The real garden shed and fence gets cleaned up – part 1

Rustic potting bench and shed with reclaimed wood shutters for a garden focal point. |


See the finished fence HERE

Visit the entire series HERE

As most of you already know, this little rustic shed I often feature out back isn’t a real garden shed at all.

Rustic shed with sawhorse potting bench / flower garden, covered in old signs |
It morphed from a greenhouse, and today houses firewood, while becoming a cute focal point to the backyard through a sawhorse potting bench, added shutters, and so forth.

What I HAVEN’T really shown you much of (because it hasn’t earned it yet!) is the real garden shed which resides in what I call ‘the boneyard.’

I’ll warn you now… this is not a pretty post… however it IS a really good start to one! I can only hope…

New garden shed and rustic fence project - the before |
Lest you think this is a true before, it is not. This is a midway. The area to the left was completely FULL of overgrown wild blackberry bushes.

So allow me to explain why I have never yet revamped this area…

When I first moved in, there was a deteriorating fence between my then neighbour and I. I loved the wood, but the fence was dreadful. It was in full rot mode and my neighbour at the time wasn’t really the type to band together to build a new exciting fence.

Trimmed cedar hedges along two sides of a yard |
So I did the only thing I could do and planted a lovely row of cedar hedges along my side and called it a day.

Now that I DO have a neighbour that cares about replacing the fence, things are changing! The fence is being replaced, and with that a whole new project area for me!

Chopping out wild blackberry bushes from a storage area in the backyard with a reclaimed wood fence |
This is the remaining strip of fencing exposed on my side. It runs along the far side of my yard and behind the ‘real garden shed’. Because the fence was so nasty, I didn’t take care of this side of the yard. It became a dumping ground for storage or things bound for the dump.

This summer it had completely FILLED with blackberry bushes, twisting and turning over all the storage junk. Imagine a pool ladder and other beat up wood and ladders and rusty junk being all sewn together with a thorny rope. It was CRAZY and rather deadly.

So when Hank started banging on the fence, I had to snap into action!

And started cleaning this mess up.

Chopping out wild blackberry bushes from a storage area in the backyard with a reclaimed wood fence |
To release the junk from the thorny grasp, I had to ease my way in with clippers one deadly branch at a time, carefully propping the fresh clip inside the wheel barrow, then shovel it into the back of my truck. It was a difficult messy process on a very hot and humid day, so I just took my time.

P.S. Ever notice how much more you feel you are accomplishing by making vocal grunts and groans out loud for all to hear?

You’d think I was building a house from scratch the way I droned on… and gulped gallons of water.

You know those ‘good tired’ days you get after a hard day’s work? I could barely walk up my patio steps… but when I did, you can bet I plopped my sad sweaty self down on that bed for a quick recoup!

So anyway, all this of course then uncovered the real garden shed badly in need of repair and revamping as well.

The revamping of a garden shed and reclaimed wood fence in a backyard |
Insert major instant ripple effect here…

So the gutting of the greens was eventually completed, with the junk wood and other crap thrown back into the boneyard for my pruner guy to take to the dump once he gets here.

The building of a new fence that will be planked with reclaimed wood in a backyard |
And then I magically woke up one day to the fence down, and the new posts up! YES!!!

So here’s the plan…

Hank will be installing black painted overlapping vertical planks on his side. It’s a gorgeous modern sleek look that suits their style and lovely landscaped garden to perfection.

For my side, I’ve decided I’d like the ‘old look’ back, and will be pressure washing and installing the original planks that just came down. But this time on a super sound framework!

Storage yard cleanup in a backyard - the before |
Storage yard cleanup in a backyard - the before | funkyjunkinteriors.netI’m still uncertain what to do with the compost area to the left. The structure has long rotted and will come down. However I like the separation that little wall jutting out provides so I may replace it to create the zone transition from yard to shed.

If I leave the wall, I’d probably require another hedging tree or 2 to finish that section off.

If I remove it all, it will have an entirely different look of reclaimed wood right away. Imagine the garden art fun along the fence this could provide! Hmmmm…. I’m honestly leaning this way for something different.

The garden shed before, about to be revamped into a rustic wonder! |
But that means this space cannot remain a dumping ground AND this shed needs a new look!

It’s in bad need of repair, requiring a new roof, more efficient gutter, the shiplap needs repairs and some cemented brickwork along the bottom for waterproofing. A door would be nice too! Maybe a locking sliding barn door?

What do you vision?

EVERY task in this area are things I have never done before, so I’m excited to learn! It’s been awhile since I’ve truly challenged myself.

Nothing a You Tube channel or 5 can’t teach me, right?!

A rustic fence and shed is about to transform the edge of this backyard |

A BIG new challenge has begun, thanks to a broken down fence… that’s going right back up again!

What’s your vision for this space? I’d love to hear!


See the finished fence HERE

Visit the entire series HERE

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Categories: All Cool Projects, DIY, Junk Drawer, Outdoors
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21 thoughts on “The real garden shed and fence gets cleaned up – part 1

  1. What a great beginning Donna. I love a project that can be worked on over time. Fence rebuild is a MAJOR deal – Hank sounds like a good neighbour indeed. You will both be happy with the replaced fence.

    Looking forward to seeing the changes as you make them.



  2. Girlfriend, I would still be sitting there beside that BEAUTIFUL hydrangea thinking about what’s ahead of me!!!

  3. Love this new project! the barn door would be great, although it may be a tight fit on the height on the left side… I hope it can work!

  4. Great fall project.

    I love the idea of reclaiming the weathered wood and putting it back up as a backdrop for your creativity.

    May I suggest a ground cover on the small amount of non-cemented ground in that area. Not knowing what grows best in your area, I have a back yard filled with myrtle and ferns that require no care and make a beautiful “natural” area.

    English ivy is fast growing and lovely, but you have to keep an eye on it, or it can become invasive, over time. Depending on sun, a ladder mounted on the fence would be a trellis for a variety of different vines. The reseeding one I have on a post at the end of my driveway (so the snow plows don’t come into my yard’s edge gardens) is the morning glory. They begin to flower when many of my flowers are waning at the end of summer. I am also a lover of hollyhocks, as they are tall, and would be nice on the outside of the fence area. Such an old fav, and one my grandmother always had.

    Maybe the shed should also be sided in weathered wood. If you do a barn door, one that is truly functional, the hardware can be pricey. Keep that in mind.

    Getting the basics up and done before winter is a great goal. When that is done, the real fun will begin. First, the work. Enjoy!

    • Maybe a barn red paint on the shed. Red seems to be your signature accent color, and with the gray weathered fencing and a gray weathered door, it would be great!

      So many ideas. It will all “jell” for you, as you work along on it. Eager to see the results.

      Best wishes, always.

  5. Oh Donna, what a great “find”! I know you’re going to do a fantastic job on this. It’s like finding a gold nugget in your own backyard! Also, it’s wonderful that you now have cooperating neighbors. That makes all the difference in the world. I could see a cute brick paver walkway along the house leading to the shed. It must be done in your signature rusty junk style. I can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  6. Oh, I love a good garden/yard/shed makeover, it just excites me to no end. I can’t wait to watch the transformation. I’ve done a few myself, pop over when you have a few minutes.

  7. I rarely comment on blogs but I just have to say you are wonderful, amazing, inventive, and more!! I look forward to seeing what you do. After following along for over a year I am in love with your spunk. You really rock girl!!

  8. Hi ! It’s been a long time since I’ve written to you but just had to after seeing your “new” garden shed in all it glory .) While I envisioned the same “old” fence going back up ( in all it’s beautiful chippy-ness) as you have, i thought about something for your sliding barn door that “i” just thought up all by myself ( insert smily face ?) I love the idea of a sliding barn door with old chippy paint to match the fence and rusty hardware everywhere but since there is no window on it anywhere ( at least not that I could see ) I would put a small square window ( complete with window box and flowers) “in” the sliding barn door, that way when the door is open… can still see the window !! Now at this point in my post to you, i am really hoping you’re not laughing at me or my ideas ! So I know from watching a lot of your blog posts that what ever you choose will be perfect for your yard and for you. All the Best to you !

  9. Good morning Donna! WowsaWowsa!What a treasure trove of possibility! First off, using the old wood is great. I had no idea that all that was under the hedge row. And I have wild black berry bushes in my yard so know first-hand what that job entails. Ow! And to think you have a whole other shed!The sky is the limit. To read your words of shiplap and gutters and a concrete brick covering around the base for water proofing and I am in awe. It is like listening to my carpenter dad talk when he was doing stuff. I think a barn door is a great idea. See I have a thing for barns. I look forward to seeing what you do. And the finished product will add to the value of your home. Thanks so much for a great and inspiring post! When do we get started? LOL!

  10. It has great faraway. It looks like it would make a great potting shed area, with a fun table and chairs done the funky junk way. I love the idea of replacing the little divider wall and again doing that thing you do. Some pretty plants in the compost area, with the compost pile moved to another useful location. It almost has a wee guest house cottage look if you squint and dream.

  11. Well how about, keep the compost pile and add raised garden bed for veggies or herbs. Then you can add some cool repurposed items to the shed wall.

    I am new to your blog and site…found you looking (google ) for pointers on solo camping lessons.

    Our lives have many similar parallels. 🙂

    All the best with whatever you decide on for your space.


  12. What an awesome challenge Donna. It’s a huge fresh canvas to play with now that fall’s around the corner. Oh man you’re going to have soooo much fun. I can’t wait to see what you come up with. I’m preparing myself to be blown away

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