So to help define and divide the space between the dining room and the hammock area, I built a combination buffet and potting bench. This solves a couple of real needs we have in the garden. Although we have a potting bench, it gets a lot of use and a lot of sun and heat. We often have a need for a bench that is in the shade. Also, we need a buffet- a sort of table for serving food and drinks (or even displaying plants for sale). We often use the potting bench for this type of activity, but the potting bench is kind of tucked away in our narrow nursery (the 6’ wide space between the shop and the fence).
Having a buffet in a more open shady area would invite better flow in the garden and is next to an area where people already like to congregate. The reason I am providing all this information is so perhaps readers can envision parts of their garden in terms of how they use it, or would like to use it, and solve the problems through identifying issues and seeking resolution, and being as specific as possible.
Back to the solution…
I initially thought about a fence panel- that would provide immediate separation of the two spaces and provide interest. I use fence panels a lot in our garden and recommend them to others, too. They add interest, can mimic important architectural elements of the house or fences, and provide a cohesive feel to the yard. But a fence wouldn’t help with the buffet issue.
So, I came up with the idea for a potting bench. I could have mimicked the bench we already have, but I thought I’d try something different, and since I like a good re-purposing project, I went to Home ReSource for some information gathering, and material procurement. I was just looking for interesting things that caught my eye, and specifically an interesting (and useful) sink.
|They must have read my mind...|
Not long after that, I had a door, some shelf brackets, a towel rod, painted cedar 4x4’s and 5/4 decking, and ideas. I came home and began drawing the project up.
The result is this re-purposed potting bench/ buffet (or sideboard)/ trellis/ room divider.
|Before adding the potting bench, dining area is on the right.|
|With the potting bench, dividing the two rooms.|
The sink also drains into a bucket too. Low tech.
I removed the glass from the windows, so the top of the door could be used as a trellis for the white clematis (Clematis ligusticifolia) to climb. I painted the door to match the other structures in the garden and provide protection from the elements. The door is actually the same color as our house; not that I particularly like that color, but we have extra paint.
I added arches to the top and bottom to the door to make it look less door-like. And, by making the shelves extending past the width of the door, the shape of the door is broken up.
Otherwise the bench is made from cedar deck boards and 4x4 posts, all planed and sanded down to bare wood that will turn a light grey with age, and match the other cedar furniture in the garden. Even though I built this bench from recycled and re-purposed materials, it is built to be functional and sturdy- it is not a decorative garden ornament.
The towel rack on the side holds, well, towels, but also garden tools.
This repurposed potting bench adds a focal point to this spot in the garden, divides the spaces and creates much needed and used storage, serving and potting space.