Rhody Garden Style: Potting Benches and Perennials

DIY-er Carli Alves shares advice and tips on getting started


Growing up, my mom’s love for gardening was contagious. It wasn’t just about enhancing our home’s exterior or boosting our curb appeal; it was a form of therapy that brought her joy. Seeing how much happiness it brought her, I knew there was something special about getting your hands in the soil and connecting with the earth. As I’ve matured and taken on the responsibility of tending to my own gardens, this activity has evolved into one of my most cherished pastimes. The decision to invest in a potting bench a few years ago felt like a natural progression, a symbolic step towards true adulting, and a continuation of the legacy passed down by my mother.

Having a potting bench isn’t just about convenience; it’s about creating a dedicated space for nurturing plants (while also avoiding back pain from kneeling and bending). It also provides much-needed storage, and when cleaned up well, it can double as a serving station when entertaining. My garden bench has now become an essential part of my gardening routine, making the whole experience even more enjoyable for me.

When choosing a potting bench, it’s important to consider two things: size and material. Go for weather-resistant types like cedar, teak, or pine, as they can handle whatever Mother Nature throws at them. Also, make sure the piece is big enough to handle all your gardening supplies without feeling cramped – bonus points if it coordinates well with your home’s exterior.

Gardening isn’t just a hobby for me; it’s a way to connect with nature and find resilience in the process. As Audrey Hepburn said, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow” – it’s about hope and optimism for what’s to come.



Explore 13 nurseries across the state for perennials, garden inspo, and more. Before heading out, check to be sure businesses have opened for the season (generally around March 23).

Blue Moon Farm Perennials, Wakefield

Broadview Florist & Garden Center, Westerly

Clark Farms, Wakefield

Cottage & Garden, Newport

The Farmer’s Daughter, Wakefield

Grandin Farms, Wakefield

The Groden Greenhouse, Providence

Homegrown, Pawtucket

Peckham’s Greenhouse, Little Compton

Pleasant Acres Nursery, Westerly

Quonnie Farms, Charlestown

Revive the Roots, Smithfield

Wildwood Nursery & Garden Center, East Greenwich



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