Friday, February 24, 2012

Redwood Boxes

Continuing my theme of having too many containers, I present my latest additions to my garden:

Redwood boxes with finger joints

I can’t take any credit for these.  I stole the design idea from Essence of the Tree’s web site.  I’ve been lusting after their version of these boxes for years.  The wood used in their boxes was collected from structures in the San Francisco area dating back to the 1880s and they have a ton of character as a result.  Character comes at a price those.  At $350 a piece, I could never pull the trigger.  And if I did, I would feel guilty if I put anything in them that would cause them to deteriorate. 

I can’t take credit for the construction of these boxes either.  I commissioned my friend, Jordan, to build them for me.  Jordan is a talented young carpenter who also built a large planter box/trellis structure for me, but the design of these boxes presented him with a challenge because he had never built anything with finger joints before. 

The wood from these boxes is signicantly less than the 130-year-old versions that inspired them, but there is still some charm in the differing grains and how those differences are amplified at the corners.
A little wood glue helped stabilize the joints while this was being built.

Jordan confessed that the first box he built was actually easier because the redwood he used was straighter.  The second box required a lot more shaving, sanding, and salty language to complete. 

I really enjoy having pieces in my yard that were made by friends.  For one, it’s a nice reminder that I am surrounded by gifted people who are willing to share their talents.  But it’s also nice because it saves me money while also providing a little extra money for my friends. 

One of these will house a dwarf Japanese maple called 'Murasaki Kiyohime'. 
I'll post a picture when it leafs out.

You’ll have to excuse me now.  I’m off to see if I can make friends with someone who knows how to weld.  


  1. Beautiful boxes. Would love to have them in my own yard. Very talented guy!
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  2. Absolutely gorgeous! I need to start making some more friends... :)

  3. Gorgeous!! I don't think it's possible to have too many containers. The maple will be stunning in that box. Damn, now I want one!

  4. Hello, I covet both your new and old fruit boxes. I'm always looking for interesting containers amongst the flotsam and jetsam (romantic name for garbage)on our beach but all I ever find is broken fish boxes and plastic bottles!

  5. These are very pretty! Wish I had some talented friends!

  6. Those are beautiful. I love the color of the wood, and I can't wait to see them planted. -Jean

  7. Gorgeous boxes! I love using redwood in the garden. Those joints look strong, so the boxes should serve you well for years to come. Good luck finding a welder, I hope it goes better than our quest for a barn builder ;)

  8. First, you can't have too many garden containers, and those new ones you have are beauties. Second, as a lover of old architecture I am glad you aren't using historic San Francisco buildings to make planters--the value of old materials sometimes contributes to the demise of otherwise restorable structures. Just sayin'-- I look forward to that Japanese maple taking up residence!