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Potting Shed




A vintage wooden cupboard provides handsome storage for gardening supplies. Perched on the front porch, it serves as a way station between house and garden. You can step out the door, slip into your gardening shoes, and head off with tools in hand. On your way back in, kick off the shoes, and stash them and the tools without tracking soil inside. Make room in the cupboard for houseplant and cut-flower supplies, too; won't it be good to get them out from beneath the sink? Look for a spacious old cupboard at a flea market or junk shop, and fill it with pots, bulbs and seeds, a hose, and other gardening essentials. Wooden boxes customize the space: One holds bags of fertilizer and potting soil, the other holds tools. Paint unfinished boxes with semi- or high-gloss paint.


Martha Stewart Living, March 1998



Reviews (8)

  • bijouxhunter 26 Mar, 2010

    I have been using two antique 19th cupboards like this out on my covered but open back porch. one for bags of fertilizer, mulch and ammendments and one for all the other stuff, besides one old potting table. I have had them out there through winters for 8 years. Paint and wood is just fine as they were and they look great! You can find many things like this at house sales for a few hundred dollars looking better than anything new. recycling is the best!
    old things were made to last !

  • courage 11 Jun, 2008

    You know what, I've already been doing this !! We found an awesome 6 foot tall old pie cabinet at a garge sale for 25 dollars ! The perfect price ! It was in great shape, painted a fun red with the original flower design on its doors, Its perfect for under our patio, but I wouldnt put big bags of dirty potting soil in it ; they stay in the shed. We also use a smaller pie shelf/cabinet for barbeque tools, napkins, citronella candles,etc. and goodies for our chickens !!

  • howdydog1 8 Jun, 2008

    Watch along the street or road on trash day. You might find a shelving unit or chest of drawers sitting out there. I don't think MSL meant to use a "good antique". Expand this idea to just putting up some shelves by the door or in the garage.

  • Patcher 16 Apr, 2008

    I think this is a marvelous idea. Our porch would keep the cupboard out of the weather and is large enough to hold a cupboard such as is pictured. We wouldnit have to run to the barn or garage to get the necessary items to work in the garden and could leave our muddy shoes in the cupboard. We don't have a "mud" room. I love your ideas, Martha, and they keep me inspired.

  • paterd 29 Feb, 2008

    I would never put an antique cupboard outdoors, maybe in the garage, but it would still need protection. These cupboards are not cheap to buy anymore!

  • FredericKahler 28 Feb, 2008

    Vanessa, I should very much recommend two coats of poly or varnish, and depending on weather conditions, this would have to be repeated every few years. I also like the idea of multiples of these large wooden cupboards. And I would never place good antiques on my front porch!

    Frederic Kahler

  • bergieaddie 28 Feb, 2008

    I love this idea, but how do you keep the wood weather proof? I deal in antiques and sometimes the old wood is a bit brittle, especially if the cabinet was not kept in the perfect environment. Would just a coating of poly do it? Thanks! - Venessa

  • nickio 28 Jan, 2008

    Looks like great Idea if you have little or no room looks like it makes great space savers for your garding things.