I am so stinkin’ excited to share this backyard project with you! It has been weeks in the making and I am thrilled with how it turned out. When Thompson’s WaterSeal asked if I had any big outdoor projects we could work on together, I knew this planter box fence was it. I dreamed up this project during the winter when my backyard was under three feet of snow so it is so fun to finally see it come together. It was worth all the 12 hours days in record heat.
I shared what the back of my yard looked like in a previous post, but as a reminder here are a couple of shots.
This was one of those times I was extra grateful I have four boys because I put them to work leveling the ground. Our yard slopes towards the center and I knew we needed these boxes to be level. It took days and days of all of us shoveling but we finally had it ready to build on!
Shane and I started out by measuring and setting posts. It was very similar to setting fence posts only it formed a box instead of just a line. The we added 2×2 boards to connect the posts. After that all we had to do was add cedar pickets! We bought regular 6-foot fence pickets and cut them in half so the planter boxes would be 3 feet tall.
To prevent the boxes from bulging when full of dirt, we also added support in-between the posts.
Once the pickets were all on, we lined the inside with water proof landscape fabric.
Now came the fun part! Staining! I chose to use Penetrating Timber Oil Semi-Transparent in Walnut. I loved the rich brown color. I didn’t want a solid color that would cover most of the wood grain. This was perfect!
It was really easy to pour. No mess!
Because I had so much surface area to cover, I chose to spray the stain on the boxes. It went fast and gave it a nice even coat. Make sure to wear clothes you can get dirty, gloves, and a face mask.
To save money, we filled the planter boxes 2/3 full of the dirt we dug up when leveling the ground. It also saved us from having to haul it away. The top portion was filled with top soil and compost we purchased locally.
We dug a trench in front of the planter boxes since the dirt was so rocky. The trench also got filled with the new dirt and compost to become a flowerbed. I planted one of my favorite flowers, zinnias! Don’t they look amazing next to the beautiful walnut stain? I love that you can still see the gorgeous wood grain of the cedar.
I built a basic frame for the gates and covered them on one side with pickets. I played around until I got the arch just right and penciled it in darker so I could cut it with the jigsaw. I didn’t bother to sand the boxes, but I knew the gate would be touched more than the planters so I went ahead and lightly sanded them.
I decided to paint the gate blue to match all the interior doors of my house. I used the same navy color that I love. I even bought reproduction crystal knobs just like the doors in my house.
We planted raspberries in the planters and I can’t wait for them to fill in more and be covered in juicy berries!
After I watered the transplanted raspberries, I noticed how well the water beaded up showing how well Thompson’s WaterSeal protects the wood. I’m confident they are going to hold up really well over time.
I love how the planters double as a fence! If you remember our backyard plans I share awhile ago, behind the planters will be storage for all the things we don’t want to see like wood piles and compost bins.
Now that all the hard work is done, I can’t wait to sit here and read while I enjoy the view of the whole backyard.
It feels so nice to have such a big project checked off the list at the beginning of summer knowing I will have the rest of the year to enjoy it.
What outdoor projects do you have planned this summer? I’d love to hear!
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This post was sponsored by Thompson’s WaterSeal but all ideas and opinions are all my own.