Introduction

How To Build a Stone Planter
Photo: Kristine Larsen
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If guests tend to fly right by your drive, it might be time to add some oomph to your entrance. Install a stepped stone planter along the driveway, and suddenly you've got an unmistakable guidepost. Not to mention a natural spot to add a pop of color with plantings or the welcoming light of a lamppost. With a wide variety of block sizes and styles available, you can tailor the look to that of your home, from rustic to stately. Read on to see how senior technical editor Mark Powers put together this yard monument, which is sure to force passers-by—friends and strangers alike—to sit up and take notice.
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    Tools List

    • spade
      spade
    • garden stakes
      stakes
    • mason line and level
      mason line and line level
    • square shovel
      shovel
    • tamper
      hand tamper
    • iron rake
      steel rake
    • mallet
      rubber mallet
    • two-foot level
      2-foot level
    • mason's chisel and maul
      mason's chisel and maul
    • brick hammer
      brick hammer
    • caulk gun
      caulk gun
    • craft scissors
      scissors to cut the landscape fabric

    Shopping List

    Cast-concrete blocks
    Choose those meant for freestanding and retaining walls, not walkway pavers. To calculate how many blocks you need, divide the area, in inches, of each wall by the area of the largest block's face. Add 10 percent to cover cuts and breakage.

    Paver base
    A 50-pound bag covers 2 square feet at 3 inches deep

    Leveling sand
    A 50-pound bag covers about 6 square feet at 1 inch deep. Drainage stone
    Get enough to fill your planters to three courses from the top.

    Masonry construction adhesive

    Landscape fabric

    Topsoil