Charming Outdoor Storage and Structures

How will you ever decide where to hide from the rain or stow your gardening tool? Look no further. We share a number of beautiful and functional structure and storage options, for every budget and aesthetic.

Excerpted from Garden Design
Bench Seat Also Serves as Garden Storage DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Garden Furniture Storage

This bench seat opens to reveal a weatherproof box for storing loose cushions, throws and covers from garden furniture. Site furniture storage next to the patio for convenience. These boxes, which come ready made in plastic or wood, can do double duty as a toy box or compact tool storage for courtyard gardens.

Versatile Garden Shed DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Garden Office or Studio

A garden office, studio or workshop such as this wooden retreat, gives you space to work in peace away from the hubbub of family life. For comfort and to protect books and other important possessions, insulate the building and equip its heater with a thermostat. Install blinds, and a lock for security. Meant to be durable and long-lasting, and contribute to your income or enjoyment, garden offices can become expensive if designed as the space of your dreams, but ways to economize abound.

Sturdy Outdoor Room Perfect All Year DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Traditional Garden Room

Built straight on to the house but surrounded by greenery, garden rooms allow you to enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather. A timber and brick construction with an insulated sheet metal roof makes the room more usable year-round than the average glass conservatory, though not so light and airy. Traditional garden rooms tend to be costly, because they should be approached as permanent extensions of the home.

Garden Shed is a Blank Canvas DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Garden Shed

DIY kit or pre-assembled, a shed is a must for anyone needing extra storage or space for a hobby; they are inexpensive and can be painted or stained to custom colors. Sheds made from shiplap panels may warp; tongue-and-groove models are more expensive but higher quality.

Colonial Style Gazebo Good Choice for Poolside DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited


Made from wood and often available in a kit, gazebos - such as the small colonial-style gazebo shown here - can be place almost anywhere: in the yard, next to a pool or surrounded by pots of subtropical plants on a deck. Gazebos offer shaded seating for drinks or afternoon snack, although they can't keep out most of the elements; some designs are more weatherproof with removable slatted sides. Netting the sides will also help keep insects out.

Roof Garden Atop a Shed DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Green Roof

Green roofs insulate and beautify structures, and increase biodiversity. They can take some prep work, though, so be prepared: you'll need to strengthen the roof with extra beams and protected it with polythene sheeting before you install the sedum matting and moisture-retentive growing medium. Once this work is done, though, they are very durable and their moderate expense pays off easily.

Lean To Greenhouse Saves Space DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Lean-to Greenhouse

The most popular feature of lean-to greenhouses is their space-saving design. They are ideal for south- or west-facing walls, which store warmth by day and release it at night. Standard and custom-made models are available in wood or aluminum, with glass or polycarbonate. Inexpensive tubular steel frame models with plastic covers are also available.

Garden Obelisk DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited


A sturdy wooden obelisk, sometimes topped with a decorative feature like the finial shown here, adds extra height to a border and provides support for climbers. DIY or pre-assembled models are available in wood or metal.

Beautiful Shed Color Coordinated with Garden DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Storage or Tool Box

You can make a spacious mini shed for tools and lawn mowers, garden furniture or bicycles from panels of larch lap fencing bolted together. Or, you can buy one ready-made. A storage or tool box only needs to be as big as the largest thing you're putting in it. To keep it from drawing attention, tuck it away in a corner and paint it green to blend in.

Willow Arch is Living Garden Entrance DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Willow Arch

Easy to construct and adaptable for the smallest garden, willow arches can be made of long \"rods\" of living plants or dried cuttings, soaked to be made flexible and workable. To make your own, push rods into the ground, weave together, then tie the tops to form an arch. If the willow starts to sprout, prune it back in late winter. Willow arches are not particularly durable but their low cost makes replacing them, once they disintigrate, quite manageable.

Self Assembled Arbor Seat DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Arbor Seat

In a sunny spot, a roofed arbor seat provides shade and space for climbers. Usually constructed in wood, they are also available in wrought iron or a wood/metal mix. Arbor seats are available in self-assembly kits, in a range of prices and quality. Custom-built and corner models are also available.

Rabbit Hutch is Fun Family Project DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Chicken or Rabbit Hutch

Hutches provide a roomy home for your pet and a fun DIY project. Ready-made models are available, or you can build your own. Make sure it is predator proof and that the size of the dry quarters and grass run complies with ASPCA recommendations. Portable models can be moved for fresh grazing. Make sure to use non-toxic paints.

Stylish Pergola Provides Shade and Room to Grow DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Traditional Pergola

Pergolas' substantial uprights and horizontal supports can carry heavy climbers, such as grapevines, roses and wisteria, which creates dappled shade for a pathway or seating area. A woodworking hobbyist should be able to construct a pergola; flat-pack timber kits, wrought iron and custom models are also available.

Play Structures DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Children's Play Area

The best play structures are made to order and built on site. When buying—especially self-assembly—look for structures with appropriate safety certifications. Children's play areas require safe flooring material, for example 6 inches of play bark or a bonded-rubber surface.

Storage Bin Conceals Garbage Cans DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Garbage and Recycling Storage

Who says trash and recycling storage can't be attractive? Hide these unsightly entities in plain sight with DIY or ready-made options in wood, plastic, trellis screening or even woven willow. Whatever you decide make sure it has wide doors. The model featured here has a green roof, further increasing its eco credibility.

Colorful and Historic Garden Design DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited


A garden folly provides a focal point, especially for a period garden, where it nods to a specific point in history: mock Gothic ruins, \"ancient\" stone circles, classical temples, rustic buildings and grottoes. Follies can make for fun and affordable DIY projects, especially when you use found or reclaimed materials.

Excerpted from Garden Design

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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