheless, while Deb was busily taking measure of the kitchen, I was looking at the backyard. In the far corner of the lot was a building flanked by weeds and covered in vines. The listing said it was a boathouse, but I knew better. It would be the perfect place to stage the gardening campaign taking shape in my head. Not that I knew much about potting sheds back then — except that one saved Peter Rabbit from a very angry Mr. McGregor.

Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time in that shed — making critical repairs in the first few growing seasons. We started by jacking the shed off its foundation and exchanging the termite-riddled sills with pressure-treated boards. Then we replaced the old, cracked windows and put on a new roof. Next, after several coats of paint, I moved in the old workbench that my grandfather had knocked together forty years earlier. Finally, I laid out my collection of clay pots, put up hooks and shelves to hold tools and supplies and filled the corners with my gardening equipment. I was ready to grow.

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