Island Gardens


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Hello and welcome back to Island Gardens. Today we’re looking at another easy DIY improvement for your garden – a beautiful plant display stand. In this case right outside the kitchen window. A lovely sight first thing in the morning if the sun’s up yet.

In the stand shown here, I’ve opted for three levels, or four if you include the ground. It’s comprised of 18 concrete blocks (usually around 400x200x200mm) and five x 2.4 metre wooden sleepers (in this case a standard 200mm wide and 50mm thick).

The blocks and wood can be a little heavy, but living in the friendly Bribie region means we usually have a nice neighbour or two who will help with lifting if needed, perhaps in return for a cuppa and biscuits, or maybe a cold beer. Yes, even this time of year!

Another alternative is to use furniture display tables or cabinets. Perhaps an item that is no longer wanted inside your home, or you could buy a cheap item from one of your local op shops. Although you can expect the wooden sleepers to last at least 20 years.

The blocks can normally be found for under $4 each and the sleepers for under $20 each. You can safely build a stand of this height with as little as ten blocks and three sleepers, but I have chosen more because I love to place plants in the holes provided by the concrete blocks. I also like the depth added by placing two sleepers beside each other. This of course also allows for more plants to be added to the display.

You might also prefer to paint or spray paint your blocks to make them more attractive, or for a little extra cost – more ornate blocks can be easily found from local landscape suppliers. Sandstone blocks are quite popular. Also to suit the space you wish to put a plant stand, you might prefer to create a down-sized version of the stand pictured here. If so, smaller blocks and shorter sleepers can be used.

It is a good idea to consider what sunshine your stand will be receiving. The pictured stand is facing east so it receives morning sun only. This has been surprisingly suitable for almost any plant, even those which prefer “full sun”. It is also under an eave, receiving almost no rain, but is right near a garden tap and I have used pot saucers to retain the water for longer. On that note, if you are planting anything in the holes of the concrete blocks – plant succulents or other small hardy plants that don’t need too much water. If your stand is facing north or west, ensure to plant those succulents or hardy plants that can handle the sun when the hot weather returns.