Project Overview

A gutter garden made with fence planters can quickly transform a tired and old looking fence into a bright flower-filled feature in your backyard. It’s a simple D.I.Y. project that the whole family can help out with, and one you’ll enjoy for years to come.

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clogged paint spray
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How to unclog a spray can

Occasionally the nozzle on a used can of spray paint can get clogged and stop working. A quick and easy solution is to pour a small amount of mineral turpentine into a bucket, then remove the nozzle from the top of the can and place it in the bucket. After about three minutes, remove the nozzle, dry it off and reattach it to the spray can. Shake the can well then give it a spray, with the blockage gone your paint should come out no problem at all.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Paint the fence
2 Measure, mark and cut the gutter
3 Install the end caps
4 Drill drainage holes
5 Paint the gutters
6 Measure and mark for the brackets
7 Attach the brackets and the gutters
8 Put potting mix in the gutters
9 Put the plants in the fence planters
10 Admire your new garden
  • Step 1. Paint the fence

    Before you build your gutter garden, you should paint the fence so that the plants and brightly coloured guttering stand out against it. Apply as many coats as needed, leaving the fence to dry between coats.

  • Step 2. Measure, mark and cut the gutter

    Depending on the size of the fence and your backyard, your gutter garden can be as big as you like. Measure and mark the gutter, and then use the hacksaw to cut the gutter to size.

  • Step 3. Install the end caps

    Put the end caps in place in the gutter. Drill pilot holes through the gutter and the caps. Then feed pop rivets through the hole, making sure they go through both the gutter and end cap. Pull the pop rivet gun handles together until it clamps tight and snaps off the rivets.

  • Step 4. Drill drainage holes

    It’s important to drill drainage holes in the gutter to allow water in the soil to drain freely. Turn the gutter over and drill drainage holes on the underside. We allowed between 50mm and 100mm spacing all the way along the guttering.

  • Step 5. Paint the gutters

    Spray paint the gutters using a bright colour, so it stands out against your fence. Apply at least two coats and allow the paint to dry between coats. When painting, work in a well ventilated area and use a respirator mask. You should also paint the brackets and screws as well.

  • Step 6. Measure and mark for the brackets

    Measure and mark where you want to place the planters on the fence. We placed each gutter directly below the other, but you could stagger them. When marking for the gutter gardens, be sure to level the line across horizontally and check that they line up vertically. Remember to allow room for the plants to grow.       

  • Step 7. Attach the brackets and the gutters

    After you’ve marked where the brackets will go, attach them to the wall with your drill. Then to attach the gutters to the brackets, just clip the rolled edge of the gutter into the hooks on the brackets and roll it under until it clicks into place. Once it’s in position, fold over the tabs.

  • Step 8. Put potting mix in the gutters

    Put a good quality potting mix in the gutters, allowing enough for it to settle. 

  • Step 9. Put the plants in the fence planters

    Now it’s time to plant your plants in the fence planters. Once you’ve decided on their position, water them in. You could also add a seaweed solution, which helps to reduce transplant shock and promote root growth.  

  • Step 10. Admire your new garden

    You’ve transformed an old looking fence into a wall of colourful flowers and plants. Take good care of the plants and your gutter gardens will be a fantastic feature for years to come.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Combination square
  • Cordless drill and drill bits
  • Drop sheet
  • Dust mask or respirator
  • Gardening gloves
  • Hacksaw
  • Measuring tape
  • Paint brush
  • Pencil
  • Rivet gun and pop rivets
  • Safety glasses
  • Spirit level

Materials

  • Exterior paint
  • Galvanised or PVC guttering
  • Galvanised timber screws
  • Guttering end caps
  • Plants
  • Potting mix
  • Seaweed solution
  • Spray paint
  • Wall brackets
  • Watering can
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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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