Best Of Birmingham – A Potting Bench For Us Guys

I have long wanted a potting bench. One that would allow me a central location for all my stacks of pots, soil, tools, amendments and maybe, just maybe a dirt drawer.  Today’s routine is something like this: Enter the garage, search for a pot among the stacks. Search for the bag of potting mix. Not the store bought one, but the one I mixed up last week. Then, where’s my trowel? Frustration ensues. You get the picture. Gardening is supposed to be fun, right?

I have long given up on being able to construct one myself. I can never remember “cut twice, measure once..” is that how that goes? So, I enlisted the help of a local carpenter. Russell Schollian is a local carpenter/weekend warrior who makes upcycled wood projects with amazing results.

Russell the Builder

Our carpenter, Russell with his creation

The Design Idea:
I wanted a rustic potting bench, to be left outdoors in our side garden. Preferably made from recycled wooden pallets. I wanted a potting bench that was a good height; to save the aching back. One that had a good sized shelf below for pot storage, that elusive dirt drawer and a place to store my essential potting tools. I had seen one online one that I liked and I sent him a link and asked him if this was possible. He said “no problem”.

The Result:

In less than 7 days, he produced an outstanding rustic potting bench for my garden.


Look y’all! It even has a dirt drawer.


I was super pleased with the outcome and could not wait to get it home. Some folks are just naturally skilled in this area and I am glad to have sound someone in my neck of the woods that does outstanding work.


With Spring underway, I very quickly put this bench to work as we began potting up many containers for the blooms season ahead.

The Conclusion:
Could I have just ordered one of these online from a large retailer? Yes, but I am a firm believer in supporting local enterprise and those who use their skills to meet needs.
That’s what makes a small businesses successful.  I needed a potting bench, and he had the skills and ability to make that happen right where I live. It’s a win win situation.

If you live in Alabama and need a top quality rustic potting bench for your gardening needs, give Russell a shout.  His phone # is 205-514-4241. He’ll be glad to talk to you about building a bench for you or maybe other projects you have in mind. He is very easy to work with.


You can count me as one happy gardener this Spring. Roses are blooming, I have a new potting bench and I rest in the knowledge that gardening success can be achieved for us guys after all.


Our garden this morning – 04/17/2016

 Happy Spring! What’s blooming in your neck of the woods this week? 


About Chris VanCleave - America's Favorite Rose Gardener

Christopher R. VanCleave – America’s Favorite Rose Gardener Nicknamed "The Redneck Rosarian”, Chris VanCleave is passionate about gardening and growing roses. He is an active member of the Birmingham chapter of the American Rose Society, serving two terms as President. In 2007, he created the Rose Chat Podcast which has reached over a half a million listeners with news and information on growing on growing the world’s most beloved flower, the rose. He was a contributor to the 2015 Southern Living Gardening Book, has appeared on P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home television show and was featured in the June 2015 issue of Southern Living Magazine. Locally, Chris serves as Chairman of the Helena Alabama Beautification Board where he has spearheaded efforts to create a sustainable landscape in one of the top one hundred places to live in the United States. His writing is seen at and on his popular website;, where he chronicles his gardening adventures and explores an intrinsic mix of life, faith and gardening. An agent of change with over 20 years’ experience in process innovation, Mr. VanCleave is leading the charge to reinvigorate horticultural societies and helping them to reach their full potential in the social media age.
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9 Responses to Best Of Birmingham – A Potting Bench For Us Guys

  1. thanks, Chris, nice to see your happiness with this new bench. Your garden is super lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mjarz says:

    Love the gardening bench! I can relate to the routine of routing through things until you find your stuff. Frustrating and time consuming. Wish I lived in Alabama! But I bet I can find someone in Missouri. Your garden looks wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Absolutely awesome! I love the “dirt” drawer! Have a wonderful Sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If that bench was constructed from old pallets, I would strongly suggest applying an oil based exterior stain on your new garden helper…Happy Growing Chris! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Best Of Birmingham – A Potting Bench For ...

  6. Looks great! You’ll love having it!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Delma says:

    Love the bench wish he was close to South tx, I could really use a bench for my potting.


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