First, dig up the area where you will want to plant. You can make an irregular shape for a casual cottage garden look or more rectangular shapes for a more formal look. Remove all existing plants from the ground where you want to plant. Remove all sod (use to replace bald spots elsewhere if needed) and take away all dirt lumps of roots and rocks with a rake. Ammend the soil with bags of garden soil and add some compost. Any organic matter will do. Use shredded leaves or grass clippings collected by your lawn mower, for example, or decayed material from your compost pile.
Sheds come in many styles so its hard to give specific directions here. If you have a roof with an overhang, you can attach some simple columns of lattice in two or three sections along the wall of your shed in which to grow Clematis, roses or your choice of sun-loving vines.
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Lattice can be purchased in panels at any home improvement store.
The lattice, since it is attached to the outer edge of the overhang, will stand away from the shed wall a bit creating another dimension of depth to the wall, making it much more interesting. In the open areas between the lattice sections make a great place to put some larger bushes. Crepe Myrtle grows beautifully in the mid-Atlantic and the South in nearly full sun. Next to them, you can plant lower shrubs that may appreciate partial sun in the shade of the crepe myrtle.
Notice the trellis on the side of this adorable shed. A larger shed could have two or three of these positioned in intervals along the wall for growing Clematis or whathaveyou. Also note the overhang created by the roof. The trellis could be attached to the overhang instead of the wall itself to create another dimension of depth to a long, blank wall.
“Carol Makie” Daphne has beautiful varieagated foliage in a star-like arrangement, is a nicely compact and well behaved shrub that will contrast nicely with the Crepe Myrtle. You could place one on either end of your wall.
Carol Makie Daphne. Notice the varieagated folilge and the star shaped arrangement of leaves. This plant needs partial sun.
You can plant some day lillies infront of the Clematis (growing up the lattice) to shade thier roots and provide spectacular blooms all summer, year after year. To add some color, try a nice, hardy, mounding Aster, such as the “Monch” variety. This knee-high plant will make beautiful mounds of purple daisy like flowers that will bloom from June to the first frost.
Beautiful “Monch” asters
To create a nice transition from garden to lawn – insert a row of an ornamental grass such as Liriope or a low hedge of “Little Leaf” Boxwood for a more formal look. This boxwood only grows to about 18 inches tall and will stay green all winter, providing interest when everything else has long since turned brown and died back.
This is little leaf boxwood used in front of a porch. this gives you an idea of how tall it gets and how it might look as a wall around your shed garden.
More Resources and Options about lattice/trellis:
You can purchase ready-made sections of trellis made of metal or wood in a variety of styles. This is like the one I have in front of my shed. It is in the shade, so I plan to try planting some Climbing Hydrangea on it this coming spring. If yours is in a sunny area, you ahve a lot more options for climbing plants. Morning Glories are familiar annuals that are easy to grow. Honeysuckle is beautiful and fragrant, but has a tendancy to take over. Clematis is a definite favorite. It comes in a huge array of colors and varieties. Clematis seem to be particular about having shade down by their roots and full sun on their leaves. You’ll need to think about planting something near your clematis that will provide shade for the the Clematis roots.
Here are some directions for building your own wood trellis to set up against your blank wall.