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Coffee Table Planter


The 1st annual Gala Fundraiser event was held on Saturday night for Conservation Garden Park and it seems to have been quite a successful event.  I am rather relieved it’s over as I participated in several capacities and I’m plum wore out!  Through my ‘regular gig’, I helped plan and manage the event.  Through my design business, I donated several pieces of garden art, including a ‘coffee table planter’.

The seed for the table was planted by Julie Rader of EuroAmerican Propagators at a Conference in January 2011.  She told me all about them and I was intrigued- and then forgot about it.  This summer, Better Homes and Gardens published a photo of a similar table (though I cannot find that photo online) and I decided to just make one. 

Second-Hand Coffee Table from the KSL Classifieds.

I have never really donated items to an event like this before and I learned a lot.  It was a little ironic that the item I spent the LEAST amount of time and $$$ on was the most popular with attendees!

I originally just wanted to find a piece of table top glass and thought I’d follow the standard method of using copper pipe inserted into a planter with the glass balanced on top.  However, when I went to pick the table up, it seemed that there might be just enough room to get a bowl-shaped pot beneath the glass and with at least the minimum 6″ of headspace. I prefered this method as the glass would be better supported.

I've got just the MINIMUM headspace needed for the succulent plants. A few more inches would have been better I think.

I filled the bottom of the pot with some larger gravel then used my succulent plant mix in the remainder.  The top is finished off with Mexican Black Pebble donated by American Stone.  Ideally, I would have used Hens and Chicks (aka sempervivum) in the pot as they stay nice an low and are winter hardy here.  However, LaRene of Millcreek Gardens (the most generous nursery around) donated the lovely California succulents so I just went with those.

It looked good enough on our front porch that I almost hated to give it away!

It’s not really worth doing a tutorial on this because the ‘how to’ is pretty obvious.  Needless to say, I will continue to browse the classifieds looking for another opportunity to make one for myself!  I think this project is easier to do with a side table because the added height of the table lends itself to a wider variety of containers and would be easier to water.

Note: In our Utah climate, you need to keep this kind of thing in part shade.  The summer lighting is already intense here and the glass will sort of magnify it.

The sweet little lady who won it was just so thrilled.  She told me she NEVER wins and she put all her tickets on it! I suppose the only thing better than keeping it for myself is knowing that it’s going to a home where it will be loved.  I couldn’t help but wonder if the social elite would have been quite so excited about it if they knew it was just a $10 used table with a pot added to it! LOL!

This was my first attempt at re-purposing furniture for the garden but certainly not my last.  I have a couple other projects I also made which I’ll post about later.  Both of them are more complex so I’ll include a tutorial for them.  Now I’d better go find another table in the classifieds before everyone else snaps them up!

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