DIY Tall Tapered Planters

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Over the last couple weeks we took a sledge hammer to our front steps and completely reworked our outdoor garden.

We are still in love with it!  We keep walking out there just to look at it and marvel at how awesome it turned out.

However, we aren't thrilled with the total lack of color and life we have going on right now.  We have so little green left!  We have always loved the raspberry color of our front door, but with all that brown being so prominent right now, it was making the door look brown, too.  We clearly need some color.

I have been admiring these tall, tapered planters for a while but the ones I have found commercially are a) expensive b) not quite as large as I wanted and c) made me question how stable they would actually be.    When I finally stumbled across these DIY plans, I knew these were the ones.  

I had originally planned for two of them to stand on each side of our new steps, but because of our color situation we decided to add a third one on the other side of the garage to pull the color all the way across the front of the house.

We also added a small paver pad here so we would have a place to sit the third planter.

All in all, these planters cost us a bit more than the $20 the original poster quoted, but that's probably because we didn't have scrap fence posts laying around.  They only took a few hours to build, not counting waiting for the glue to dry.  As you can see, hubby used an abundance of glue... I'm not sure if it was really necessary to the structure, but it did help to fill the gaps where some of the boards are slightly uneven and the excess sands off easily enough.

We followed the plans here with just a couple of variations.  

First of all, we chose to use 1x3 and 1x2 furring strips for the corner trim instead of ripping down fence pickets as they did in the original plans.  Because of this the side with the small trim is about 1/4" thinner than the overlapping side, but it's so slight that you can really only see it when you look straight down on the planter and I figure that's not something that will happen often.  Keep in mind that furring strips are not pressure treated for outside weathering, so if that concerns you, don't go this route.

Second, we chose to put the 2x2 supports lower inside the planter and towards the center so that the black pot insert will sit on the supports instead of hanging on them.  The black insert seems pretty sturdy, but it's a big pot and we weren't comfortable with the idea of all that weight hanging on its ledge.  I really don't want the pot to crack and/or go crashing down into the planter - I have enough messes to clean on a daily basis and have no need for extras!
*In this picture you can also see my laziness shining through... It's true, the inside of the planters are a disaster with incomplete paint and dried glue still oozing through the cracks

Third, the pots that we found had no drainage holes.  If I haven't told you before, my thumbs are not the slightest bit green.  It took the first rain for me to realize that we needed to add some ourselves.  Save yourself a bit of trouble, and make sure your pot has drainage before you fill it.

To finish the planters, I painted them to match the new, lighter raspberry color we chose for the front door.  

While I would never have chosen to paint these such a bold color on their own, I think it works really well to bring out the color on the door and the subtle red in the house and paver bricks.  It will also offer a great contrast to the greens from the garden (once the greens fill in that is!).

 They certainly added a splash of color and interest!

I knew I wanted something tall and evergreen for these, and I was so excited to find this really cool spirally ornamental grass!  It was love at first sight.  It's called Big Twister Rush and I already love it, so once it fills out a bit it should look all the better!

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