Millie Ross makes a relocatable, de-constructible garden bench using blocks and pre-cut timbers. It’s the perfect solution for renters who want some greenery and a place to sit.

First you will need to level the site. Next cut some timber to the length you want your bench. Millie was lucky enough to be given some recycled hardwood. Cement blocks, breeze bricks or Besser bricks are garden gold for renters and temporary solutions, because they can be used and abused in all kinds of ways. You can buy them new, but keep your eyes peeled at the tip shop for them – they never last long! They vary in the size of both the bricks and the cavities, so for this project, try to match them in pairs.

The blocks hold the timbers in place as well as serving as plant containers.

Millie sealed the blocks with a terracotta pot seal so that they don’t dry out too quickly, and she made up customised potting mixes to suit each plant. For native plants Millie used native potting mix, for succulents (Sedum cv.) she added an extra handful of sand and for the edibles (such as silverbeet) she added 1:4 parts extra compost and cow manure. Mulch was then used to top dress.

You’ll Need
Cement blocks (at least 12, depending on your design)
Recycled timber (2-4 lengths for a simple seat; 4-6 for a bench)
Long cable ties
Terracotta pot seal
Soil
Plants

Method
Using pre-cut timbers, measure out the width of the bench. Sand the timber slats to remove any splinters
Arrange the base blocks on the levelled ground, leaving a couple of brick cavities for planting.
Stack the second layer of bricks on top – this is the bench height. If you’re adding a backrest, make sure the bricks holding this piece of timber are supported by surrounding bricks or a back wall.
Secure the bricks together using cable ties.
Slot in the timber beams. These can be bolted or screwed together or simply slotted into place.
Seal the concrete with terracotta pot seal.
Plant and water in.
Mulch.

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