The driveway or the back patio or simply a pathway in the shade was my potting place. Squatting or sitting crossed-legged or on an over-turned bucket worked as I bent over pots and plants. That's how I started new seeds, potted up slips for rooting, divided rhizomes. I'm sure you can relate. A potting bench is not an essential for accomplishing a whole lot of successful gardening.
|Completed pergola in December before the potting bench was added.|
As soon as the pergola was completed (last December) I painted a couple of ladders to re-purpose as a temporary shelving unit. I utilized two different size ladders and painted some boards that fit between the rungs for shelving.
I've decided not to have permanent shelves built. The ladders add a whimsical touch and function just fine. The covered pergola allows me to control the amount of water and sunlight according to the needs of the particular varieties of cuttings and seedlings. It is also a place for all my hopeful new plants to be corralled in one place. This set-up is so much more convenient than trays of grow-pots scattered about and tucked under shrubs and even sometimes forgotten. That's how it seemed to go in my old garden.
|I hired a very handy man I trusted to follow my precise directions for building my custom potting bench. He's done a lot of work for us in this house.|
After looking at lots of photos and ideas (on Pinterest and Houzz) I came up with a combination of features to fit the space and one that would help me accomplish the tasks I had in mind,
The working top is 8' long, 22" deep and 36" high. It attaches to the back wall of the pergola which is actually the outside wall of the garage. See the slanted side braces? Those keep the entire structure off the ground which actually gives me more room. The bottom shelf is shorter leaving an open end as a parking garage for my garden wagon. It is only 20" deep so I don't knock my shins on it. The 4" wide boards that cover it are placed vertically (opposite of the horizontal 8" boards tightly fitted on top) and have a small space between them for easy cleaning. The shelving above has beadboard in the background and corbels underneath to give it a cozy, homey look and feel.
Somehow I got stuck with the painting job. I used the same color of stain we chose for the pergola. The beadboard is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (Provence).
Electricity along with an outlet I can easily access and lamps on each post are additional helpful features to make the pergola an even more convenient and usable space.
Ta-Da! The reveal of the completed bench.
The bottom shelf has proven to be very handy. I left a foot of space all the way around the perimeter of the pavers to add rocks. They give me better drainage for watering plants.
Call me the bucket lady. I use lots of buckets while gardening. A bucket for weeds, a bucket for my hand tools, a bucket for soil, a bucket for whatever you need. Buckets are handy. Can't be without buckets.
It was easy to equip this area. I didn't have to purchase anything to make it look cozy. It was a matter of gathering things from around my house.
It's the same thing I do in my home. "Shop the house" I think it's called. Use what you have, re-purpose items, and move things around for a brand new look.
As the sun comes up this part of the garden is my favorite place to be. It's peaceful and relaxing to start my day here. We really enjoy the birds and butterflies and all the buzzing critters that come alive as the new day dawns.
My new garden is turning out to be a great source of strength and inspiration to me. I can hardly believe we have been here a year this month. I couldn't be happier and more contented. The long awaited potting bench is just one more piece in the puzzle.
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