I’m excited to share with you the rustic potting benches in my garden.
While I should be outside this weekend pruning my roses, it’s cold, wet, and downright dreary. So instead, I hope to give you a bit of potting table inspiration.
Everyone should have an area in their garden where they can comfortably putter away with pots, cuttings, seedlings, etc.
And besides being practical, the sky’s the limit with what you can use for your table (as you’ll see in a moment!)
My tables are actually very old antiques that have definitely seen better days.
But, it’s the peeling paint, rust, and weathered wood that make me love them even more.
The first is an old zinc and wood table that lives in my back garden, alongside the garage wall.
I’m not entirely sure if it was always a table or if someone long ago turned it into one, but either way, it’s the perfect size to tuck neatly along this narrow strip.
To help the table blend in with the rest of the garden, I’ve surrounded it with plenty of plants.
On one side is an old camellia; on the other are containers with boxwood, Jerusalem sage, and a ‘Skypencil’ holly.
I’ve even planted a mix of thyme and sedum to grow between the stepping stones.
During the Covid lockdown, my daughter stayed with us for several weeks, so we did lots of fun projects in the garden.
One of my favorite projects was making a small seating area next to the table using leftover flagstones.
My daughter even found small shells, marbles, and decorative tiles and pushed them into the drying mortar between the stones, giving them a little personality.
This next potting table I want to share with you is my favorite of all.
Initially, it was an antique carpenter’s work bench, but now takes center stage as a potting table in this area of our garage.
While I love my new garden, I missed not having a designated place to display all of my garden ‘treasures’ (like I did in my last garden, featured below.)
I’ve always felt my new garden was incomplete without my ‘familiar friends.’
So, after brainstorming with my husband, Tom, we came up with the perfect solution – building tall shelves on both sides of the potting table.
I’m so fortunate Tom is as talented (and patient) as he is.
The upper shelves are perfect for displaying my junk treasures, but below the shelves are covered cabinets for discreetly storing the necessities of gardening (ie: fertilizers, etc.)
See those sparkling little ‘fairies’ on the middle shelf? I’ll include a close-up for you, below.
Well, I walked out to my potting bench one day and the dried artichoke flowers that I had picked (directly to the right of the fairies) had exploded into these delicate little beauties.
I had no idea they did that and can’t wait to pick them again this summer!
Just around the corner from this garden table is another awkward space in the garage.
However, it’s the perfect size for another little old table that was hidden away in my parent’s old garage.
Unfortunately, there was an unsightly electrical sub-panel stuck in the wall above the table that did nothing to enhance my new space.
And hanging up my old orchard ladder didn’t distract from this eyesore either.
So, tired of hearing me complain, my husband came up with a brilliant idea to hide the panel once and for all!
I gathered the materials I hoped would fuel Tom’s creativity and laid them out on my table.
I had a few really old shingles (originally from a historic building at Lake Tahoe where my parents first met as teenagers!) and a collection of unique tree knots that my mother found over the years.
I had no idea what Tom was making as he wouldn’t let me look until the very end.
When I finally saw it, I was floored – it was a sweet ‘shell’ of a birdhouse that fit over the metal panel, hiding it from view!
Add in a little metal mouse peeking out of the hole, and the birdhouse is the perfect thing to disguise the metal box!
After hanging all my little goodies on the old orchard ladder, my garden treasures finally have a place to call ‘home!’
And last, but not least, I thought I’d share my potting bench from my previous garden, as it was one of my very favorites ever.
I just loved this entire space, hidden behind my garden shed/office (click here for more.)
This potting bench wasn’t an antique or an heirloom – it came from Costco!
But once I adorned it with lots of garden ‘art,’ it transformed into a highly personalized space.
The area adjacent to my potting bench was the perfect place to store my sick plants and those that need a little ‘recuperation.’
Originally, this area was our chicken coop, home to our lovely three girls.
When the girls moved on (RIP), we re-purposed the coop into an area to store my terra cotta pots. The chicken run was also re-purposed into a nursery to house plants that needed a little TLC before moving back out to the garden.
Gosh, I loved this space!
Across from my potting bench was my beloved ‘Tool Wall,’ which hung on the side of my office shed.
I pilfered these items over the years from my grandfather’s garage, my parents’ garage, flea markets, etc. and I just loved them.
I’m happy to say they all made the journey with me and now adorn the potting tables in my new garden (mentioned above.)
Well, I hope I’ve provided you with a little ‘potting bench inspiration’ for your own gardens!
I encourage you to find a corner, even if it’s a tiny one, add a bench or table, and make it your own.
When done, I bet you find it becomes one of your favorite spots in the garden.