I love recycling old materials into something new. A big collection of cement blocks got a new lease on life today. This cement blocks Plant Shelf project is the perfect way to show off a collection of plants and to add a focal point to a garden bed.
If you love succulents as much as I do, be sure to check out my guide for how to care for succulents. It is loaded with information about these drought smart plants.
Tidy up your Plant Pots with This DIY Cement Blocks Plant Shelf.
One of my garden beds is getting a make over this year. (again!) Since I have a lot of succulents and cacti, I decided on a Southwest theme for the focal point. Mr problem is that I had no way to showcase the pots and didn’t want them all sitting on the ground. This is where a pile of old cement blocks that have been sitting in a corner of our back yard came into use.
The blocks were a mess. They were covered in left over cement and also had some paint and tiles stuck to them. My husband set to work with a hammer and cement chisel and managed to get rid of most of the mess on the outside of the blocks and they were ready to be recycled into something useful. (affiliate link)
And not to let left over cement go to waste, hubby filled a hole out near our mailbox with the pieces of cement. It gives something in the hole for dirt to fill in around and the dirt won’t settle when we add it. Waste not, want not as my grandmother used to say. (at least I won’t fall in that hole again on my way to get the mail!)
There are loads of ideas on the internet for using cement blocks as planters. I tried a variety of arrangements until I got the one that appealed to me. This drawing shows the layout of the steps.I arranged my blocks in this setup and then I realized that it is not a planter that I was looking for (i.e. putting plants in the holes of the cement blocks) but a planter shelving area that I was seeking. So I turned the blocks on their sides to give me shelves to place my plant pots on and ended up with this.
The footprint of this is about 4 1/2 feet x 3 feet, and I ended up using 18 full blocks and one half block to balance the end. All it needed was my planters (plus a few more from a trip to the garden center.)The tops of the cement blocks make the perfect sized shelves to hold the pots and to give a focal point to my garden bed. There is still room for me to move around in this area of the garden and the cement blocks are perfect for pots which will get watered. No wood to rot and the rustic look of them are perfect for my Southwest theme. This is a view from the front of the shelving:
And this is how it looks from the side angle (my favorite view because I can see my beautiful hostas behind it!)
Add in my wrought iron table, (affiliate link) a large Aloe Vera plant in a hexagonal planter, and my lounge chair and cushions and I have a lovely place to sit and dream!
I love using old bits and pieces that I have in my yard to recycle them into something pretty in my garden. What do you have in your yard that can be put to use in a new way?
Update on the planter: New photos: I renovated my whole garden bed in 2017 and remade my plant shelf stand into a cement blocks raised garden bed.
Then, in 2020, I enlarged the planter and added another one to make a raised bed vegetable garden that is feeding my family all season long!
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."