If there were support groups for garage abusers, I'd be a regular at meetings: "Hello, my name is Michelle, and I have many cardboard boxes with mysterious contents, a stack of broken beach chairs, and a roof rack from a car I sold a long time ago." Then I would confide my secret fantasy...
I dream of converting my garage into a potting shed: a workspace with good light, seedlings on the windowsill, and plenty of room to store tools. I sense I'm not the only one among us who has an old clock radio with a frayed cord sitting on a shelf behind camping equipment I'll never use again. You may harbor a similar fantasy. Here's how to get started:
Above: Give everything a coat of fresh white paint (bonus points for using up the dregs in that can of paint behind the skis you haven't touched for five years). Photo of Tricia Foley's summer garage on Long Island by Jeff McNamara.
Above: Let's put some light on the subject, as my mother likes to say. A galvanized gooseneck Barn Light with a 16-inch shade; it's $208 from Barn Light Electric.
Above: You can use barn door fittings, such as the Standard Flat Track (above R), to create a roll-open doorway wide enough for a wheelbarrow (or two); for prices and options, visit Barn Door Hardware.
Above: You will be growing some variety of lavender, of course. But how to choose? There are dozens of species of the aromatic herb Lavandula; a few options include (from L) Grappenhall, Provence, Grosso, Dutch Mill, Abrialii, Seal, Yellow Lavender, Spanish Lavender and French Lavender. Image via Mountain Valley Growers.
Above: If you're considering Spanish lavender, a Potted Lavender Plant comes in an 8-inch galvanized pail ($39.99); visit Overstock to check availability.
Above: To haul all that lavender, a Jumbo Crate Wagon; it's $149 at Home Depot.
Above: A sunny windowsill where pots of white pelargoniums sit next to a tall galvanized Vattenkanna by House Doctor. The watering can is a splurge if you live in the States; it's 459 Swedish krona (plus shipping) from Julia's Vita Drommar.
Above: A smaller Galvanized Watering Can, same long spout. It's $58 from Terrain.
Above: For a similar look, varieties of Pelargonium x hortorum, also known as zonal geraniums, are widely available at local nurseries. Image by Evenstar 9, via Flickr.
Above: Storage for storage, tucked into a corner. Image via Julia's Vita Drommar.
Above: Red Clay Pots by Guy Wolff come in a variety of sizes; for prices and ordering information, visit the website.
Above: A 12-quart Galvanized Steel Pail by Witt; it's $9.99 at Wayfair. I don't think I'll miss the old roof rack, the camping equipment, or the vintage clock radio a bit.