Home Garden: Create a Gardening Nook

Don’t cram your passion into a too-small area one day longer. Carve out a designated niche that fosters your home garden—repot, start seeds, design and dream.

| March/April 2014

Do you love to garden, yet frequently find yourself squeezing your hobby into an uncomfortable, ill-suited space in your home? Let your home reflect your passions by designating an area to pursue gardening. All those tools and seedlings take up space, after all! We don’t need a massive home to have a place of our own. We just need to get creative.

Home Garden

Examine your options. Take stock of the space available in your home. Is there an unused nook you could co-opt for gardening? Look for an area near a window and an electrical outlet. If that’s out of the question, don’t rule out the space: Plant lights and an extension cord can solve many problems.

If there is no unused area of your home, consider bumping something else out of the house. How often do you use the extra 10 blankets stored in that closet? Donate them to the humane society. Could holiday decorations be moved to a shed or storage unit? It makes more sense to prioritize everyday activities over seasonal space hogs such as Christmas trees or beach toys.

Give the spaces in your home a hard look (see “By Nook or Crook” later in this article for inspiration) to see if they are pulling their weight.

Get Organized. After you find a nook for your hobby, consider your gardening needs. First, identify the items you are likely to use indoors (seedling pots, a small trowel, twine, plant markers) and those strictly for outdoor use (hoses, large shovels). A wall-mounted tool hanger is convenient for keeping outdoor tools together. If you don’t have a garage or shed where you can mount the tool hanger, hang it on the outside of your house, near the garden.

Indoors, you’ll need a work surface. A desk or waist-height table is perfect—look for furniture with a second, lower shelf to maximize space. For smaller (and cleaner) tools, hang a short, wide Pegboard above your work surface so you can easily reach trowels, scissors, garden gloves and plant identifying tags. Many hardware stores stock a wide variety of Pegboard accoutrements that make hanging just about anything a breeze: dowels to hold spools of twine or string; small, lidded containers to hold tacks or nails; rows of metal hooks for small tools. Above the Pegboard, hang a wall-mounted shelf; you can store seedling pots here or keep bins with gardening items out of the way. Easy-to-clean bins (think wood, rubber or plastic over anything with fabric) are perfect for storing soil-covered garden gloves and the like. You might also want to put a garbage/compost bin in your garden station to make soil and other waste easy to sweep away.

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