DIY Network

How to Build a Dutch Gate and Copper Planters

A center-opening gate makes it easy for friendly neighbors to travel between properties, and copper planters add a decorative touch.

More in Outdoors

build dutch gate and copper planter
  • Time


  • Price Range

    $250 - $500

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Construct the Frame

Build the frames for the two gate halves out of redwood 2x4s.

construct the frame

Step 2: Hang the Gates

Attach metal hinges (Image 1) and cover the frames with grape stakes. Be sure to lay out the stakes first to be sure you're leaving the right amount of space between them; also be sure to place the dog-eared ends at the top (Image 2) before they are nailed in place. After the gates are finished, measure for placement and attach to the fenceposts with galvanized screws.

Step 3: Attach the Copper Planters

Use a pair of copper mailboxes to create planters for the side of the drop fence. Drill several drainage holes in the bottom of each and attach the boxes to the fence. Using galvanized screws will help reduce corrosion over time.

copper mailboxes used to create planters

Step 4: Add the Plants

Once the planters are mounted on the wall (Image 1), add potting soil and a selection of plants: pansies, sedum and rosemary. When planting small planter boxes, it's a really good idea to switch your colors out at least two times a year. This will help freshen the color and prevent the plants from overgrowing.
Next add a large container (Image 2) on either side of the gate and fill them with the following plants:
Rosemary (to fill spaces)
Plectranthus (to trail)
Scaevola (to trail)
Red fountain grass (for height)
Lantana (to trail).
The use of containers on this side of the fence is a good choice. It's a tough situation: full sun, little planting space, very narrow. Filling the containers with grasses is great because you get some movement, lovely contrast and a plant that's easy to grow under tough circumstances.