Planter Box Porch Railing




Our back porch had a trek deck railing around it. This railing was not particularly sturdy. The posts were cracked and it was beginning to lean precariously. Once the end post snapped I finally took action and removed the railing completely. Then I had to decide how to replace it. I finally decided on making a planter box railing. I thought this would be much sturdier and much more attractive. Plus I liked the thought of having my herbs closer to the kitchen (which is right inside the door to deck).

What to make that planter box out of was a challenge. I originally settled on 1″x12′ boards. However, I couldn’t find them in any of our stores. Ordering them in was also quite expensive. Prohibitively so. Around this time my husband began taking the cross pieces of telephone lines apart.

Here are a few pics of the materials used for the box. They are from telephone poles. My husband stripped them down and they worked just great!


Here were these sturdy and FREE boards in need of a use. I immediately appropriated them for the planter box.


I had to start by leveling out the lawn area.


Our great pyrenees is a horrid fence jumper and we finally resorted to chaining him up to keep him in the yard. The area he was chained to was this lawn area and it quickly became a dirt and mud pit as he stripped it of vegetation. We finally electrified the fence and cured our GP of his fence jumping ways. We were all happy not to have to chain him any longer and now I could fix up the lawn area. I started with the leveling and then seeded it with grass. The seed took wonderfully and we had a lush grass lawn. Then came the realization that we were going to have to mow it and our only mower was the tractor. Grass was not going to work. So we tilled and planted clover. You can see that in my Yard Reboot post.


Back to this railing. I leveled the area, trenched a level area for the boards and pounded rebar into the already drilled holes.


I then started stacking these wooden boards, cutting and drilling where necessary. Unfortunately it turned out we did not have enough to go the full 5′ required for an appropriate height railing. So I made the board box level with the porch. I bought pig panels and 2×4’s to make a trellis/railing instead. Then it was filled up and planted with herbs.


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Oh, can’t forget the kiwi vine plan. In the corner of the box I installed a wood post and planted the kiwi vine right next to it. I’ve strung wire from the pole to the house and I am looking forward to a kiwi vine shade barrier.


That barrier is obviously years in the making.

We aren’t completely done yet though. One side of the porch is being extended and made into an outdoor kitchen and I still have some work on the railing to do, such as painting and finishing off the top with a nice 1×2 board.


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