Sitting next to my lovely back yard shade French Potager kitchen garden made from found objects and creative shade plants is the ugliest part of my yard yet: yep, it’s the giant plastic shed in the top right-hand corner. Ick. Yuck. Blech.
I have a dream for that particular spot of ugliness in the garden, I dream of building an onsite education center, mini-outdoor office, and shed so I can educate my local community on green lifestyle living by holding classes right in my backyard. For inspiration, I turned to Debra Prinzing’s amazing book, Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways, Big Ideas For Small Backyard Destinations. What amazing and wonderful ideas are to be found inside this book. I was astounded. If you are interested in making your own special niche in the garden, her book is what you should be reading – – I have never seen such creative ideas on special spaces in the garden.
The problem? As many suburban homeowners know – there can be insurmountable challenges related to adding a shed to your lawn because of the city. There are city rules and regulations you must follow, for instance, that says you must pay the city to put up the shed on your own property. I went to the city and asked them if I could replace the current shed. They told me I was not allowed to build a permanent shed or deck on my property without first having it reside at least 10 feet from my back fence and at least 10 feet from the back wall of my home. If my measurements are correct, that means I can have a 10’ X 2’ shed smack in the middle of my yard. There are exceptions to this rule, of course. First, you must file papers, make claims, pay the extra money, and go in front of the city to make this happen. The problem – I have no money to do this.
Any suggestions on how I can have the education center of my dreams that jump out at me just like the gorgeous photos of sheds from Debra Prinzing’s book without paying all that money? I wanna hear your creative thoughts!
Help me with ideas for both design of the shed and how I might conquer the city regulation issues – I would like my dream to come true in 2012.