How To Create a Perfect Potting Bench

I feel that a  garden should feel like a little holiday destination.; An outside space that brings you joy through sight and scent, a space you can dip in to at any time of year that helps you to relax.  Discover how I created a beautiful potting bench on a budget through up-cycling.

Potting Bench Inspo

The first step to creating this is you need to know what you want from your garden in terms of planting and features. A very good friend of mine recently introduced me to Pinterest. I love all the aspirational pictures, particularly of homes and gardens. I was particularly taken with all the beautiful potting benches. Adorned with blooms as well as trusty watering cans and well worn trowels, modern potting benches are a feature as well as a garden workspace. Potting benches are also a brilliant workspace for BBQs, and garden parties.

It’s multi-functional, outdoor furniture that can add such beauty to your garden.

With a small budget available, I wanted to create an eye-catching potting area that could also multi- task as a BBQ service table. Most of the budget potting benches available tend to be a little flimsy, so, inspired by the ways of Kirstie Allsopp, I decided the way forward was to upcycle. 

Ebay and Chalk Paint

On an Ikea trip, I spotted their ‘Bekvam’ solid wood kitchen trolley, priced at £35. Although smaller than many potting benches provide, this compact piece was there’re the size for my space. I scoured classifieds and eBay, where prices start at less than a fiver for a used trolley. I paid £5 for mine. I painted the trolley, to match my bird table using chalk paint. I like to paint and leave them unfinished. This creates an authentic weathered look.  If your prefer a more pristine look, simply finish in a clear exterior varnish. I used Chalk Paint powder, a powdered additive that is mixed into any matte emulsion to create a chalk paint in any colour that your heart desires. I used a tester pot of Farrow & Ball’s ‘All White’ with one tablespoon of the powder.  The colour had really good coverage and dried quickly to create a matte finish. 

To create more storage I added an Ikea Leksvik coat rack above the potting bench. This was easy to do with my trusty drill. The rack is perfect for hanging tools, drying flowers or even a sun hat. I added a lantern for extra charm. It looks so cute lit up on summer evenings. You can buy the ‘potting shed’ wooden sign from  Garden Trading.

Decorate with blooms and tools of your choice and hey presto. I’m really pleased with how it turned out, not to mention the bargain up-cycled cost! I’m now all set for preparing the garden for all seasons.

Happy gardening,