Sheds should be sheltered
In their truest form, potting sheds are small outbuildings dedicated solely to gardening activities. Yet, you don't really need a separate structure to pot and propagate. You just need a little shelter.
One of my favorite places to visit in any season is Sydney Eddison's Connecticut garden. Sydney's garden chores center around her lath house -- a partially sheltered structure roofed with widely spaced wooden slats. It's just steps away from her sweeping perennial border, and not much farther from the tropical-plant-covered terrace where she slows down just long enough to enjoy an afternoon cup of tea. In addition to being a convenient place for tools, the lath house is a staging area where seedlings are hardened off and divided plants await new homes.
In North Carolina, Nancy Goodwin pots up cyclamen seedlings in an old, stone kitchen. It was constructed in the 1800s and features a cellar that Nancy has converted to a propagating pit, and where seeds for this winter-flowering ground cover stay cool even in hot, southern summers.
Kevin Doyle, an avid plant collector who has a wonderfully eclectic garden just outside of Boston, placed his potting bench in the basement where it's warm. Here, seedlings get their start under grow lights, then are moved into an adjacent greenhouse, which offers temporary housing to young plants before they take up permanent residency in a sunny perennial border.
And Louisiana's heirloom daffodil diva Celia Jones -- who, in addition to looking like Bette Midler, loves theater and music almost as much as gardening -- prefers working outdoors under a shady eave. Here, she doesn't have to worry about making a mess when dividing hundreds of mud-caked bulbs.