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Shed Landscaping: The Complete Guide

Are you ready to transform the ground around your shed? Shed landscaping can help change the aesthetic of your shed from a simple storage place in your backyard to a royal garden palace.

It is no secret that landscaping around your shed makes a huge difference to the appearance of your shed and your yard!

Let’s jump right into how to landscape around your shed. The first phase of shed landscaping begins with dreaming and asking yourself…what landscaping style do I like best?

exterior of plants and chair for shed landscaping ideas

Shed Landscaping Styles

Here are a couple of things to consider before diving into the different landscape styles.

One, if you already have a specific landscape style around your house, then it might be a clever idea to continue that landscaping style around your shed as well.

Two, you can create your own landscaping design. While the following styles offer guidance and plant ideas and combos, there is no fixed line when it comes to landscaping. Simply add the plants you love (and that love your planting zone).

8 Garden Styles for Landscaping Around Your Shed

1.     Japanese

Here are some of the distinct features of the Japanese garden style.

  • Stone placed at different spots
  • Water – consider adding a small running pond (see Décor Tips below for instruction)
  • Plants like, peony, chrysanthemum, Japanese water irises, wisteria vine
  • Flowering shrubs, such as azaleas, camellia, and hydrangea

For more information on a Japanese garden style, read Japanese Garden Plants.

2.     English Garden

exterior of english garden for what to put around bottom of shed for article

Photo Credit: Homes & Gardens

Here are some of the distinct features of the English Garden style:

  • Stone, gravel, or brick pathway leading to shed
  • Retaining walls
  • Flower beds with flowers, such as lavender, wisteria, hydrangea, delphinium, foxglove, and more options here.
  • Hedges

3.     Modern

Here are some distinct features of a Modern style garden:

  • Uncluttered and clean look
  • Decorative stone for mulching
  • Plants like, yucca, canna & alocasia, Hosta, New Zealand flax, sedum, carex; see all options here.

4.     Tropical

Here are some distinct features of a Tropical style garden:

  • Densely planted
  • Designed in three levels
  • Plants like, lily turf, bird’s nest fern, philodendron “Xanadu”, Colocasia pineapple lilies, and more options here.
exterior of southwestern garden style for landscape around shed for article

Photo Credit: houzz

5.     Southwest

Here are some distinct features of a Southwest style garden:

  • Incorporates Native American and Spanish features
  • Focuses on simple, functional, and low maintenance design
  • Natural mulch
  • Plants like hairy desert sunflower, bougainvillea, barrel cactus, echinacea, penstemon, yucca, silvery lamb’s ear, and more options here.

6.     Low Maintenance

Here are some distinct features of a low-maintenance style garden:

  • “Mulching” with decorative stone
  • Simple design – limited amount of plants
  • Ability to keep the bed small
  • Ability to avoid annuals
  • Plants, such as ornamental grasses, topiary, hydrangeas, lavender, blue star juniper, variegated liriope, and other options found here.

7.     Cottage Garden

Here are some distinct features of a cottage garden style:

  • Informal design
  • Dense planting
  • Ornamental and edible plants
  • Plants, such as herbs, vegetables, daffodils, hyacinth, tulips, rose bushes, yarrow, and other options here.

8.     Natural

Here are some distinct features of a natural garden style:

  • Informal or even rustic look
  • Organic feel
  • Local plants and wildflowers
  • Focus on natural materials, such as salvaged wood, logs, natural stone, and bark chippings
  • Plants – Whatever is local to your region

Perhaps you do not have a specific style, you might simply want to spruce up the look of your shed. If so, enjoy receiving some specific plant and shrub recommendations for how to landscape your shed in the next section!

exterior of shed with rocks for landscaping around a shed ideas for article

Shed Landscaping Materials for Simple Landscaping Around Your Shed

Before we jump into a detailed list of important shed landscaping materials, let’s begin with answering this popular question.

What Do You Put Around a Shed?

Typically, people put a nice horseshoe or oval-shaped flower bed around their shed with a careful selection of shrubs and/or flowers, mulch, and garden décor, such as wind catchers or decorative rocks. The result increases the overall aesthetic beauty of the shed and the yard.

Plants for Landscaping Around a Shed

You may be overwhelmed by what to put plant around your shed, so here are a couple of ideas.

exterior of shed with shed landscaping with plants and mulch for article

 What Should I Plant in Front of My Shed?

You can plant flowers, shrubs, small-growing evergreen bushes, vegetables, or herbs in front of your shed.

Typically, most people plant either flowers or shrubs in front of their shed. Planting trees beside your shed is not recommended since their growth can cause potential problems for your shed down the road.  Plus, it is best for your shed to have as much sun exposure as possible to avoid moisture damage.

The following offers you specific flowers and shrubs that are highly recommended for planting in front of your shed.

Annual Flowers – Do not come back every year
  • Pansies – Plant early spring
  • Vinca – Plant in May and last till September
  • Petunias – Plant in May and last till September

These flowers are great options for planting as a border around your flower bed’s edge.

Perennial Flowers – Come back every year
  • Tulips
  • Daffodils
  • Black-eyed Susan’s

While these flowers do not need to be replanted every year, they do require a bit of maintenance and cutting back annually.

Shrubs

The following 3 shrub species create a delightful trio in the bed around your shed.

  • Blue Star Juniper – Pretty blue tints
  • Variegated Liriope – Perfect as a border plant
  • Barberries – Red shrub

These next 4 shrub species also look great as a combination.

  • Gold Mop Cypress or Juniper – Lovely yellow and green colors
  • Azalea – Come in multiple color options
  • Rhododendron – Better for bigger beds  
  • Shrub roses – These bloom about 3 times a year
Small Tree
  • Dwarf Alberta Spruce – Stays small and compact.
Potted Plants

While some people enjoy planting flowers and shrubs in the ground, others may prefer to plant their favorite plants in pots, planters, or flower boxes.

You can do one or the other or both! You cannot go wrong.

However, plants in the ground often fare much better overall than plants that stay only in pots.

Check out this video on adding pots and flower baskets to add a bit of shed landscaping spice in front of your shed.

Different Bed Styles for Shed Landscaping

The following offers you 3 popular bed styles for landscaping around your shed.

  • Horseshoe with added curves or just as is – This is the most popular bed style. Literally think horseshoe or U and if you want more waves incorporate them wherever you please.
  • Oval Shaped – An elongated o all the way around the shed, except for a pathway leading to the shed’s door.
  • Minor “S” Curve – Since sheds are a much smaller structure than a house, only a minor “S” curve or part of the “S” would need to be outlined on each side of the shed.

Edging Materials

The following offers you the top 4 edging materials for completing the look of the flower bed around your shed.

  1. Plastic – Cheapest option, not as aesthetically pleasing

View Plastic Edging

  • Red Concrete Border Stone – Second cheapest option, adds more character

View Red Concrete Edging

  • Belgium Block (small or large) – Most expensive option, yet long lasting and absolutely stunning, usually sold at a local nursery

View Belgium Block

  • Reclaimed Natural Stone – Free! Larger-sized stones from around your home makes for an irregular-sized border, yet looks lovely if properly set in place
exterior table and plants for shed landscaping article

Mulching Materials for Landscaping Around Your Shed

There are 2 main mulching materials used for shed landscaping, either decorative stone or mulch. Let’s break down each option.

  • Decorative Stone

Decorative stone is the more expensive of the two options. However, decorative stone does cut back on weeding (if prepared correctly) and offers a stunning and modern appeal to your shed.

View Options for Decorative Stone

  • Mulch

Regular mulch is by far the cheapest option, yet nonetheless stunning. The following offer you a list of the 5 common mulch options.

  • Black dye
  • Natural
  • Red dye
  • Rubber
  • Recycled

The most popular mulching options are black dye, natural, or red. If you are eco-friendly, then recycled mulch may pique your interest. However, not all suppliers carry recycled mulch.

Your local stores like Home Depot or Lowes usually sell bags of black or red dye mulch. If you do not find the type of mulch you want at your local stores, you might need to reach out to a larger supplier of mulch.

Shed Landscaping Décor Ideas

Let’s think ahead to the possibilities of adding additional beauty to the landscaping around your shed. The following offers you popular ideas.

  • Flower baskets
  • Wind catchers
  • Decorative large stones
  • Lights
  • Bird baths
  • Flowerpots
  • Running pond – If you want a running pond to be the main decorative piece of your shed landscaping make sure to start first with adding the pond. With the pond added first, you can then build the rest of the shed landscaping design around it.

Check out this video for detailed instructions on how to add a pond to any space.

exterior of tools for shed landscaping article

Photo Credit: Oxana Melis: Unsplash

Tools Needed

To effectively conqueror your shed landscaping, you will need the following tools.

  • Hose or Spray Paint
  • Straight Edge Steel Edger
  • Mattock (may or may not need this one, find out more in the steps below)
  • Regular Round Shovel
  • Pitchfork
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Rake
  • Gloves
  • Level
  • Equipment to cut stone (see article below for more info, if needed)

How Do I Landscape Around My Shed? 6 Steps to Success

exterior of shed landscaping and shed for article

Step 1: Determine what size flower bed you need.

A smaller shed will require a smaller bed and vice versa. Of course, you can go bigger if you wish.

A suggested size would be extending 2-3 feet from the shed’s exterior walls.

Step 2: Outline the shape of the bed with a hose or spray paint.

Typically, a simple oval or horseshoe design will suffice. No need to get fancy for a shed that is not a focal point in your overall landscape scheme. 

Then take a hose or spray paint and outline the shape of your ideal flower bed.

 Step 3:  Edge along the prepared outline.

First, get a straight edge steel edger tool from Lowes or Home Depot. In the case of stubborn clay and rocky soil, you will need a mattock to help trench along your straight edge.

Once you have your edging tool, cut vertical, 3-4″-deep cuts into your outline.

Your edging should look perpendicular. You want to make a separation from the lawn and the bed. It is important to get your edging in perpendicular, straight up and down, for aesthetical reasons as well as for effectively installing a decorative border.

Edging is what gives your landscape a manicured look.

Next, discard the edgings in the woods or haul them to the dump.

Step 4: Add a weed cloth if…

As an option, you can put weed cloth down after edging.

However, according to most landscapers, it does not do a foolproof job of keeping back the weeds because the mulch decays and becomes a seed bed for weeds soon afterward.

However, landscapers do recommend weed cloth for decorative stone. The reason for this is that the soil will discolor the stone, which is typically a brighter color. 

Check out the steps for adding a weed cloth here.

Step 5: Install your border of choice.

This is where careful edging pays off big time! Let’s begin with the process of adding the plastic border then finally Belgium block or red concrete edging.

Plastic Border

The plastic edging is usually around 5-inches-tall. Place the plastic against your prepared edge about 1 to 1.5 inches above the ground. 

Next, staple the plastic edging into the ground with spikes. The spikes are usually sold separately from your plastic edging and can be bought from Home Depot or Lowes or wherever you purchase your plastic edging.

exterior edging red border for small shed landscaping ideas

Photo Credit: Lowes

Belgium Block or Red Concrete Edging

For example, if the concrete block is 5 inches deep and 6 inches wide, you will have to excavate 3.5 inches down to have the stone be 1.5 inches above the lawn’s edge.

Say the bed around the shed is 40 feet long. You would then excavate the entire length of the 40 feet.

Dig about 3.5 inches down and 6 inches wide before laying the block in one assembly line-like process.

Once the excavating is complete, lay down your stones from one end to the other.

You may need to make a cut if one of the stones is too big to finish out the end.

If needed, check out this helpful article on, How to Cut Stone.

Step 6: Place your plants in desired location & plant them.

Evenly space your plants. Generally, you put your taller plants in the back and then work your way to the smaller border plants in the front.

A typical planting pattern would be a zigzag pattern (which is like a continuous W pattern).

Also, use a regular round shovel to plant your shrubs or flowers.

Step 7: Mulch your newly created beds.

The second to last step is mulching!

Generally, lay out a layer of about 2-3 inches of either regular mulch or decorative stone.

Tip for Regular Mulch:

Use a pitchfork to load regular mulch into a wheelbarrow and also to easily spread the mulch across your new flower bed.

Be sure not to pile the regular mulch against the wooden siding of your shed. Leave a bit of air space between your shed and the mulch to avoid moisture buildup and rot.

Tip for Decorative Stone:

If you are using decorative stone, use a shovel to load the stone and a rake to spread the stone across your prepared flower bed.  

Step 8: Stand Back & Enjoy (as your neighbors turn green with envy).

You did it! Your shed landscaping is complete!

Looks fantastic! Enjoy never having to weed whack around your shed again!

exterior stone for landscape around shed for article

Conclusion

Hopefully, the above information helped empower you to tackle the delightful project of beautifying your shed with some shed landscaping!

For additional inspiration, check out this video for shed landscaping tips or this video for how to renovate your garden shed with plants.

Now you may be thinking, “Well, I would love to do shed landscaping, but I don’t even have a shed yet.” That’s alright. Our Workshop, MaxiBarn, Saltbox, MiniBarn, or Modern sheds would all be great bases to create a shed landscape around.

Once your shed landscaping is complete you will only wonder why you did not do it sooner!

Good luck!

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