Shelf Life


Displays of shelf flower pots on outside walls may be more popular in Europe than here, but it is definitely an option worth considering when you have an open wall and lots of pots. This shelving and its eclectic terracotta pots adds interest to the wall and the precious succulents have a sunny, safe place in which to thrive.

A bare expanse of brick between two windows (and a rather lost-looking garden tap in the middle) made this wall the ideal ‘canvas’ for some rustic display shelves.  To  complement Rustic shelves for a special collection the deliberately rough appearance of the brickwork and the raw cement window surrounds we chose to use thick weathered planks to form the shelves.

These planks hold special memories for the owners of the house – they were part of the scaffolding used when the house was built. (They were also used, many years before that, by one owner’s Dad, during the construction of their family home.) This is the process to follow to get the same look.

What you Need
9 shelf brackets (300 mm)
27 Hilti screws (8 x 50 mm)
27 full thread-cut screws
(4 x 25 mm)
3 p lank s
Mica tools
• tape measure
• electric hammer drill
• 8 mm masonry drill bit
• spirit level
• carpenter’s hammer
• pencil
• cordless drill
(to tighten screws)


1. Determine the height for the top, middle and bottom shelf and then work out where the nine brackets should be placed to hold the shelves securely. Mark the positions with horizontal and vertical lines. Make sure that the spaces between the brackets are the same size.


2.Hold the brackets in position and make marks where you will have to drill into the wall.


3.Fit the 8 mm masonry drill bit to the hammer drill and drill all the holes.


4.Next, for each bracket, tap in the Hilti plugs, place the bracket in position and secure it with the screws.


5.Put the planks into position and fasten them to the brackets from underneath using the full thread-cut screws.

If you are aiming for a rustic look give the brackets a coat of Aged Iron Paint from ‘the Decorator’s Touch’ range or use Instant Rust and Liquid Iron from Africote.

The Gardener