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December 8, 2006, 9:13 am betterhomesgardens
You'll be able to build this planter box in a day and you'll get change from $100 for the materials.
It's a great wet-weather project which requires only basic do-it-yourself skills and a few power tools. When it's planted up, it looks great in the garden.
For the planter box
7.56m of 45 x 45mm treated pine
14.44m of 90 x 22mm treated pine decking
75mm 8-gauge galvanised wood screws
50mm galvanised nails
100mm 8-gauge galvanised wood screws
8 x 1 100m galvanised steel brackets or hoop iron.
For the pole frame
0 4 x 1.8m lengths of 45 x 45mm treated pine
75mm 8-gauge galvanised wood screws.
1. Cut 45 x 45mm treated pine into 8 x 670mm lengths with mitres at each end. Paint cut ends with a wood preservative.
2 With 3mm bit, drill pilot holes and screw timber together to make two frames.Use a plane or sandpaper to chamfer the edges.
3 Cut decking into 28 pieces, each 400mm long.
4 Using 50mm galvanised nails, fix pieces of decking inside one frame by standing the frame on edge and nailing from the inside.
5 At end of row, one piece of decking will have to be cut down to fit the remaining space. Don't make this too tight a fit.
6 When all four sides are nailed to one frame, slide the second frame onto the other end of the decking pieces and nail from inside as above.
7 Cut remaining 45 x 45mm pine into four square-ended pieces (2 x 540mm and 2 x 450mm). Use 100mm screws to fix these to the bottom inside of the box to form a lip (diagram 3).
8. Cut remaining decking to length for the bottom. These boards can be nailed, glued or left loose. Use the spade bit to drill drainage holes if required. Paint inside holes with wood preservative.
9 For extra strength, nail a strip of hoop iron tightly round each of the top and bottom frames or attach 100mm steel brackets to each corner.To make the pole frame
1. Cut pine into four 1650mm lengths with 12Â° angles on both ends.
2. Cut angles on inside of top faces.
3. Chamfer all edges.
4 Cut a centre block to 140mm from offcut. Drill end of block to accept finial dowel using spade bit.
5 Drill pilot holes for screws and assemble the frame. Make sure the screw holes are offset from each other.
6 Fix finial with glue or leave loose.
What to plant
You can fit the frame directly on the floor of the box or raise it to any height by sitting it on top of potting mix.
To plant, three-quarter fill the box with potting mix, then plant a light climber next to each pole. Now fill to the brim with potting mix.
Suitable climbers include:
Pictured are four pots of the bushy climber Dipladenia `Scarlet Pimpernel' (sometimes sold as mandevilla) underplanted with pansies, but you could use any flowers which are in season. You could also use the pole frame to support tomatoes or beans.
Another planting idea which gives a neat, formal result is to position a pencil pine next to each leg and fill the centre with a low, groundcovering conifer. Try Skyrocket junipers for the poles and Juniperus squamata as infill. You can trim the rootballs of the plans to make fitting them easier but it is better to start with smaller plants and grow them into position. As the plants get taller, tie them loosely to the poles with grafting tape (from nurseries) or string. Lightly shear the foliage as needed to produce a cylinder of greenery round each pole.Source: Better Homes and Gardens 7/1996