Old Towne Orange DIY: Crate Garden

Now that we can almost sun kiss the summer months ahead, flowers seem to be blooming everywhere! We’ve spotted them outside of homes, in OTO shops, and even throughout the landscaping in Plaza Park. A few weeks back, we wrote a blog post about “Where to Find Fresh Flowers in Old Towne Orange.” We explored the city and hunted down the best businesses to purchase blooming foliage for the season. This inspired us to make a DIY garden crate that everyone can enjoy. If you have limited gardening space, you can still create custom flower beds for both inside and outside your home. Even a novice gardener can make an arrangement just as unique as them.

Now that we know where to pick up beautiful flowers, it’s time to start making our own garden. Wooden crates are the perfect option because of the endless styles and sizes. They are versatile and make ideal planters for flowers, greenery, and vegetables. Our goal was to make a simple, low maintenance garden space that people of all ages can maintain. Read on to learn how we did it!

Here’s what you’ll need:

One wooden crate

One medium bag of potting soil

Landscape cloth or a thick plastic liner 


Flowers and foliage of choice

To begin, you’ll need a wooden crate. You can find these all over OTO antique shops, yard sales, and even the Old Town Orange Flea Market that takes place on the 2nd Saturday of every month. The inspiration hit us while strolling down Chapman Avenue. We couldn’t help but mosey on into MMD Antiques, a funky local industrial style shop. They often showcase a large pile of wooden crates outside their storefront for only $15.00 a piece! We choose the smallest size they offered and thought it would make the perfect planter box.

First, you’ll want to line your crate with landscape cloth or a strong plastic liner. This will keep your soil from leaking out when the crate gets watered or rained on. It also protects the wood from rotting when exposed to excess water.

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Next, fill the crate with soil. Trim the lining so that it just comes to the top of the crate, and then push it down around the edges. Start tucking the lining inside the crate until it’s no longer visible.


Now for the fun part: Planting! Choosing what flowers we wanted was SO easy with one stop to The Potting Shed by Carlisle. They have the largest selection of plants in town! Jack Carlisle was there himself to help us create the perfect arrangement. We challenged him to help us find florals to make a flowing, feminine, and delicate design for our box. He certainly delivered with flowers to fit the location and lighting that our garden would be living in.  

Decide where you want each plant to be placed, then dig a hole that appropriately fits its size. Remove the plants from their original pot, carefully fill with excess soil, and pat to ensure it’s secure.




There you have it! A simple yet beautiful project that anyone can achieve. There are so many ways to make this DIY your own. Create a custom look by switching the crate out for a funky container. Don’t forget to choose your favorite plants for a personal touch that you’ll enjoy every day!


Happy Planting!

Last Updated on May 17, 2017 by