…in our Flea market style!
Some of our gardeners have sweet little cottages as focal points in their gardens and we want to show you! If you entertain a dream of having your own garden cottage or shed, see what these gardeners have done to pretty them theirs and plant gardens around. We’ll give you a start with tips and tricks to planning your own!
Maybe because building a garden cottage of my own is a dream, I love looking at cottage ideas! Small one room sheds, really, garden cottages can be whatever your heart desires. Even the plainest pre-fab shed can be modified with our skills as Flea market and yard sale shoppers.
A Craftsman cottage
Jeannie Rhoades tells us, ““We used to drive by an Amish farm every Sunday on our way to church. The Amish farmer built little houses to supplement his income. He also builds little log cabins with a loft. I had always wanted a playhouse so I stopped by one day and asked him to build one for me. I’ve had a lot of fun decorating it. I have a small electric stove inside for chilly mornings when I go out there to read.”
Cottage from a kit
A cottage from a kit can be the easiest for a gardener without much building skill. Kits can be purchased and then adapted to your needs and wishes.
Christy Morrow says, “I thought some of you might enjoy seeing my garden cottage. It’s where I keep all my garden “stuff”. It’s a basic shed from a big box store but we asked them to only put on one door. Then my hubby and I put in windows, window boxes, trim, the porch, the railings and I painted it. My potting bench (which we made from old pallets) is on the far side in the shade. A good friend gave us the old metal chair which is perfect on the porch. We found the side table, the welcome sign and the concrete rabbit at the flea market. It’s a dream come true for me!!
Deciding to Build!
One of the most exciting things ever to do in a garden is to build a cottage or have one built. It becomes the gardener’s playhouse and can be filled with useful tools , garden gates or decorative shelves full of treasures.
Barb Rosen from Our Fairfield Home & Garden says her cottage in the newest part of her garden and is still a work in progress. “It holds the lawnmower and all the garden tools and assorted tchotchkes I use as accents. The washtubs are until I can pull the last of all that ivy,” Barb says.
Barb’s daughter, Meg also has a garden cottage with twig arbors, fences and trellising. “My daughter’s cottage was the two-car garage on a much larger property that was converted into a home. It is tiny but terrific with lots of built in storage and tons of curb appeal.”
Wondrous woodsy whimsy
Barbara Stanley told us, “This is my potting shed, fancifully called Crickhollow Cottage. We live in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina, near Hendersonville which is just south of Asheville. We have 25 acres that are part of my hubby’s family land (original total 250 acres). We are at the edge of the woods, with a nice creek, plenty of shade, and lots of birds, forest critters and native wild plants. It IS heaven to me. The potting shed actually was a project that helped me heal from the illness and death of my mother in 2002. It truly helped bring me peace and mend my heart.”
Barbara says, “Winter storm Leon brought us a couple of inches of snow and frigid temps here in the Blue Ridge Mountains this week. I love the contrast of my potting shed with the snow, making it into a pastel confection with frosting on
Many of the cottages featured here were designed with recycled or reclaimed materials, things like special windows and other quaint features and fancies.
Your Garden Cottage can be a:
- Tool/Potting shed
- Backyard home office
- Cottage/Grreenhouse combo
- Peaceful retreat
- Fairy tale miniature house
- Playhouse, then garden shed
- Healing place
- Stylish storage
- Summer guest house
- Artist studio
- Tool shed into Private playhouse
- Outdoor bath retreat
- …and my favorite, a Gardener’s ‘play’ house! Need I say more?
An auction ‘find’ embellished Pat Terrell’s cottage door. She tells us, “ The windows of my potting shed are recycled from our house remodel. The copper awning I snagged at an auction when they were demolishing an old Golden Corral Restaurant in town. It used to have heat lamps under it. The restaurant put the food there until it was delivered to the table.”
In time, a dream comes true
Over two years, Ann Elias and her husband transformed an old garden pergola into her dream cottage, all documented in her ‘Lady Lounge’ articles here on Flea Market Gardening. Her friends know that her favorite color is aqua! She says, “There has not been a day that I have not sat in the Lady Lounge and relaxed!” See the whole project here.
Barn wood beauty
Bobbi Doll says, “This is my potting shed. It is made from reclaimed barn boards. The bench is down the path, through the hog panel arch. It is made of barn boards, too. The old cast iron sink does not have running water, but is a great place to hold the soil going into a pot. There is no drain in it, so excess soil can do down the hole into a bucket set underneath it.”
How to plan a garden cottage
- Draw out your ideal vision and collect ideas
- With stakes and string, choose your location
- Consider the plants you’ll plants, sun or shade?
- Check out kits, DIY cottage plans or builders
- Collect recycled building materials, windows, door, hardware
- Set a day and budget
- Building Day! Gather friends, order pizza
- Clear building rubble
- Plan a door step, shutters and garden beds
- Add Flea market decor!
A Dreamy Cottage View
Kim Trudo says, “I had the little cottage built at the time we built the house to keep my treasures in. it has been enlarged by adding the covered porch area and filling it in with shutters, windows, doors and other building elements.”
Inside the cottage are my “treasures”, items collected and loved for many years, some cherished antiques, some are flea market finds, all special to me. It goes without saying the collection is garden themed. When building our house I changed the plans to maximize the views from within the house and make it feel more connected to the outside. The cottage is located right in front of the master bedroom windows, so it is such a joy to open the blinds to that wonderful view!
Garden cottage tips:
- Locate your shed nestled in the shrubbery or trees
- Face sitting areas toward morning sun. It’s cooler!
- Make steps from stacked pallets
- Use recycled windows
- Add shutters to door and windows
- Building a potting table on one side
- Consider installing a skylight to save electricity
Designed around old windows and doors
Couldn’t you be happy in Marsha Horner’s cottage?
Marsha Horner says, “I just had to share my little Bumblebee Cottage. We found old windows and an old French door. I designed it around those three elements. I drew a picture and hubby and built it for me! It’s the star of our yard. Lovely to look at but inside it’s full of yard junk!”