The Tool Shed
A garden tool shed usually has to be rather more than a tool shed. I do not mean that it has also to take the baby’s pram ad the children’s bicycles: it may even have to do this: but I mean rather that in the small garden there is usually only one shed, sometimes an adjunct to the glasshouse, and sometimes serving the double purpose of coal shed and tool shed, but also becoming the home, at various seasons, of such things as fertilizers, insecticides, prepared potting soil, and all the hundred and one other items that go to the making of a family garden.
Of the external design of such a shed I need say nothing except to remind those who can afford good material to make sure that the shed harmonizes with house and garage, is not an eyesore from any viewpoint, and is treated as a part of the garden, to be decorated with climbing plants, or given good foundation planting just as the house itself.
Inside the shed there must be systematic planning. Tools, as elsewhere stated, must have their allotted positions, and keep to them. Hooks or naAs on the walls make this possible in a crowded space.
Such valuable materials as fertilizers and potting soils should have each a special bin, preferably of wood, which will not be attacked by the chemicals in the fertilizers. A small cupboard high up, out of reach of children, and with a key to it, should be provided for storing small quantities of poisonous materials such as nicotine, disinfectants, weedkillers, and arsenate sprays.
A concrete floor is good: it is less likely to be affected by any chemicals, etc., that might be spilled on it. But a concrete floor is cold, and the shed should, if possible, be large enough for straw or similar material to be stored there, for use over the floor when sacks of root crops are brought in during the harvest season.
If a shed is constructed to order, attention might be given to the ease with which heavy tools: the barrow, mower, etc: could be brought under cover during bad weather. A high ridge at the doorway adds to the difficulty of bringing these inside.
The shed should have at least one window: with this it is possible to work inside the shed during bad weather. Artificial light is also good: some jobs can be done there in winter evenings.
High racks: simple light wooden strips across near the roof: are often very useful in winter. Long handled tools can be laid across these racks; certain crops can be stored there, sacks and other material can also find a home well above the heads of those who work in the shed, and this method of disposal of tools wanted at infrequent intervals makes it easier to keep the other tools in their places.
A potting bench inside the shed is ideal: if no fixed bench can be used, some boards nailed together to form a rough table top, laid across the bins that hold fertilizers and potting soil, can be made to serve the purpose. Flowerpots can be stored in a bin or under the bench.
Finally there must be a sufficiency of small shelves, whether inside or outside a cupboard, to take small items such as plant labels, pencils, knives, raffia, string, oil (to grease tools), and one or two good garden reference books. The gardener who manages to house all these garden essentials under one roof is in a happy position to get full enjoyment from his hobby.