Potting Bench

June 2018 – After building all the garden beds, there was one spot left in the garden that seemed prefect to build a utilitarian potting bench. I wanted to use up recycled salvage supplies stored in the garage – french doors, deck boards, and 2×2 redwood railing.

First things first. We decided to run electrical out to the chicken coop so an outlet could be added to put lights around the garden fence.  The electricians laid the wire and then we buried the trench to build the potting bench.  All the weeds were pulled, and the ground was smoothed out by removing extra soil.

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After the space was cleared of extra dirt, the 4x4x10s were cemented in 2′ deep holes. The size of the potting bench is about 8′ long and almost 4′ wide. I wanted to maximize the space.


The bottom shelf includes 7 2x6x8 redwood boards. The next step was adding the frame for the top shelf. I decided to spend extra time staining it all using redwood colored transparent stain. It turned out beautiful.


Not in the photo – I added a support 2×4 in the center, 8′ long.  The top of the potting is made up of recycled deck boards that sat around for about 8 years.  I also used other deck boards that I had cut up as decorative shutters and painted green with milk paint.  The patina is really cool.

DSCN4044The french doors used to be on the house, purchased from Urban Ore in Berkeley, however the rain rotted out the bottom. I replaced the rotten wood and framed it in, repainted green to match the house trim.

Next, the roof was framed in with an overall roof length of 12 ft. (2x4x12) with a 2 ft. overhand on either side. The bench is about 8′ long. We used 6 galvanized 8′ roofing panels.

The other french door was also added with a shelf.  The door had to be patched and painted.   An old wooden shipping crate container address was taken off the horse stall and put here to hide the holes of the door handles.  The shipping address is an unsolved mystery as the former owner doesn’t remember it either.

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In July, 2018, the potting was done.  Now, it was the fun time to decorate it with various items and stored goodies, such as an old light fixture, vintage windows, bottles, and ceramics.

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Part of finishing the garden space was to add locust logs as a border behind the bench and along the back edges.  Cardboard sheeting mulching was done before adding wood chips.

The potting bench is a great place to seek shade in the hot summer.  It is so handy to store supplies, gloves, trimmers, plant ties, etc.  It’s where I let gourds dry.  When Forest grafted apple trees in spring, it was a great work space.