Dirt won’t hurt!
My favorite thing about spring (aside from pretty dresses and open toed shoes) is being outside. I love my yard, and spending the evenings on the deck unwinding with a drink while I fire up the grill is a little piece of heaven. My backyard is just big enough for an intimate patio, some gardening space and a hammock under the trees. This year I decided I wanted some additional planting space and since much of the yard is shaded, a few raised garden beds in the sunniest space beside the patio seemed like the perfect solution. I had an old firewood box we had built a few years back and were no longer using. It was the perfect size, just a bit too tall so I decided to cut it in half and use both the top and bottom for two of the frames. After the box was cut in half, I added some screen to each of the bottoms to cut down on the weeds and still allow for drainage. Now the fun part…decorating!
1. Outdoor Patio Paint
2. Paint Brush/ Sponge Applicator
3. Stencils or Stamps
I decided to do some simple stencils in some of my favorite bright spring colors. (I recommend using an outdoor patio paint that will stand up to the elements a bit better than standard acrylic paints.)
Simply place the stencil on the frame and start painting! You could also use stamps or freehand the design. Once you’ve painted in the first design, remove the stencil, re-position it and repeat until you’ve achieved the look you want.
TIP: I found that wiping the stencil on both sides between applications made the design come out cleaner.
Once you’ve finished painting and everything has dried, you can position the boxes and dig a few inches under where the box will sit. This levels the ground and gives the box some additional stability.
Now you’re ready to fill the boxes with soil and add your favorite plants! I like using a mix of black dirt, mushroom compost and potting soil. Just make sure to thoroughly mix all the dirt to evenly distribute all the nutrients.
I liked the distressed look of the original wood with the stencils so I decided not to stain it. I also added a few pieces of wire fencing to protect the plants (and to keep my curious puppies from digging them up.) I’m happy to have the added space for more veggies, and recycling the old firewood box gave me a new use for something that would have ended up on the curb…now just add water and watch it grow!