Monday, September 20, 2010

Finally...A Potting Bench

I believe that I finally acquired the most useful piece of gardening equipment that could ever be.  Years ago when I bought my Felco's I thought that they were the best thing that a gardener could ever have.  Not so.

For me, gone are the days of bending, kneeling or sitting on the concrete deck while doing my potting work.  It is truly a dream and a luxury to be able to stand comfortably and see what I am doing right in front of me on my potting bench. I had been contemplating many different potting benches that I have found on the Internet. What was available varied quite a bit in material, size and style. I really liked the wooden benches but questioned their durability and practicality. The metal ones seemed too industrial and looked like they would be more at home in a machinist's shop. So I ended up doing nothing for years and continued my bending and kneeling.

But then I found the bench in a friend's yard covered with various cuts of lumber.  My friend announced that his wife would love to have the bench out of the yard and the clutter put away.  We discussed the price and agreed that I would take it off their hands for nothing. It was constructed of solid natural aluminum so represented a very practical beginning to becoming a durable potting bench.  I sanded the bare aluminum smooth and spray painted it with a dark bronze finish to match the existing furniture in our rear yard.  It did not have a top so we had an attractive galvanized top and bottom shelf fabricated. It was put into service last month and I couldn't be happier with the style, function and usefulness of the bench.  I find that I am even starting to use the potting bench as a work bench and am enjoying getting acquainted with and lingering in my otherwise remote side yard. I am now at the point where I am considering adding an aluminum stool to my new found retreat.  And lighting. As the days get shorter this fall I can really see the need to illuminate my new work surface so that I am not limited to daylight hours.

I have slowly been migrating most of my gardening tools, gloves, pots, ties, potting soil, stakes and things from the garage to outside on the bottom shelf of the bench.  I am finding that it is very convenient that there is no longer the need to constantly go to the garage for my gardening things.  Now, all that I need is in an arms reach from my bench top and I have freed up valuable shelf and cabinet space in the garage. Now things will be just where they need to be.  I have a couple old plastic tool boxes that I am planning on using to protect metal items or other materials that could rust or deteriorate in an outdoor environment.  But for now, the potting bench represents great pleasure and a long-awaited necessity that I feel every gardener deserves.  And I have discovered a sunny south-facing side yard that I didn't know that I had.

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