image by Holly White
Garden planters provide a lovely accent to gardens. A permanent planter ensures years of use and stability for plants against storms, pets and thieves. If placing a planter against a wall, consider using a plastic barrier to avoid water damage to the structure.
Dig a trench 6 inches deep by 3 inches wide around the perimeter of where the planter will be built. Sprinkle sand at the bottom of the trench.
Using a shovel, fill the trench to the top with cement. Read the mixing instructions on the cement carefully before preparing it. Flatten the cement with a spade to create an even surface.
Check the surface with a level to verify that all sides are even. If one portion is too low, add some additional cement to even out the trough. Allow the cement to dry for 24 hours.
Place a 1-inch layer of mortar under each bottom brick and lay the brick firmly on top. Space each brick 1/2 inch apart and fill the gap with mortar, making sure to carefully smooth the mortar and avoid drips. Continue working around the entire cement perimeter until the first row is complete. If the mortar becomes too thick while working around the perimeter, add small amounts of water to maintain the ideal consistency of dough.
Place the second layer of mortar so that it covers the space where the first row of bricks meet. Place 1/4 inch layer of mortar under each brick and carefully press down. Brush off any drips immediately, as they are more difficult to remove once the mortar has hardened. Space the bricks as before and continue around. Repeat this step until the desired height is achieved. Allow the bed to dry for 48 hours before filling.
Fill the planter with soil, leaving at least 1/2 inch of space at the top.