A charming fairytale garden shed on Decatur Island

This beautiful and very charming little garden shed and greenhouse, owned by Gail and Mark Dupar, is located on Decatur Island in Washington’s San Juan Islands. Tiny Decatur Island is a 31/2-square-mile speck of forested and rolling agricultural land. The farm house itself had been in Gail’s (a freelance artist in Seattle) family for over 100 years. With some creativity and smart planning, the garden workspace was transformed into what appears more like a cozy little vacation cabin. With the use of recycled materials, the cozy cordwood structure is a place to start seedlings, create flower arrangements, raise tomatoes, house garden tools, and lay freshly harvested shallots to dry on the warm brick floor. With the kitchen garden and an ancient well to water it, the couple has learned how to live off the harvest.

Constructed in almost two months, featuring recycled beams from a pier repair project and cedar discovered on a nearby beach and sliced into rounds. The windows were salvaged from a yard-sale.

A durable workbench has been designed out of a 12-foot-long cedar slab.

Clear glass bottles encased in the wall filters light into the space. Darker bottles, marbles, and twiggy prunings fill in around them.

An antique leaded glass window is hung from a beam overhead.

The attached 8- by 12-foot greenhouse features a shadecloth-covered glass roof, which brightens the room.

The coil hose is long enough to reach all the plants in the greenhouse.

The flooring features brick set in sand atop filter fabric for simple drainage.

To reduce clutter, a salvaged kitchen cabinet was installed to house vases, seeds, and books. Hand tools are stored in a sand-filled crock.

A recycled wood table is used to display fresh cut flowers, the clippings are composted.

Flea market finds have been re-invented into planters for succulents. Be sure to drill a hole in the bottom for drainage!

Photos: John Granen, Kathleen Brenzel

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