Garden storage in urban spaces
Andrea Bellamy |

In my book, I wrote something about how, when you’re gardening in a small space, everything is visible…and thus, there’s no room for broken tools, ugly containers, or plants you’re really not too fond of.

It’s true. Unlike with many larger properties, in a small urban garden, balcony, or patio, you don’t have the luxury of a hidden corner where you can stash your crap until that elusive day you can sort through it. You’ve got to make every inch of available space work extra hard.

And that’s hard.

Gardening is messy work. No matter how minimalist you attempt to be, gardening always seems to bring with it bags of potting soil, tomato cages, gloves, spray bottles, plant tags, and empty containers that need homes. Unless you resort to keeping them inside (like you’ve got room for that!) it’s tough to store these things neatly and securely outdoors.

It’s always been a challenge for me. And it’s one, I’ll freely admit, that I don’t have worked out yet.

That’s why I’m sharing my current garden storage solution with you. I’m not totally happy with it, but it was the best I could do while sticking within a tight (less than $100) budget.

The darkside of the back patio

This is the ugliest corner of my back patio, which is why I’ve never shared it before (my husband would disagree, of course, but he’s uncommonly fond of barbecue). What you’re looking at is the back wall of my house (my living room is on the other side). That round vent-like thing is the “chimney” for our gas fireplace. If we had tons of money, I would replace that with a double-sided fireplace that could be enjoyed indoors and out. But we don’t, so the chimney stays, and we try not to look at it.

Besides being somewhat unsightly, the chimney gets hot when the fire’s on, so I can’t place plants, furniture, or, say, a custom storage cabinet against that wall.

Instead, we bought a low, cheap, resin storage bench, which does a pretty okay job of hiding most of my tools and garden crap.

inside the storage bin

Here’s a peek inside. Bags of organic fertilizers, tools, potting soil, gloves, twine, etc. My biggest problem with the storage bench idea is that doesn’t allow for much organization. Stuff gets buried. But it manages to keep everything dry and contained, and really, that’s about all I can ask for the price.

How do you corral all your garden stuff?



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