Who likes to rummage around under bikes and recycling bins in the garage, looking for a favourite trowel? That’s why a perfect spot to pot up plants, propagate seeds and arrange flowers tops so many gardeners’ wish lists. Whether indoors or out, efficient storage, a work surface and tools close at hand make us happy.
My potting room is inside and it’s everything I’d ever hoped for. Built-in storage, French doors, vintage pottery, botanical art and lots of colour help the room fit in with the rest of the house. This is where I start seeds in late winter and arrange garden flowers during summer.
On the other hand, my friend Hilary Bellis has an outside potting area adjacent to her large, informal country garden. Located under the shelter of mature trees, it’s where she plants large containers in spring, hangs flowers to dry in late summer, and displays her collection of antique tools, baskets and containers. This charming space blends seamlessly with Hilary’s garden and is easy to tidy up with the sweep of a broom.
An indoor space
When renovating our house, I campaigned for a separate room to store pots, vases and hand tools, as well as a place to grow seeds under lights and arrange flowers. It wasn’t a hard sell—it meant less mess in the kitchen and more room in the garage. Although practicality was paramount, my potting area also had to be attractive and neat because it’s visible from the dining room.
I started with a clean slate, which meant I could customize the space for my needs. I measured storage baskets and had shelving built to fit their height; the shelves above the counter are spaced to accommodate tall vases. Electrical outlets are positioned so banks of grow lights can be plugged in. Centred on the counter that runs along one wall, a large, deep, fibreglass sink, with a gooseneck faucet, makes filling pails and large vases a breeze.
Needless to say, working with water, plants and soil often results in a mess. I chose a tinted concrete floor, which was a less expensive option than slate or tile, and has no grout ridges to catch plant debris and soil when sweeping up.
How to - Projects
Design a dedicated potting area
Whether indoors or out, indulge your love for gardening with special storage and space