Every year just before the first hard frost we do the big pot shuffle, moving pots into the garage to overwinter. Some are brought in because the plant is tender; some because the pot might crack. There is just enough light to keep things going that don’t go completely dormant, and it is warm enough that nothing gets close to freezing (although our kitchen, which is just above the garage, is pretty cool in the dead of winter).
My sister laughs at us because although we have a large garage we rarely put a vehicle in it. I don’t know why this is, but we are not car-in-the-garage kind of people. I’m sure it would be different if we lived in Chicago.
Last year we had to replace the original garage doors when the spring broke on the remaining operable door. We chose some snazzy looking doors and I doubled the number of windows to give more light and create my ‘conservatory’ effect. I got this idea from a picture (see above) I found somewhere online of a garden room. It is one of my happy pictures – I have a whole file of these – that I look at and just feel happier.
In anticipation of getting these lovely new garage doors, I ruthlessly cleaned out the garage. I gave away tons of stuff, recycled what I could, and hauled off the remaining bits that no one would want or could use. It’s amazing how liberating it is to get rid of clutter.
Once the new doors were up, I cobbled together my space. I organized my tools, tidied up the potting bench, found some inexpensive wicker chairs and laid down an old carpet that Miss Gidget had left teeth marks in. I lined the wall with metal shelves for summer things like hurricane lanterns and baskets and got a closed cabinet for the unsightly stuff. I organized the potted plants to surround my little sitting area. Viola! Now I can be IN my happy picture. Nice on a day like today when it’s snowing.
Sarah Susanka, author of The Not So Big House and many other books, wrote that ‘rooms’ should do double or even triple duty. Our garage is a Conservatory, Garden Shed, and Yoga Studio. Gidget and I like to do our Down Dog in here … I contemplate A.p. ‘Mikawa Yatsabusa’ and she contemplates the chewed up corner of the rug.
My Happy Place
In a pinch I could squeeze a car in, but only if a blizzard were heading our way.