Building a Vertical Garden Arbor with Gutters! (Part 1)

Recently the folks at Lowe's Creative Ideas asked me if I could put together a once a month project using products I found at Lowe's that fit a specific theme.  Of course since I enjoy doing these types of projects around the garden I jumped at the chance!  This month they wanted a project centered around the theme:"Pots and Plants".  The idea behind "Pots and Plants" is to create an older or non-traditional object into a planter for an outdoor space somewhere in my garden. I decided to put together a garden arbor that would serve as a fence panel section around our vegetable garden that used gutters as the planter.  I've seen various renderings of gutter gardens before and thought that this would be a pretty interesting idea to incorporate into our fence!

I planned out the project and dropped into our local Spring Hill, TN Lowe's Home Improvement store to gather the materials with a gift card that they provided.  My wife kept a tally of the material costs as we went through the store and gathered up supplies.

Here's what we bought:
2 - 4"x 4" x 8' Pressure treated Posts
1 - 2"x 6" x 12' Pressure Treated Lumber
4 - 3/8" 8" Carriage Bolts
4 - 3/8" Washers and Nuts
1 - 10' Aluminum Gutter
4 - Gutter end pieces
4 - "L" Brackets
1 Can of Hammered Copper Spray Paint
1 - 80 lb. bag of cement

We actually bought 2 of the gutters with the intent of making three shelves of gutter planters between the posts but found the spacing to be a better fit for 2 - 4' gutter pieces.  Everything we purchased for this 4' 6" wide fence panel including the plants was kept under $100.  I didn't include the plants we purchased but I'll go over them in another post!

The First Step
For the first step on this project I measured and dug two post holes set 4' apart.  I dug down over 18 inches deep which I was extremely lucky to be able to do with only my shovel.  I was afraid I would need a digging iron to break through the soil but since the ground was soft, a little damp, and had a decent organic content a shovel was all I needed!

Once I had the holes dug it was time for part 2: Construction!  You'll see that in a post very soon!

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