Nearly twenty years ago, when the Realtor brought my wife and me to the house we would eventually buy in Fairfield, the yard was covered with a foot of snow. Nevertheless, while Deb was busily taking measure of the kitchen, I was looking at the backyard. In the far corner of the lot was a building flanked by weeds and covered in vines. The listing said it was a boathouse, but I knew better. It would be the perfect place to stage the gardening campaign taking shape in my head. Not that I knew much about potting sheds back then — except that one saved Peter Rabbit from a very angry Mr. McGregor.
Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time in that shed — making critical repairs in the first few growing seasons. We started by jacking the shed off its foundation and exchanging the termite-riddled sills with pressure-treated boards. Then we replaced the old, cracked windows and put on a new roof. Next, after several coats of paint, I moved in the old workbench that my grandfather had knocked together forty years earlier. Finally, I laid out my collection of clay pots, put up hooks and shelves to hold tools and supplies and filled the corners with my gardening equipment. I was ready to grow.