See how I created a container garden with vegetables and herbs using a weathered bench I salvaged from my parents’ farm. Love the pop of red!
A couple summers ago, I discovered two weathered benches in an old shed at my parents’ farm that I decided to bring home with me. I managed to paint the larger one a bright yellow colour for the Outdoor Extravaganza last year, and it eventually made its way to our front porch. The other smaller sized bench ended up being shoved under our deck and somewhat forgotten about. Last week, I finally pulled it out in an attempt to give it new life as part of our new herb and vegetable container garden.
How to Create a Container Garden Using a Bench
At first glance, I wasn’t sure I would be able to revive this worn out bench. It was a little worse for wear than I had remembered.
I knew, without a doubt, that the pink chippy paint had to go. (It turns out the bench came painted those colours from a farm sale years ago.) One end was patched together in a not-so-attractive way, and I was hoping we could somehow fix or trim it without it being too noticeable.
See what I mean? The only solution we could come up with was trimming both ends. This meant exposing the un-weathered wood, but I knew over time it would return to its rustic glory being exposed to the elements.
Spray Painting the Bench Legs
After a good sanding to remove the pink paint (I kept some of the blue-green) and large splinters, I spray painted the metal legs bright red for high contrast against the rustic wood top. I thought the red would also tie in nicely to our new garden stool and pillows in our outdoor lounging area.
While the bench was drying, we got to work digging out the sod in the back corner of our yard for the container garden. Being able to grow more herbs and vegetables is something I’ve been wanting to do for years. It was nice to finally be creating an area to do so.
Putting the Container Garden Together
After removing the sod, we put down landscape paper to block weeds and topped it off with a layer of cedar mini bark. We put the bench in place with a slight slope to allow water to run off. Then, I started layering potted vegetable and herb plants on top and all around. Some of these came from the seeds I started back in March.
One advantage of container gardening is being able to move pots around to allow plants to get more or less sun/rain depending on what they need. Succulents can get burnt in direct hot sun. If necessary, I can easily switch their placement with rosemary or another plant.
To attract bees and butterflies, I added some flowers as well. White pansies, alyssum and red verbena help tie our backyard colour palette together.
Aside from the bench, our stone retaining wall is the perfect place to house more pots. On the ledge, I planted swiss chard and oregano. Below, there’s lettuce and rosemary.
What vegetables and herbs do you like to grow? Have any favourite flowers?
Do you have a bench you could use for gardening?
My rustic garden bench will likely evolve over the summer and years to come. I can’t wait for the plants to grow and fill in the area. The best part will be eating the herbs all summer long!
Not bad for an old weathered bench, right?
Remember to come back tomorrow for the Outdoor Paint Projects link party where your project will be seen on 6 blogs! It’s the final week of this year’s Outdoor Extravaganza. So many great outdoor ideas!
For even more gardening and outdoor inspiration go here.
See you tomorrow!