If you prefer carpentry and your significant other likes to dabble in DIY gardening, here's the perfect solution for a summer project you can both enjoy. A potting bench is both easy to make and extremely useful for the home gardener.
Select your material
Making a potting table or bench is a great project because it requires very little in the way of raw materials. Essentially, you'll need some timber, nails or screws for fixing and a paint, stain or varnish if you like. Given that this will be a messy, outdoor table, there's no real need to add a finishing coat, except for decorative purposes. Your project will last longer if you paint or varnish, but the service life of an untreated timber table outdoors is probably adequate for a potting bench.
For an eclectic and modern style to your and garden, you could consider re-purposing old furniture for an almost ready-made potting bench. This wood, selected for indoor use, would definitely benefit from an exterior grade varnish. Easy ways to convert an old chest of drawers or side table into are adding a new timber top, or back piece to add utility. Good additions for extra use out of your converted furniture are a row of shelves, a trellis or wire back piece for growing vine plants like tomatoes.
Assembling your project and choosing a finish
Assembling your potting bench is as easy as finding a design you like, hiring a table saw or compound mitre saw to get nice, even cuts and tacking together legs, a base frame and a table top. A frame should be assembled for the top of the table and another for shelving between the four legs. A nail gun or electric screw driver will make quick work of assembling your project. Make sure to include braces for added stability.
Your finish is more of an aesthetic choice than anything else. A nice charcoal or dark grey could be great for a modern look to your new table, or you may prefer the classic look of stained and varnished timber. For re-purposed furniture, the distressed/antique look is still in and would look great in your boutique garden setting.
Stock with gardening material
If you don't know your way around a wheelbarrow, talk to the gardener in your family and find out which pits, soils, seeds and tools will be best suited to your garden project. For furniture that has been converted, you probably have a handy storage space for all this, otherwise, build a small cabinet or keep perishable supplies in the garden shed.