Although not an English manor home, I like our home to be stylish AND functional. Unfortunately, when it comes to potting up, we have not been terribly stylish…we have just used any old flat surface in the yard…until now!
Last spring, on a business trip to Cincinnati, I stopped at the Ikea in Westchester (about a mile from my business conference). There I noticed a piece of lattice and box set up to be a potting bench or garden storage and I really admired the simple, space conscious design. I wasn’t in a position to do anything with it at the time so I just took a picture of it with my camera phone and went on my way.
We have been making a lot of changes to the back garden, moving toward productivity, an urban farm model. Part of that model is now extending to the patio area, the north east part of the garden. With these changes, we really needed a potting bench of some sort to aid in potting and repotting annuals and perennials outside (I will probably always sow seeds in the kitchen since the greenhouse is small and will only be used for propagation and winter storage of plants). While Will and I were talking on the subject, I remembered the photo I took. He liked the idea as well, and we hoped that Ikea was still stocking them.
Luckily for us they did. The Applaro bench and wall bracket is the perfect place to store soil (in plastic containers, a small amount of extra pots and perhaps some tools. The lower bench will make a perfect place to pot up plants from the nursery or to divide potted perennials.
While designed for the outdoors, the wood will invariably weather badly (we had a piece of outdoor furniture from Ikea go to bits in a couple of years) without protection. Before assembling, we applied two coats of spar or marine varnish to keep the beautiful color and protect the pieces from rain and snow.
Once assembled, the rack attaches to our house with 6 galvanized screws and the storage bench sits right in front.
I couldn’t be more thrilled with this addition to the garden!