Garden Photo of the Day

Storage Shed With a Green Roof

In this small garden, no space is wasted

Today we’re visiting with Hylton Jolliffe to see a cool new project.

We’ve got a smallish urban garden in Jamaica Plain, a wonderful neighborhood of Boston. With space at a premium, both inside and outside of the house, and no garage or even off-street parking available and a desire to not be banging our walls, doors, and furniture when pulling our bikes out to be used, we wanted to create a bike “garage” outside our front door that could also be put to used in other ways.

bike shedHence the creation of our new 3-foot by 16-foot shed that includes two lockable bays for our bikes, kids’ playthings, and gardening tools, and an open bay for trash and recycling bins.

The whole thing is topped by a 10-inch-deep bed that effectively functions as a large container planter.

We’ve also been able to piggyback the existing sprinkler system and run a soaking hose up and through the bed, which is lined and slightly sloped to the left and back to allow drainage.

Among the plants in this bed and the two beds across and in front of the shed are creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’, Zones 3–9), astilbe, heuchera, hosta, various mosses, hakone grass (Hakonechloa macra, Zones 5–9), and more.

In addition to a pleasant backyard that includes a bluestone patio, we’ve got vegetable patches, a blueberry bush cluster, roses, and a front yard that includes a Little Free Library as well as a companion initiative that’s gotten a bit of traction and been picked up by others: a “Little Free Herbary”—a front-yard bed of herbs such as oregano, chives, rosemary, and parsley that are offered up to neighbors and passersby.

We’ve just wrapped up the construction and planting of the shed and are loving the way it looks as well as the function it serves and, of course, the way the garden looks.


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View Comments


  1. Carolyn3134 07/17/2020

    Absolutely wonderful! So creative and so generous!!

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 07/17/2020 about a wonderful marriage of form and function for all your projects.

  3. annek 07/17/2020

    A beautifully creative, practical and efficient use of space. What a grand idea!

  4. alicefleurkens 07/17/2020

    This is wonderful and imaginative and making the best use of the space you have. I love it. Alice

  5. User avater
    treasuresmom 07/17/2020

    Just don't know what to say about what all you have done. Marvelous!!

  6. sheila_schultz 07/17/2020

    You are the perfect neighbor everyone hopes for. You have provided beauty with your lush plantings, imagination of possibilities with your very attractive container garden/bike and trash receptacle shed, and generosity of friendship with your lovely free library and herbary! I wish you were my neighbor!!!

  7. Doxnmomx2 07/17/2020

    Fabulous from front to back, side to side, and top to bottom! I'm sure your neighbors love watching what's going on in your yard!

  8. User avater
    simplesue 07/17/2020

    Wow love how you've reinvented the common storage shed, it's fabulous! Useful and beautiful addition to the garden!
    Love your house and garden!

  9. btucker9675 07/17/2020

    Wonderful - what a perfect use of space! And what beauty you've brought to your neighbors, as well. Thank you for sharing your creativity - very inspiring!

  10. User avater
    musabasjoosue 07/17/2020

    This is such a cool addition to the garden! Thanks for sharing!

  11. schatzi 07/17/2020

    Incredibly ingenious and beautiful! Love it!

  12. moyra_b 07/17/2020

    Wow! What a treat to look at!

  13. Sunshine111 07/17/2020

    How lovely and creative! Fabulous!!😊

  14. darylsavage 07/17/2020

    I love this! Especially the herbary, and green roof on the little library. Inspired!

  15. hyltonj 07/17/2020

    Thank you all, appreciate the kind words!

  16. bsavage 07/18/2020

    I love all of this so much! Especially the Little Free Library, and the Little Free Herbery!

  17. perenniallycrazy 07/18/2020

    Great idea!

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