Operation Potting Bench

There are a few things I miss now that I’m retired, mainly my co-workers.  I recently realized another serious void in my retired life…my office and desk.   My office was “Margaret Central”, my command center, the hub, my think tank.  It was orderly and organized…most of the time.  But that’s gone.  Sure, I have a little desk in my kitchen but I need so much more than that.  So I set about converting a bedroom into a “studio” (sounds so much better than home office!).  It’s  a work in progress but for the moment the things I need for my creative pursuits are in one spot.

Yet something was still missing!

The studio was going to work well for my quilting and beading but it just wasn’t going to solve my garden organization issues.    Most of the things I use in the garden are strewn haphazardly on shelves in the garage…not organized, not efficient. I do have a potting shed at the lake but it isn’t organized well either.  What I needed was a potting bench!  Something where I could pot up plants without breaking my back;  where I could store my  garden tools and find them easily and something that was portable so I could move it where I needed it.

The idea to use a Hoosier cabinet first came to me when I spotted one while browsing through an antique shop.  Why not repurpose this into a potting bench?   I looked it over and concluded that this particular Hoosier was just a little too well used for my purposes,  but from that moment the seed was planted and I was on a mission.

In the 20’s and 30’s the Hoosier cabinet was a housewife’s dream.  With it’s bins, drawers and accessories, it was a revolutionary breakthrough in kitchen organization.  Originally manufactured by the Hoosier Manufacturing Company in Indiana, the Hoosier cabinet provided storage and work space for kitchens which were lacking.  The changing role of women and domestic life called for increased efficiencies and a streamlined, state-of-the-art kitchen.  The Hoosier Cabinet appealed to the modern woman and became hugely popular.

A few weeks later, in another antique shop, there it was…a lovely white painted cabinet in fabulous condition!  And even better, the price tag was only $75!  Oh happy day!

First order of business was to replace the existing casters with some heavy duty ones…genius!  Now I can wheel it around the garden as needed.

I put my potting bench  to good use last weekend when I dismantled the deck rail planters.  I rolled it onto the grass so I could just brush off any spilled soil and cleanup would be a breeze.  Eventually I’ll repaint it and maybe add some new hardware.  And since the table itself isn’t very big, I’m considering attaching a hinged shelf to the back.

For now it’s perfect!



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