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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Spring Tour | Gardener's Potting Bench

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Are you ready for Spring gardening? If you are still gathering plants, seeds, tools, containers, accessories, etc... take a tour of what's on my gardener's potting bench this Spring to give you some ideas about what you may want to add to your list of gardening needs and wishes.  

spring tour of gardener's potting bench
New bedding plants are always high on my gardening list, and blue lobelias are at the tip-top of the plant list every year. But that is only the beginning of my gardening list and of what is on my potting bench this Spring. 

S P R I N G   T O U R 

gardener's potting bench 

spring tour of gardener's potting bench
The potting bench is filled with Spring flowers, tools, and fun accessories. Some are new things, and some are old favorites used year after year.

My potting bench is not really a bench, but an assembled collection of a large metal table, a wooden board with hooks, a wire wall grid, and a couple of small metal patio tables. 

See Create a Potting Bench in Coastal Colors for how the potting bench area first looked. The weather was too brutal for the butcher block cart. So the wooden butcher block cart was exchanged for the metal IKEA table. An advantage to the table is a larger working surface.

Here's the tour of what is on my Spring potting bench. 

① P L A N T S 

spring tour of gardener's potting bench plants
LOBELIA in three colors, pale blue, cobalt blue, and lavender, is one of my favorite container plants every year. Lobelia also comes in white with a tiny speck of blue in the center, but I could not find any this Spring.... yet. 

Several 4"-starter plants have been transplanted to larger pots on the back porch, the open deck, and around the back porch at ground level. The plants are so pretty as they trail over the edge of the pots. 

MINT is a favorite at my house for three reasons. 

First, I enjoy adding mint to iced tea. 

Secondly, the plant does well in my climate. Not only does mint survive the bitter winter cold and blistering summer heat, mint thrives here. So much so, I plant it in containers to keep it from becoming invasive. Mint is a perennial that comes back each Spring. 

Thirdly, I enjoy the fragrance both in the garden and inside in small vases. 

spring tour of gardener's potting bench plants
BLUE SAGE is another hardy plant that does well in containers in my climate. The blue spires last for several days, and the plant blooms from Spring until frost. Often Blue Sage in containers will return after a mild winter. 

LAVENDER is one of my favorite plants also, but struggles in my climate. Regardless, I keep trying each Spring by planting lavender again. I found PROVENCE LAVENDER at a local nursery this Spring and bought several 4"-pots to plant at different places in the yard. 

A reader give me information about PROVENCE LAVENDER, and it sounds like it may grow in my climate. I am so appreciative to everyone who gave me some suggestions about lavender. 

② F R E N C H - S T Y L E   P O T S   

spring tour of gardener's potting bench French style pots
Another favorite is a WHITE CERAMIC pot with a French-style medallion and handles. I love this little pot so much I have it in three sizes. Regular readers probably remember seeing it all over the house and back porch all during the year. 

spring tour of gardener's potting bench French style pots
A second French-style CERAMIC POT from last Spring is another pot I bought in several large sizes for using outside. 

spring tour of gardener's potting bench French style zinc seed pots
ZINC FRENCH SEED pots and small clay ROSE POTS have been part of my garden pot collection for several years. They are great for using with small flowers and bird's nests in table settings. 

③ G A R D E N I N G   H A T 

spring tour of gardener's potting bench gardening hat
A beautiful find this Spring is the peach-colored GARDENING HAT. I can remember my grandmother wearing a hat every time she worked in the flower garden, vegetable garden, or cotton fields. 

Everyone needs a gardening hat. Pale delicate skin was considered beautiful in my grandmother's day, long before a tan was considered beautiful. Today we know skin cancer is a real danger, and a hat helps protect us from developing skin cancer. 

④ G A R D E N   T W I N E 

spring tour of gardener's potting bench twine dispenser
TWINE has so many gardening uses, and finding twine in a pretty coral-colored metal dispensing canister makes it even more fun to use. "Flowers must grow through the dirt" brings a smile to my face. Once the original twine inside is used up, the canister can still be used to keep replacement twine. 

⑤ O L D   F A U C E T   P A R T S 

spring tour of gardener's potting bench hummingbird faucet
Am I the only one who keeps old FAUCETS? Or has everyone else succumbed to the minimalist camp and thrown out old faucets? I have one foot in the declutter camp and one foot in the keep-old-beautiful-things camp. Money cannot buy that beautiful greenish patina of copper, made more beautiful by the gash marks from wrenching the faucet off the house water pipe. Nor can money buy the sentimental value connected to that hummingbird faucet. 

The hummingbird faucet was on the front of the house until this Spring. The faucet leaked and had to be replaced, with a plain-jane faucet. I hope the bird faucet can be repaired and placed back in use, but until then it makes a great paperweight. Old faucets also make good weights on whipping-in-the-wind tablecloths or napkins outside. 

spring tour of gardener's potting bench old copper faucet and water connectors
An old fruit jar in the wire basket on the wall holds various and sundry old copper faucet and sprinkler parts. And there is an old nail found on our land. Sentimental wins almost all the time. I am ready for securing several whipping-in-the-wind napkins. 

⑥ S E E D   E N V E L O P E S 

spring tour of gardener's potting bench seed envelopes
We have bluebonnet seeds to collect in a few weeks, and these little SEED ENVELOPES will be perfect for storing them until Fall when it is time to plant the annual bluebonnet seeds. The envelopes will also be great for sharing seeds with friends. 

⑦ P L A N T   L A B E L S 

spring tour of gardener's potting bench plant labels

Several years ago I bought heavy metal herb LABELS on stakes. Mint, lavender, and rosemary are three in my collection. Over time these developed that beautiful green patina. This Spring I found copper-colored metal plant stakes in two sizes, a small horizontal and a larger vertical. These were so inexpensive I do not think they are real copper, just copper colored. 

⑧ N E W   G A R D E N I N G   H A N D   T O O L S 

spring tour of gardener's potting bench copper look hand tools
Can you ever have too many GARDENING HAND TOOLS ... shovels, forks, rakes, weeders, trowels, ...? Especially if the tools have wooden handles, twine hangers, and copper-colored metal parts. 

In this day of plastic and aluminum, I can hardly resist wood handles and pretty metal parts. 

⑨ C L O C H E  

spring tour of gardener's potting bench glass cloche
The large glass CLOCHE on the potting bench is more for its beauty than for its intended purpose of protecting early seedlings in the garden. For now, the cloche houses a new small lavender plant destined for a spot in the ground soon. 

spring tour of gardener's potting bench
Please PIN ⥣ to your gardening board. 

Now that you have taken a tour of my Spring gardener's potting bench, did you find anything to add to your wish list for your potting bench? Or do you have suggestions for me to add to my wish list? 


S O U R C E S  

Large French-style Ceramic Pots - Calloway's Nursery, Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex last year

Gardening Hat - Target 
Garden Twine in Canister - Target 
Seed Envelopes - Target 
Copper-Colored Plant Labels - Target 
Copper-Colored Gardening Hand Tools - Target 

Spring Potting Bench Flowers for a view of last year's potting bench