DIY Patio Railing Planters


Confession: I’ve had a platonic crush on gardens for some time now.  I love nature, and longed for space to grow things – including veggies.  However, given that I’ve lived in apartments virtually all my life, and that we have our bunnies on our patio during the day, growing veggies wasn’t in the cards.

All that changed with our recent move, though.  We moved in June and I was determined to have SOME sort of garden, even if it was small.  And though I wasn’t able to do a raised bed Square Foot Garden like I’d hoped, we do have a container garden growing on our tiny patio – thanks to my handy hubby.

Hubby made our Patio Railing Planters over the 4th of July weekend, and I snapped some pictures along the way so I could share them with you.  His task wasn’t an easy one, given that we can’t nail or drill into any part of the stucco patio, and had to have everything up off the ground to at least waist height because of the bunnies.  Oh, AND he had to do his work on the patio with limited tools and not disturb the neighbors.  No small feat! (Securing the planters to the building somehow was essential – we don’t want them to fall down from the third floor and hurt anyone below)


Before:  The patio is 7 feet by 6.5 feet, beige stucco, and had all the charm of a prison.  Awesome, right?! ;]


The railing is 7″ deep, which meant that the numerous railing planter boxes on the market wouldn’t work for us.  Phooey!

Hubby came up with a great solution though.  Here are some basic instructions and some photos to give you an idea of how the patio railing planters were assembled.



3 plastic planter boxes (10″ deep x 10″ high x 24″ wide)
Galvanized bolts, washers & nuts (using galvanized hardware helps fight off rust)
Metal L brackets, that were sprayed to match the building’s paint color
One 4″ x 6′ x 3/4″ piece of wood
Rust-oleum spray paint


The hardware, wood, and paint…


Hubby started by putting the wood up on the railing, and marking the spots where the L brackets would be attached.  He alternated – one on the inside, one outside, one inside, one outside.  This first step was part of securing the board onto the patio railing.


 Next, those marked holes were drilled…


 Each hole got a bolt, two washers, and a nut.  The “sandwich”/order went bolt, washer, board, washer, nut.



The bolts were put in from the bottom, so the ends stuck up.  The L brackets were then removed and spray painted…


Drainage holes were drilled into the bottoms of the planters, and holes were drilled into the boards for the bolts.  This part of the process was to secure the planters to the board, which was already braced/secured onto the railing. 


When securing the planters to the board, we followed a similar pattern: bolt, washer, wooden board, planter box, washer, nut.  Each planter box is attached at each of its two ends…


This shows all three empty boxes secured to the board.  


You can see that the L brackets have been spray painted, and the brackets hold the board securely onto the railing. 


Our first little plants included rosemary, parsley, mint, lettuce, kale, and cilantro.  I’ve since moved some plants around and added others, but this gives you an idea of what it looked like with some edibles in the planter boxes.  Big thanks to my hubby for figuring out how to overcome our limitations and get our mini garden growing!

Since these pictures were taken we’ve added another board that holds a row of plastic pots (mostly herbs). I’ll share those a little later on, along with photos of how things are progressing.  In the meantime, I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into our fledgling garden.  I also hope you’re enjoying your summer!

Warm regards,

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  1. Posted July 22, 2014 at 11:10 am by Jo Murray | Permalink

    A very clever idea (and hubby). It looks great, AND you have fresh herbs.

  2. Posted July 22, 2014 at 11:51 am by Melody | Permalink

    Thank you. :] I’m very happy to have the garden and herbs. Our bunnies are happy, too!

  3. Posted July 22, 2014 at 5:07 pm by Kathy Regier | Permalink

    Wonderful idea! I’m glad to see you back blogging again. I missed you!

  4. Posted July 24, 2014 at 11:53 am by Debbie | Permalink

    Yea for your little patio garden. I love your hubby’s solution for the pots on the walls…enjoy your herbs & veggies. I’m having fun with our driveway garden this year, too…jalapenos here we come! You could probably grow them in your pots, too.

  5. Posted July 24, 2014 at 10:03 pm by Melody | Permalink

    I’m glad you’re enjoying your garden. I’m having fun with ours so far, and it looks so much nicer out there. The beige stucco box look was making me nutty! I just started seeds for more lettuce (our first lettuce was in a small flat from the nursery). I hope the seeds grow well and quickly so I can transplant them outside…
    :] Melody

  6. Posted July 24, 2014 at 10:04 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Thanks! I shared the positive feedback I received via comments and email with my hubby. Thank you, too, for your kind words about me blogging. It’s nice to be missed. :]