This month I decided to refresh my she shed. Since building it while writing my second book She Shed Style nearly three years ago, the shed was starting to look a little neglected, especially my little secret garden in the back.
I have a secret garden? Yes I do!
The shed is situated at a diagonal near the back corner of our property. The brick floor/foundation continues up to the fence, thus creating a tiny courtyard effect. I hung a few metal baskets on the stucco walls and put in some shade-loving plants. As they grew (or withered) I replaced them.
It looked like this in December 2017.
But over time the garden had definitely seen better days. Last month I looked out my back window and decided, now is the time.
Secret Garden Refresh
Only the planted ivy showed any signs of life. On the ground, dead leaves everywhere. Some tough old ivy vines still clung to the wall with tiny stubborn fingers. Ugh. I pulled down all of the baskets, mostly filled with the ghost of plants that once were. Very embarrassing.
After cleaning it all up, I decided I needed a fresh decorative basket to use besides the plainer ones I had before. So I went off to The Potting Shed in Orange to get stocked up.
Jack had some great wire wall baskets and also a nice variety of shade-loving plants. One of my particular favorites is fuschia, which grows well in our backyard. Below right is a beauty called Caladium, or angel wings. Begonia “Autumn Ember” is in a large pot, which I elevate on an overturned bucket so that it shows through the window.
I have one more basket to fill in the small empty space on the lower left. But it was time to move on to the interior.
Best Shed Seat Ever
Hard as it was, the first task was to find a comfortable and attractive place to sit. Sounds easy, right? Well not for a space measuring 5′ 7″ from end to end. A chair would have to be less than 26″ in depth to even be able to open the back windows or walk around.
Try searching for an upholstered armchair less than 26″ in depth! It is a daunting task.
The answer came like an angel’s choir heard from Heaven.
Wandering around on Facebook Marketplace, I stumbled on a small-scale Victorian chaise longue. This may have been a child’s piece but the 5′ length and padded back made for a perfect reading position. You can see that it appears custom made for the wall. The owner had used it for a photography prop — and yes indeed, it is very photogenic.
The claret upholstery worried me. My shed is done in blues and it didn’t seem to match. So I pulled in a few things to bridge the gap. A couple of April Cornell pillows in dark navy, a soft navy throw and a subtly patterned area rug made it all come together. I am really happy with the end result, and have tested the comfort level frequently in the last few weeks. Suffice to say that Victorian chaise longues are my new favorite things.