Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Potting Bench Update

Last summer, I turned an old workbench in the garage into a potting bench for the garden.  Since the homeowners association does not allow sheds or similar outbuildings, the potting bench has been very handy.

It's held up pretty well under the elements, considering it was not originally built to be outside.  It will probably need another coat of paint soon, and since the top is made of plywood, eventually it will have to be replaced.

If I had been designing my potting bench from scratch, I would have added an upper shelf, like a hutch.  But since I was using what I had with minimal modifications, adding a hutch wasn't going to work. 

Then I found a rustic shelf I loved for its brackets last year at Restore, but I couldn't make the brackets fit against the fence, until I realized I just needed to turn them upside down.

The statuary is an antique store find a couple of weeks ago.  There was a sundail in the same booth, and I agonized over the decision.  But I fell in love this little guy's patina.

I usually don't have much luck with petunias.  I'm crossing my fingers I can keep these beauties alive this summer.

I freshened the lime-wash finish on the terra cotta pots this morning.  I like doing this when it's hot outside so they dry quickly.

To age terra cotta, I use a couple of heaping tablespoons of garden lime in about a cup of water.  Stir to dissolve the lime the best you can.  It probably won't completely dissolve, which is fine.  Brush on with an old paint brush, taking care not to let it drip and run.  If you do it on a hot, windy day, it will dry quickly.  Brush the excess lime off.  It's a more natural-looking aging method than using paint, the results are instant, and it's not icky like the old yogurt technique.'s so easy to make new little plants. Just clip a piece off the parent plant and stick it in potting soil.  This one has roots coming out of the drainage hole, so it's time to go into the ground.

Another new addition is this sweet rustic box. I love it so much, it's going to get it's own post. The tool box is a thrift store makeover from last year, and I'm happy to say it's holding up well too.

One yard ornament that was decommissioned last year was a plastic birdbath.  Plastic yard ornaments are so inexpensive, but they become brittle over time.

The bowl cracked but the base was still fine and I liked the scrolls, so I kept it until I could find a use for it.

Can you believe a three inch convex truck mirror fit perfectly in the center?  My husband thinks it looks like a wheel, so I wouldn't use it in the house, but it looks fine in the garden.

I'm trying to use more color, so I like the pop of red it adds to this corner.

The lantern is another Restore find.  I think I paid $2 for it.  I pulled the wiring out of it and hung it on a shepherd's hook.  I don't have much luck with hanging baskets (too hot and windy in Kansas).  This cute lantern doesn't need water!

I'm linking up...


  1. Very cute! You've done a great job with it and what wonderful bargains your used doing it.

  2. Nice work. I found you through At the Picket Fence. I'm your latest follower and a fellow newbie. I wanted to help you reach the 100 follower benchmark. Happy blogging! Hope you'll stop over and see me sometime.

  3. LOVE THIS! I want a potting bench so bad! I like your idea with the tool bench.
    I would love if you link this to the French party on Monday. The statue is very French!! The blue too :)
    Happy week-end!

  4. New follower too! Follow back please ")

  5. Love you potting bench, I'm visiting for FJS, and I'm pinning your bench, and following your blog!

  6. The potting bench looks great, and I love what you did with the shelves.

  7. Love it! I am so jealous of your potting bench. I'm hoping to make one this summer. Yours is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing it with us at Inspiration Friday.


  8. Your potting bench looks GREAT! Liz

  9. All of your little magic touches truly made your potting area so charming, Heather! Love the color or your bench, and that red mirror really does make a summery statement! :)

    xoxo laurie

  10. Your potting bench is great! And I would totally use that mirror in the house- it's lovely!

  11. So cute! I'm a new follower.


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