Planters are made from a wide variety of material, including clay, wood, terracotta and stone. Stone planters are durable, functional and decorative, and have been used for construction purposes since time immemorial. Planters, when lined against a wall, hide exposed concrete, enhance the look of the surrounding landscape and increase the appeal of a house. Stone is also known to retain moisture, eliminating the need to frequently water the plants it contains.
Make spray paint or chalk lines to mark where you want to install the stone wall planter. Keep the width of the planter 3 to 4 feet so you can easily reach the plants in the back. Decide the shape of your planter--you can make it straight or slightly curved--so that it complements your house and the landscape.
Dig a 1-foot wide trench inside the demarcated line that is at least 6-inches deep, and collect the dirt in a wheelbarrow. Level the base of the trench with a tamper. Divide your fieldstones into 3 piles, with the largest stones placed close to the wall, the medium-sized stones in the middle and the smallest stones away from you.
Place the largest flagstones into the trench to form a strong and stable base for the wall planter. Place stones tightly against one another but do not overlap. Pound each stone deep into the soil with a length of 4-by-4. This will ensure good stone-to-soil contact.
Begin stacking the medium-sized stones on top of the larger ones, packing them tightly so they are secure and do not wobble. Keep in mind that no mortar will be used in the construction, so keep checking to make sure the height does not exceed 18 inches.
After stacking several layers of medium-sized stones, insert the 3-foot high stakes, a foot deep at each corner. Take some string and tie it 2 inches below the top of one stake. Extend it to the other stake, pull it taut and tie it there as well. This will give you the height guideline for the top of your stone wall planter.
Use the longest and flattest stones for the top of the planter. Place these against one another so that they are tight but do not overlap. Knock off any protruding stone corners with a sledgehammer.
Fill your planter with good-quality potting soil and grow plants or flowers of your choice.
Things You Will Need
- Spray paint
- Measuring tape
- Fieldstones, 2 to 3 inches thick
- Lumber, 4-by-4's
- 3-foot stakes for each corner
- Garden string
- Rest frequently when lifting heavy stones to give your back a break.
- Wear safety glasses when breaking stones with a sledgehammer.