Herb Garden in Patio Table

5 Materials
1 Hour

This easy table modification all started because we live in cow country and where you have cows, you have flies. They drive me crazy in the summer so I am always looking for ways to deter them. The other day I was at OSH and the sales lady said that most herbs are a natural fly repellent. That got me thinking  and this project was born. Now the jury is still out if this works on the flies but I love the end results anyway.

This is the table I started with. We got it at Lowes a few years back and I still like it but the metal middle with the bent umbrella hole was a thorn in my side. Besides we have a covered patio so there is no need for an umbrella.

First things first, I had to remove the tiles. They just pop right out and what we are left with is the metal piece that is welded on to the frame.

Out came the router tool with the grinder bit. I was looking forward to making some sparks but the hubs clearly wanted to help out so...

He cut all of the areas that the metal plate was welded to the frame. There were only about 8 places and he was done in a few minutes.

Once the metal top was popped out, this is what we were left with. Now my original thought was a single 36" planter that would span the whole middle which means we would have to do more cutting, but then I started worrying about supporting a large planter and could I even find one that fit right and holy cow my head started spinning. I needed to readjust my plan and to simplify.

Since each square was 12" x 12" why not use three 12" x 12" planters?!?

I even had 1 on hand to test and hot diggity it fit perfectly. So off to my home away from home, Home Depot to pick up 2 more. Since they are only about $6, I grabbed some extras to have on hand.

... and they fit perfectly. I mean they are completely secure and 100% supported. Its like they were made for this... I guess sometimes if you stop to listen the universe will provide.

Not to question the universe but I was still a little concerned about the weight once the soil was added. These planters are deep plus I need to address drainage since there are no holes. I usually add rocks in the bottom to allow for drainage space but clearly that wouldn't help my weight concern. I needed to add a light-weight filling to the bottom of the planters that would take up space without adding weight and address drainage...

...well hello old pool noodles. We always have them around for the pool and after a while they get a little worn and kind of gross so I repurposed their grossness as planter filler.

Last thing was to plant the herbs and pop the tiles back in and ta-da!
Here is the finished piece. What is great is that these planters are completely interchangeable. You can do flowers or succulents or any combination. We also saved the metal piece just in case we need to convert the table back for a party situation. It literally just pops back in.

Ill keep you all posted about whether it works for flies.

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 23 questions
  • AlexW
    on Jun 21, 2020

    Very nice project

  • AlexW
    on Jun 22, 2020

    Great idea! Where can I find such a table though but already finished? At the moment I have a lounger set from https://www.gardencentreshopping.co.uk/ in my backyard, but I have enough space for such a project too. It's the first time I see Something similar but I really like it. I would like to know where can I find such tables if there are of course because I didn't see them anywhere. This one you did looks very nice, but I don't have such skills and I would want to buy it already finished. If anyone knows where I can find something similar, feel free to share.

  • DK
    on Aug 24, 2020

    Looks great!

    My thumbs are brown. I love the fact that you can just pull out the container and replace or easily repot.

    Also having the back up metal insert is a major plus.

    if you wanted to change the tile color, can you just buy 12x12 tiles and drop them in?

    • Helen Caldwell
      on Aug 24, 2020

      Yes u can just be sure to take one of the original tiles with you to make sure the thickness works as well. I replaced just some of mine and made a designed look by replacing every other one.

Join the conversation

2 of 161 comments
  • Jennifer Johnson Campbell
    on Sep 18, 2020

    For a party I could see placing empty pots and filling with ice, then putting cans or bottles of beverages in them.

  • Patricia
    7 days ago

    Great Idea, but instead of plants, I've seen tables where they use that empty space for cold drinks in ice which is even better for Summer BBQs

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