An English Potager definition: A small kitchen garden. Mid 17th century: from French jardin potager ‘garden providing vegetables for the pot’. (Oxford Dictionary)
So to call my potting bench a potager might be a bit of a stretch of terms.
But let me start from the beginning.
The Captain and I bought this potting bench shortly after moving to Florida, almost 6 years ago.
I have always wanted a potting bench and over the years I have used anything and everything to pot and re-pot plants.
This particular bench that I found at World Market was one of those sale items that you just can’t pass up. The Captain thought it might be a little “smallish” and not sturdy enough for what I wanted it for…but I convinced him that at the sale price…the last-a-bility really would not be an issue. A year or two’s use and then he could find me (or make me) a much sturdier and stronger bench.
However, my potting bench has been holding up just fine and this is a bit remarkable when considering it stays in the Florida elements all year long.
Below is the bench shortly after purchase and I immediately put this little work horse to use.
I try to keep it sorta clean… and filled with a vase of flowers and other interesting plantings, but lets face it. It is more utilitarian than pretty.
A few years after purchase….I decided it needed a little sprucing up, so after giving it a good scrub down, I dry brushed a pretty shade of green…ok, it was a green that I had in the garage and I would have used it had it been any color actually.
And so it looked like this, …sorta hidden and protected by the Areca palm fronds that hung over the bench. I thought the palms gave it a “natural” look. 🙂 That, and the many terracotta pots which are the usual things on my bench.
Let me tell you a bit more about my bench. It has a sink.
OK, it has an insert under one side of the top and it holds a plastic sink (tub). This allows me extra work space and then when I lift off the top on that side of the bench…my “sink” is there for me to wash strawberries or fruits. If I am transplanting herbs…. which is one of the main stays of my potting bench, I can put the plants in the sink while I prepare the planting pots.
Now as good and long lasting as this bench has been, it’s really starting to show it’s age….but I love it all the more!!!
So a few days ago, I removed everything and took a scrub brush to it and decided it needed a bright new color and yet another location.
Yes, I chose Royal Blue! More on that in a later post.
I have always had a length of garden hose close to my bench, but this year, I decided to put the bench beside a water spigot. This would allow me to fill the tub/sink with water without having to move across the garden….or drag the hose over to the bench. (Heaven forbid I get any more exercise) AND I would be closer to the house for easy transference of fruits and veggies to the kitchen.
I also like the convenience of picking up the tub/sink of water and emptying it into my garden plants.
My potting bench has hooks along the back to hang tools or whatever else I might need. I hang a little colander on one of the hooks. You would be surprised at the uses it gets. I also have a shelf on the top of the hooks and a shelf on the bottom of the bench. There I keep fertilizers, potting soil and a watering can.
I am giving you a quick pic of stuff (basil, thyme and rosemary) just sitting around on the bench, but I will be sharing some of my kitchen herb plantings later on and I think you will notice quite a change in the “stuff” on my bench….and perhaps there will be coasters for rolling it around a bit. Just sayin’!!!
Meanwhile, you know that one does not need an actual potting bench for planting small plants or large for that matter. You can use an old table or even a dresser, utilizing the drawers for planting or storage. Let the weather turn it into a rustic, unique place to plant your flowers!
I saw a real cute idea the other day…someone used an old picnic basket, spray painted it white, lined it with plastic and planted red geraniums. Sooooo pretty.
Sigh!!! that would be so romantic, don’t ya think?
Have a great day and hugs always.