MOD­ERN CLAS­SICS

Add farm­house flair to your porch, pa­tio, or deck with easy-to-as­sem­ble planters that flaunt crisp lines and classy black.

Do It Yourself - - Contents - PROJECTS JENI WRIGHT PHO­TO­GRAPHS CARSON DOWN­ING WORDS MARIA V. CHARBONNEA­UX

Pick from five out­door planters to bring a hint of farm­house style to your porch, pa­tio, deck, or front door.

BOX HIT With cedar boards and steel tubes in the lead roles, this so­phis­ti­cated plant stand, op­po­site and left, looks like it hails from a high-end gar­den re­tailer. Even if you’re a be­gin­ner with a lim­ited tool­box, this project comes to­gether with lit­tle fuss. A hand­saw will do the job of a com­pound miter saw, and a re­cip­ro­cat­ing saw is eas­ily rented from a tool sup­plier or bor­rowed from a handy neigh­bor.

STAND-UP JOB Two in­ex­pen­sive 24×72-inch wood trel­lises from the home im­prove­ment store make this plant stand eas­ier to con­struct than it looks, op­po­site and left. Cut 3/4-inch square dow­els into 16 lengths each mea­sur­ing 111/4 inches. Stain all wood sur­faces with black ex­te­rior stain; set aside and let dry. Eight-inch-di­am­e­ter duct caps—primed and spray-painted black—are the per­fect perches for pot­ted plants. Drill holes 3/8 inches down from the top edge of op­po­site sides of each cap. Lay one trel­lis flat on the ground; stag­ger caps, cen­ter­ing them within the square open­ings and se­cur­ing them to the hor­i­zon­tal trel­lis rungs us­ing 1/2-inch screws. Lay the other trel­lis flat on the ground, place the trel­lis as­sem­bly on top so it lines up, and se­cure the duct caps in the same man­ner. Stand up the as­sem­bly. Us­ing a pin nailer, at­tach the dow­els on each side and at each in­ter­sec­tion.

DOWN AND AROUND When turned up­side down, tomato cages be­come su­per sim­ple plant stands, this photo. In­vest in cages made from heavy-gauge wire so they can sup­port the weight

of your planters af­ter they’re loaded with dirt, plants, and wa­ter. Us­ing wire cut­ters, re­move the

legs and trim the cages to de­sired heights. Spray the cages with bond­ing primer and paint; let dry. For ex­tra oomph, un­furl three-strand manila rope,

wrap­ping it around the hor­i­zon­tal rings as you go (see in­set, below). Se­cure the rope ends with a knot or a lit­tle sil­i­cone glue. Small, ta­pered planters sit se­curely in tall stands,

while large, wide-base planters are best re­served

for short ones.

AL­FRESCO ART A free­stand­ing frame puts the fo­cus on a boun­ti­ful dis­play of suc­cu­lents, this photo. Three rec­tan­gu­lar duct el­bows func­tion as the planter boxes. See the full how-to for this project on page 72.

CURVES AND AN­GLES Weather-re­sis­tant medi­um­den­sity over­lay (MDO) pro­vides the frame­work for a pair of mod­u­lar planters, this photo. Us­ing a cir­cu­lar or ta­ble saw, cut the panel into the fol­low­ing: two 17-inch squares and two 32×17inch rec­tan­gles for the tall planter and four 22-inch squares for the square planter. To as­sem­ble the tall planter, cen­ter the rim of a 13-gal­lon dairy bucket on one of the 17-inch squares and trace. Cut a hole 3∕8-inch smaller than your traced cir­cle us­ing a jig­saw. Ad­here the squares to the short sides of the rec­tan­gles with ex­te­rior-rated wood glue, and then drive two screws through each side, coun­ter­sink­ing the screw­heads. Fill the screw holes with patch­ing com­pound; let dry. Sand the en­tire planter. Prime and paint the planter, lightly sanding be­tween coats to min­i­mize brush­strokes. Cover the bucket bot­tom with a layer of rocks for drainage, then add plants. Drop the bucket in the open­ing. To build the square planter, re­peat the process for the cube planter us­ing a 171∕2-inch-di­am­e­ter metal tub and the 22-inch square MDO pieces.

TO GET STARTED, DRILL A HOLE US­ING A BIT THAT’S SLIGHTLY LARGER THAN YOUR JIG­SAW BLADE. THEN IN­SERT YOUR BLADE AND BE­GIN CUT­TING.

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