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.
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.
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?
I store my indoor gardening materials in the cupboard under the kitchen sink!
So where can one purchase such a storage box. It looks very useful for apartment dwellers.
Fern @ Life on the Balcony says
I don’t even have the luxury of a storage bench. I store all my tools and things inside a closet.
Toni @ BackyardFeast says
That is really tough–especially when the space inside needs to be as minimalist and well-organized as the space outside! Even though we’re in a bigger space now, I still don’t have *convenient* storage close to the house and the veggie patch. We’re looking at turning the space under the back stairs (that butts onto the back deck) into a closet-like storage space. Might be an option for those in townhouses too?
Dirty Girl Gardening says
I’m lucky to actually have much more space than I need, but I’m constantly accessing and re-accessing all my crap. Do I really need this? Is a constant when I’m organizing. Hanging tools and such helps too….
Ben Garfinkel says
Andrea’s storage is from Canadian Tire. It’s the Rattan Box.
jackie connelly says
I’m totally looking for some outdoor gardening storage solution now that we’ve moved from an apartment to a house and I spent waaaay more time outside puttering around the yard and garden…bonus points if it can look good, be weather resistant, and fit in somewhere near our front door (which is also where the garden is) for added seating (ie-a bench); that’s not asking too much, is it?
During the Summer I had no problem sticking a bunch of tools in an old plant pot, and leaving my gloves on a little table, but now that the rain has come things are just getting wet and messy.
I actually like your bench Andrea, and I like Dirty Girl Gardening’s idea of hanging tools etc.