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Planter bench

It’s easy to utilise the edge of an existing low raised bed or border and incorporate this stylish planter bench.

Build a planter bench seat

As seen in kiwigardener

You will need: 50mm exterior screws, 100mm exterior screws, existing low raised bed or border (ours was also made from tongue and groove landscaping timber), exterior PVA glue, hammer, paint stirrer, paintbrush, pencil, Resene Woodsman wood oil stain tinted to Resene Grey Green, saw, screwdriver, spirit level, tape measure, turps for cleaning brush, wood chisel, spade for levelling ground.

  • Tongue and groove landscaping timber cut to the following dimensions: 6 x 650mm, 8 x 500mm, 2 x 1260mm, 2 x 50mm x 50mm treated timber cut to 450mm.
  • Trellis capping cut to the following lengths: 4 x 660mm, 4 x 600mm, 2 x 1260.

Top tip: If you don’t have a suitable low raised bed or border simply cut an additional two 650mm lengths of landscaping timber to complete the back of each planter box.

Watch out: Take care when applying the PVA glue in the project and avoid any visible glue as this will prevent the wood stain from penetrating the wood.

Handy hint: Mulching the planter boxes as we did (with red bark chips) will help to retain moisture in the soil and deter weed growth.

To finish: Fill the planter boxes with good quality potting mix and plant up with your favourite vegetables, herbs or flowers – we chose Lavandula stoechas ‘Avonview’.

Step 1 Step one
Measure, mark and cut the landscaping timber to the dimensions listed above.
Step 2 Step two
Assemble four of the 650mm pieces and four of the 500mm pieces to form the top layer of the planter boxes, as shown, fixing at each corner with 100mm screws.
Step 3 Step three
Turn these over and attach the remaining 650mm and 500mm lengths to complete the front and sides of the planter box, fixing together using PVA glue and 100mm screws. Allow glue to dry.
Step 4 Step four
Ensure the existing low raised border is level using the spirit level.
Step 5 Step five
Level the earth in front of the low raised border and place the first planter box in position, ensuring the back ‘groove’ rests on the ‘tongue’ of the low raised border. Use a spirit level to ensure the planter box is level on all sides and then fix to the low raised border with 100mm screws. Repeat with the second planter box positioning it approximately 1200mm away from the first.
Step 6 Step six
Measure, mark and cut the trellis capping to the lengths listed above. Mitre the corners of the 600mm and 660mm lengths so that they will form two rectangular frames.
Step 7 Step seven
Attach the trellis capping to the top of both planter boxes using PVA glue and 50mm screws. (Note: you will need to chisel off a little of the ‘tongue’ at each corner to fit the capping neatly)
Step 8 Step eight
Attach the two 1260mm lengths of tongue and groove landscaping timber between the two planters to form the bench seat, as shown, fixing with PVA glue and 100mm screws. Ensure the ‘tongue’ edge is at the front.
Step 9 Step nine
Run a line of PVA glue along the ‘tongue’ edge of the bench seat and fix one 1260mm length of fence capping into position using 50mm screws. Fix the second 1260mm length along the back edge of the bench seat using 100mm screws.
Step 10 Step ten
Attach the two remaining 450mm lengths of timber to either end of the bench seat. Again, fix with PVA glue and 100mm screws.
Step 11 Step eleven
Carefully stir the Resene Woodsman tinted to Resene Grey Green.
Step 12 Step twelve
Apply two coats of Resene Woodsman tinted to Resene Grey Green to the entire planter bench allowing 24 hours for each coat to dry. Clean brush in turps.

Words and photos by Mark Rayner

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