Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My perfect potting bench

Recently on the blog Gardening Gone Wild Deborah Lee Baldwin (the Queen of Succulents) shared a few images of what she labeled “the perfect potting area” as well as a link to video that includes her own version.

I don’t have a potting area, or even a potting bench, and I’m fine with that. If I did I would want it to be out if sight and our lot isn’t big enough for that. Instead I just plop down in the driveway behind my car, in front of the garage and next to a bamboo filled stock tank. Clean up is easy, I just sweep up any soil, leaves, or gravel left behind. However my “can do without that” attitude changed when I saw this. THIS is my PERFECT potting bench… It’s huge, strong and on wheels! The bottom shelf could hold pails of soil, gravel, and chicken grit along with a bin for my tools. The top has a lovely metal surface on which to work (ignore that wodden trap contraption sitting on it...I should have moved it for these pictures). And those wheels would make it easy to move in and out of the garage (we don’t park our cars in there anyway), where it could remain out of site until I needed to use it. Plus it could double as a bar or buffet when we entertain! I was in love! Never mind that it was $295…and used to be a gurney. Oh and look at these! The small pail would be put to work on the lower shelf of the potting gurney, full of soil. The tall one would be a planter, for a huge Agave of course. And whose garden wouldn’t be improved with their very own slide? It could be yours… Finally these metal screens were just screaming to be used for all sorts of climbing plants. My clematis would finally have a worthy backdrop. Are you wondering where I found all of these fabulous things? Seek the Unique, in SE Portland. Just remember I’m going to be so jealous if you buy my potting gurney.


  1. I wonder if OHSU sells old gurneys? I bought an ancient rolling secretary chair from them many years ago when I worked there. Seek the Unique looks wonderful and those stamped-out screens would make perfect trellises. What great places you discover for us, Loree!

  2. I was into the potting bench until you got to the gurney thing. For some reason, I just can't do that. Squeamish, I guess.

  3. I agree, perfect! And oh, those screens...

  4. I love the idea of using a gurney for a potting bench! It's perfect. Those screens would make such unique trellises too. I can do without the slide, though. I got rid of a whole swingset when we redid the back garden, and I don't miss it.

  5. I don't think I've ever potted anything standing up before -- I'm on the ground like you. A bench would be nice though, but I'm waiting until I have a shed to put it in.

    I love some of those stamped metal screens though! Some great ideas...

  6. Wow, what a wonderful shop. I could loose myself in that for years. Those screens would be absolutely lovely without any plants, so structural. Shame we don't have places like that over here in the UK. We do have Junk Shops but I never find things that good.

  7. Loree, I'm glad that store is in Portland, not here, otherwise I'd be tempted to go there all the time. Like Alan, I love those metal screens. I've been wanting something similar for a long time to hide some sections of fencing. And the gurney is a great idea although the price tag is a nasty surprise.

  8. Here's a link to a post I did about Janet's garden with some of those kinds of screens. They were what was left after metal shapes had been stamped out and were considered scrap by the manufacturing plant...time for a little dumpster diving?
    The gurney/potting bench seems like an appropriate place to stash dead plant material.

  9. Oh Loree! I'm in love with the screens and saw lots of other things in the background that look interesting too! You are a marvel. Having just watched Six Feet Under (my niece sent it to me for Christmas) the gurney seems quite cool. Wish I had a flat space in my yard that wasn't full of plants and objet d'crap!

  10. Hmm...I need to get ahold of some of these things before the absurd mark up.

  11. I hope you went back and got one of those fabulous screens!

  12. In spite of the surgery reminders this gurney stirs it would make a great potting table; and what a great store! Love it all and am green with envy, Loree!

  13. Very cool potting bench, gurney or not! Wish I lived closer, I know I'd love this shop!!

  14. MulchMaid, interesting thought. Surely they must have some sort of surplus sale like Boeing does (or did, when I lived in Seattle years ago).

    Patricia, I do understand, it's a personal thing.

    Denise, isn't it? I've looked at a few kitchen islands (metal on wheels) at IKEA but they just aren't as sturdy or the perfect size.

    Alison, oh I agree about a swing set, they are usually annoying colors and less than sturdy...but this one is play ground quality! Adults can use it...

    Alan, I guess there is an advantage to our method, nothing falls off the side of the bench!

    Fizz, but you do have wonderful garden television!

    Gerhard, and that price tag is why I still have no potting bench.

    ricki, the link didn't show up? I do remember reading (I think in the book Revolutionary Yardscape) about the screens being leftovers, and I've got a friend with a couple in her garden who told me where she got them (mums the word on that one). I just need to get out there and hunt!

    Peter, next time you're in Portland you'll have to pay a visit (maybe you should bring a truck?). Six Feet Under is one of those shows I keep meaning to add to our queue!

    Kaveh, yes, we both do.

    Pam, nope ($) but I've sworn to find one elsewhere that I can afford.

    Reuben, of course you know I thought of you as I walked around the store!

    rebecca, surely you've got great sources (maybe even better?) in your part of the world?

  15. I also love looking round places like that, you never know what gems you can find.

    Shame about the high price for the table, but maybe another one will crop up elsewhere!


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