Field Trip: Potting Bench From A Dresser! (and other ideas gathered in Lancaster County, PA)

My husband and I just took a rambling road trip through the backroads of Lancaster County in Pennsylvania. Stopping along the way at roadside stands and small shops, we happened upon some wonderful ideas for the garden. Let me share them with you!

Potting Bench from a dresser

Use an old dresser or sideboard to make an attractive potting bench!

One of my favorite ideas gathered on this trip was the potting bench converted from an old dresser or sideboard. It was so simple, it was genius. Remove the drawers, add a plywood shelf and paint the entire piece with exterior paint. Cut a hole in the top to drop a vintage dishpan in and you are done!


Sunflowers & Gazebo

Sunflowers planted around a gazebo

Planting sunflowers around the outside of a gazebo was another great idea! As they grow, the sunflowers form a natural, pretty screen. Just think of the fun you could have birdwatching up close as the Goldfinches come in to dine on the seeds!

Planted Chair

Planted Child’s Chair

For an old-timey little planter, how about Hens & Chicks in a little chamber pot? This chair was too rickety for little ones to sit in anymore, but a hole cut in the seat makes it into a darling planter.

Planted Kettle

Hens & Chicks planted in an old kettle.

An old kettle looks wonderful filled with potting soil and topped with Hens & Chicks. Many vintage kitchen and laundry pans and tubs are transformed into country-style garden accents this way. Just make sure there is drainage by drilling a few holes in the bottom before planting!

Birdhouses & Flowers

Group colorful birdhouses in the flowerbed.

These birdhouses were so fun: bright colors and shapes added to a flowerbed full of Black-eyed Susans and Coneflowers. Made from scrap wood and old roofing tin, they will be perfect for little wrens to make a home. The bright paint colors, door knob and door handle perches made them so whimsical. Mounted on a stair rail with rebar drilled and attached on the end, they are freestanding. You can move them around in your garden easily.

wooden bird stakes

Wooden bird stakes look cheery in my old watering can.

Little wooden birds were made with the same wood, tin scraps and paint as the birdhouses. They look great in one of my old watering cans on the kitchen deck!

Garden ideas and a little get-a-way into the country, we had a perfect day!
This post is also featured on The Tuesday Garden Party! For more wonderful ideas, just click through!

Tuesday Garden Party

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24 Responses so far.

  1. Cecilia says:

    Love all these ideas! The bright bird houses are darling!

  2. chris aka monkey says:

    barb wow nice trip i lived in bucks county as a child and remember how pretty the forests and farms were around there my older sister lived in lancaster so we went there a lot also xx

    • Barb says:

      Hi, Chris! Yes, it was a lovely drive through farmland, woods and streams. I grew up on a farm and need a “country fix” once in awhile : )

  3. Carol says:

    Great ideas! I have a child’s bed (Headboard and Footboard) sitting in my garage (Someone’s leftover (free) tag sale item)I’m waiting for my hubby to find the time to turn it into a garden bench!
    Still wondering what colors I should paint it? My gardens are English country with LOTS of white. Any suggestions?

    • Barb says:

      How lucky to have the makings of a garden bench and the handy husband willing to do it, Carol! I always like blue for garden accents since it is such a hard color to find in nature and provides such a pretty pop of color!

  4. Charo says:

    So beautiful ideas! Love the colorful birdhouses all over the garden.

    Big Hugs

    • Barb says:

      Charo ~ Those birdhouses nearly made me run off the road! Imagine about 50 of them tucked into colorful flowerbeds around an old brick farmhouse! Stunning!

  5. Beth says:

    The potting bench and bird houses are super!

    • Barb says:

      That trip had lots of gardening inspirations, Beth! Now I’m on the look out for an old dresser or sideboard, too!

  6. Carol says:

    You seem to have the loveliest places to visit near where you live. Thanks for sharing Barb. Carol

    • Barb says:

      You are right, Carol! We are so lucky to live in the Brandywine River Valley – lots of great gardens and historic spots!

  7. karen says:

    Great idea!! I come across dressers missing drawers every so often. Love the idea of a potting bench.

  8. I love the hens and chicks in the old kettle. My grandmother had one of those. I’ll have to ask her which of the sisters got it and suggest this use to them.

  9. Awwww you’ve made me want to go back to Amish country! I picked up SO many great ideas when I vacationed there a few years ago. Love, love LOVE Lancaster County!

  10. i love the red workbench!

  11. EVERYTHING is wonderful! I love chicks and hens in old tins, and planted some two years in a row now in my aluminum kettle. I’m from Canada so, I’ve been wondering… do I just bring those guys in for the winter?

    • Barb says:

      Hi, Laurie! Thanks for stopping by. We are in Delaware in zone 7a, so Hens & Chicks over-winter outside in a protected area out of the wind. You might want to check in with a local nursery about tips on overwintering or hardy cultivars for your area.

  12. Michele says:

    Love these ideas; thanks so much for sharing! I’ve acquired an old junk dresser that was going to the dump, but now it might become a potting bench. Love to repurpose and reuse items.


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