Brick planters enhance your home's curb appeal, are weather-resistant and last for years. You can customize these functional yet decorative planters to fit your gardening needs, placing them against a wall, around a tree or freestanding on the ground. The best part of building a brick planter to dress up your front yard is that it does not require any prior brick-laying experience.
Determine the shape and size of your brick planter so that you can purchase bricks and mortar accordingly. You can build a square or rectangular one, or an angular shape that conforms to a particular spot in your front yard.
Purchase decorative bricks for your planter from a hardware store. Make sure all the bricks are the same width and length.
Spread powdered chalk over the desired spot in your front yard in the shape of the planter. Measure the depth of a brick and dig a trench over the demarcated line, making it two-thirds as deep as the brick. Level the base of the trench with the back of a shovel.
Lower a brick into the trench, placing it firmly over the base. Put another brick flush against it, and continue laying the first row of bricks in the trench. This first row of bricks serves as the base or footing of the planter, and one-third of it should be buried in the soil.
Add water to mortar mix in a wheelbarrow, following the manufacturer's directions and wearing gloves. Mix thoroughly with a trowel.
Apply a 1-inch-thick layer of mortar over a brick in the lower row, smoothing it out with a trowel to prevent it from dripping over the sides. Immediately place a brick directly over the mortar and press it down to ensure good contact. Repeat with the next brick in the row, but leave a 1/2- to 3/4-inch gap between the bricks. Fill the gap with mortar.
Break corner bricks of subsequent rows to keep them from hanging over the edges of the row beneath. To do this, place a brick on the ground, position a brick set at the desired spot and hammer it with a single blow so that the brick breaks in two.
Apply mortar and lay bricks until the second row is complete. Add more rows of bricks until you reach the desired planter height.
Fill in the gaps between bricks on the top row with mortar.
Cement decorative topping bricks along the top row of the planter, or cut weather-resistant wooden boards to size and glue them to the top row of bricks.