Fotolia_37834181_XSWhat is it about potting benches that makes them a universal dream among gardeners? It seems like everyone wants this perfect place to putter, to organize tools and flowerpots, and to work a little horticultural magic. When you don’t yet have a spot like this, a potting bench at least seems within your reach, unlike a greenhouse or potting shed, which can turn out to be very complicated dreams (and expensive ones!)

I saw the potting bench in the photo below during a garden tour last summer, and it really caught my fancy. I love the way it fits into this little nook that’s formed by the angles of the house, and the fact it’s sheltered by the overhang so that tools stay dry. It’s close to the back door, and there’s a water spigot right around the corner. It looks like there may even be an electrical outlet right there — what more could you ask for?

Potting benchI feel like this potting bench reveals the personality of its owner. Don’t you get the impression that this gardener is female? It looks to be quite solidly built, yet the cream-colored paint and the fancy, curlicued brackets lend a touch of romance and a decidedly feminine air, despite the rugged materials stored nearby.

Want to spend a cold, wintry afternoon indulging your dreams of the potting bench? Pinterest is the perfect site for that, filled with photos of not only do-it-yourself constructions, but pre-made potting benches of all types that have been accessorized by their owners to make them both beautiful and functional.

I noticed a couple of interesting themes while browsing potting benches on Pinterest. It seems a large number of people have recycled an old porcelain or stainless steel sink, dropping it into the surface of the bench to form a recessed work area that can contain soil and other messy materials. Others have used a reclaimed farmhouse-style sink as the whole potting bench, by setting it on legs or even mounting it to the side of a garage. Since I’m often guilty of using my real, indoor kitchen counter and sink as a potting area, I love these ideas!

Another recurring theme is that of an old piece of furniture used as a potting bench, usually on a covered porch or patio. These benches have been made from tables, china hutches, and dressers or bureaus – often with the mirror removed and replaced with pegboard, chicken wire, or lattice panels for hanging tools. Clever!

And if recycling, upcycling, or building it yourself is just not your thing, there is a wide variety of ready-built potting benches available for sale in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and materials – please feel free to start your search for the perfect potting bench right here at BluestoneGarden.

 

 

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