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Low Budget Suggestions for front of storage shed

(Carole) Cleveland, TX(Zone 9a)

Sigh. Looks SO bad now, I hate to even show pics, but I need help!!!
This is what anyone visited lays eyes on when they park in front of my house.
I hate it!!

Those are banana trees on either side, just still dormant after winter.
I may have to replace them with something else since it looks so bad when they're not green.

Whatcha got for me?

Thumbnail by Cajun2
Bella Vista, AR(Zone 6b)

This is your shed, but you say you can see it from the front of the house. How does your shed sit on your property in relation to the house?

In front of my shed I have a weigelia and a couple hollies. For flowers I have tall mums and black-eyed susans. I also have two big pots and plant tomatoes there since the lighting is good but the soil/ drainage is poor. I move the pots inside during winter. Last year I planted a few tall sunflowers on one end and really enjoyed that look, too.

A good tidying up of weeds and keeping clutter to the minimum helps a lot, too.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

I think painting the railings would help a lot and painting the entire shed would be even better. If you can't paint the walls of the least do the doors, rails, stairs and windows trims.

Then add two big (knee high resin) pots of bright sunny somethings on each side of steps. Change seasonally.

Doubling (and painting) the ramp would give it more of a substantial appearance rather than the single board that is there now. Two side by side would look better.

If no pots -- use landscape timber or rocks to make planting areas on each side of stairs along the porch at ground level and fill it with dirt to plant seasonal things ---the ground looks too hard and its too close to the shed to really till it up without hitting the shed and the stairs ---and so rather than 'fight' with it.... I'd just do it that way ...define it with lumber or rocks or some other tallish edging and fill it with dirt and plant.

I'd tell you to hang pots off the porch or use flowerpots but I know me and no way would I keep them watered or maintained and so would just add to the 'needs fixing up' look.

Don't be embarrassed...a shed is a shed. The lawnmower and tools etc., need to go somewhere. It just needs a little sprucing up and can look charming. You may even want to consider staining the concrete.

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

You could, for a quick cover while deciding what you want to do, put up a couple trellises and plant Thunbergia Black-eyed Susan/clock vine. it is a reseeding annual and grows 6 to 8 feet tall. That would screen a large portion of the area on either side of the steps

Victoria, TX(Zone 9a)

That little shed has TONS of potential. I actually really like it. I get an instant mini cottage feel from it.. that as suggested above can be done with paint and potted plants.
One suggestion I do have however is to look into native ornamental grasses and flowers. These should fare well with minimal upkeep. And maybe an old wooden wheelbarrow or something planted with whatever is in season as suggested also. Have fun!

Saraland, AL(Zone 8b)

I will second the painting of the wood parts. Maybe even put up some lattice work to cover the porch. Then maybe put some climbing roses and coral honeysuckle on the lattice.

Also get the plywood off the ground.

This message was edited May 7, 2011 8:08 PM

(Carole) Cleveland, TX(Zone 9a)

GREAT ideas, guys!! Yes, the 'junk' has just GOT to GO!!
I'm really tired of seeing everything out in the open like that.
Right now my mission is to make enough room inside (garage sale, donations, new boxes, shelving, ..... trash)
so that the two motorcycles (yes, I know) can be put INSIDE (novel idea).
There's also some JUNK on the porch that I would LOVE to be rid of, but it's all DH's.
My PLAN is to rearrange my other storage shed to make it MINE, and then "help him" organize his better.

Ok now... I've moved out the Bananas and replaced them with Cast Iron Plant (evergreen).
Tomorrow I'm moving the plywood (SO backwoods, but... it was for when DH was working on the motorcycles 2-3 years ago).
I can actually slide those UNDER the shed on the other side so that in the event he DOES need them again, they're not watersoaked, warped and ruined. Have NO idea why they aren't where they sit.

Next I plan to make a semi-circle entry with stone edging (flat, brick style--not pebble-style). I'll lay down a weed barrier first, then soil, then mulch. I've not decided 100% what I'm planting there, but DO like the ideas mentioned above. I especially like the painting the wood trim (although my long-term goal is to paint the entire shed). I may do the lattice work but for a screen vs. vines. I LIKE the idea of the vines, but I do want evergreens if at all possible.

Thanks for your interest and input. I'll be sure to post pics as we progress along ;-)

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

A good cover vine that is " mostly" evergreen here in So. La is Sweet Autumn Clematis

Saraland, AL(Zone 8b)

An evergreen vine that I love is Carolina jessamine. I planted at my house to cover some ugly iron railings on my front porch.

(Carole) Cleveland, TX(Zone 9a)

oh nice!!! love those suggestions!!! much appreciated. adding to my wish list now.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

Agree with painting the porch to match the colors on the shed. That should help some.

If the motorcycles donít end up or stay inside then you might consider a solid half wall on the porch to hide the motorcycles. Iíve seen a couple of vertical gardens made out of gutters lately.

Another way to get the motorcycles off of the porch would be to put a covered area on the side of the shed that can't be seen from the road. That could also be a permanent home for the plywood that is currently out front.

(Carole) Cleveland, TX(Zone 9a)

Good ideas, Susan. I'd be interested in seeing the gardens made from gutters. Sounds interesting!

You gave me an idea too.... I think even just moving the plywood to the side of the house until he can decide where he will house his motorcycles would be perfect. I have actually picked out a good place where he can extend my plant shed roof for them. I can also put lattice work on either end to provide additional, albeit marginal, protection from the elements. We can also put down Portland Cement for 'flooring' to add stability.

You guys are awesome! Thanks for understanding and not just going 'OMG! That looks AWFUL! I would NEVER put up with that!' LOL we all have issues......

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

Cajun2, LOL....I actually did say OMG....poor Darlin' her husband has the same outlook as mine does....What mess? Okay...sure... I agree...but i gotta do (insert reason) so I admire your resolve. GRIN

You mentioned budget....check out big Box can find oops! paints and stains for exterior use at a fraction of the cost. And sometimes even miscuts on lumber and other materials

Check Craig'sList in your area...sometimes folks ordered too much of something and are giving the excess away or selling for just a few dollars. Keep an eye on building sites...I got 6, 4ft by 4ft( roughly) exterior plywood sheets 1 inch thick free. They were overcuts and piled next to the dumpster....the guys even loaded them in my truck...Grin Saving money there enables you to spend your dollars on the important parts of your design.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

If you are near a major city then check to see if Habitate for Humanity has a Restore. They sell contractor extras and demo materials.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

Below are some urls showing some vertical gardens made out of guttering. A couple of things to think about:
Will plastic gutters hold up longer than metal gutters.
What about a water barrier or air space to protect siding.
What are you using for a watering system.
Consider what plants you are using. Seems like plants at the top might be dryer than at the bottom.

Here are some other example of some vertical gardens

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