Be sure to like me on Facebook, and visit Upcycled Garden Style to find creative upcycle ideas for your garden, including inspiration from around the world.

November 18, 2011

Time to Hibernate

- by Debra Anchors

Garden cottage, shed and doll house, too
Mission accomplished. The garden jewelry is stored safely away, awaiting the intoxicating kiss of spring – I will try to be patient. 

I commissioned the construction of this garden cottage in early 2002. A pre-fabricated metal structure in the garden would simply not do. Convinced that a storage shed wasn't required to be ugly, I had been salvaging windows and doors for years, waiting for the opportunity to someday bring the vision dancing in my head to reality. There was no blueprint, only very specific instructions to our contractor. These instructions were, “Do you see these 5 windows and 2 doors? I would like an 8’ x 8’ storybook cottage constructed atop a 10’ x 10’ cement slab. Oh, and please dye that cement slab a dark green.” I believe the adjective “storybook” threw my builder a little. I drew a rough sketch for him and was comforted by his nod to the affirmative.

I was fortunate to salvage a door from a 1930’s physician’s office to use as the back entrance to this little garden house. A back door was necessary, because a friend of mine lived in that charming house behind me. Both of us worked full-time, but Laura and I were plant enthusiasts and practiced our love of gardening together during the weekend - not so any longer. Sadly, Laura could no longer be tempted by our perfect gardening season here and moved to the warmer Florida climate. I do miss her and our weekends together.

The choice of color for our garden cottage is a personal statement of defiance. You see, we make our home just inside the city limits of a small Midwest city. Houses on every side of our back yard border our home. I despise winter.  I absolutely will have color playing a dominant role in my garden during the 6-month deep-freeze. I find the absence of color during winter’s long season much too boring. Hence, the purple, pink and yellow colors provide our neighborhood with a promise of spring – accompanied by an exclamation point. A colorful focal point is especially needed when only deep drifts of white and leafless trees are seen in every direction.

To be completely honest, I must admit to being a bit weary and am looking forward to the winter respite being forced upon me. Now – where did I put all of those seed catalogs?

If you enjoy this website, you might like my magazine, Gardening Life

Thank you for stopping by to spend time in my garden.  If you liked the article, please take a moment to let me know. I will be delighted if you would suggest Gardens Inspired to your friends, follow me or subscribe to my Blog.

Leave a legacy, but garden like you’ll live forever! 

Did you like this post? Please recommend it to other readers by selecting the g+1 box, below.


  1. Good to find your blog - I design gardens but the zeitgeist is yours - recyle, make do and mend etc. Like shed and V much like that Ladybird.

  2. Hello Catharine, thank you for the nice compliment and also for teaching me a new word, 'zeitgeist' - I love that!.

    I must admit though that I use recycled items not because it is the trend, but because I find them to be unique and one of a kind items when used in a garden.

    Thank you for stopping by; I hope you will come back soon!

  3. Wonderful site! I am just now getting into gardening and love to learn about new ideas that I can use in mine. Can't wait to see what you have in store!

    Theresa :)

  4. Thank you for your kind words, Theresa. Winter is a perfect time to plan what you'll do in your garden next spring. At least that's how I enjoy spending my time when I can't be outside!

    I'm so glad you had a minute to stop and say hello. Happy gardening!

  5. I love gardening, here in the north the season isn't nearly long enough so I am always looking for gardening blogs, yours will be one of my new favorites I am sure :)

  6. Thank you for the compliment, cnlady! Please do subscribe. I'll look forward to gardening with you!

  7. I found you at Blotanical. Your garden cottage is beautiful. I hope to see more of it and your one-of-a-kind decors. I'm sorry your gardening friend moved away, yet I cannot blame anyone who escapes snow. I know you must miss her.

  8. Oh, I don't blame Laura either, Nell; I did enjoy comparing garden notes with her, though.

    Thank you for the compliment on my little garden shed. I am happy you enjoyed looking at it - I certainly do!

  9. I love your purple shed with the pink door. It really looks like a dream house for a little girl. It would make me think about sleeping in the garden on warm nights when the evening scented flowers do their thing!

  10. Since you messaged me by mistake, I thought to see what your blog is like. I seems you have a lot in store. I love cottage gardens for all the personality that they exude. I too live in a climate dressed in white a good portion of the year, but I love the snowy weather and look forward to it each year. But I am not too sad to see it go in Spring as that is a season full of bulbs and buds. I make my living in the industry as a designer and work directly and exclusively with a large nursery. My friend is a grower who sells wholesale to retail nurseries. In my blog, I refer to it as the Farm.

  11. I need a garden shed and have long had visions of a storybook little shed. The picture of your shed certainly sparked some new ideas. Love the colors. I had a gardening neighbor who shared many wonderful hours with me. She has not moved away, but her new job has been so demanding that she no longer has time for her garden. I miss her! Sweet dreams of spring.

  12. Well, this is a very sweet garden shed. We just finished a greenhouse built from more the 100 years old windows. You can have a look on the process here:
    Greetings from cologne of the little garden of horror

  13. Hi Debra, thanks for visiting me at my blog! Your garden cottage is darling, and I can imagine how it does brighten the scene in winter! I hate winter too and I'm so happy that summer is here in NZ! Do stop by to visit any time :)

  14. So adorable. I love it! I love my potting shed all the time but it really keeps me sane in the winter!!!!

    1. Oh Teresa - SO TRUE! I am unable to use the little potting house in the winter without a hat and coat (it is unheated), but just looking out of the window at that little purple house against all of that white makes me smile! Thank you for visiting. -Debra


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.