Book Review: Garden Builder Inspires Your Inner Carpenter

Garden builder coverGardeners like to work with their hands—planting, digging, weeding, watering, creating the perfect container display, sometimes even building things for the garden. To satisfy your inner carpenter, check out Joann Moser’s new book, Garden Builder: Plans and Instructions for 35 Projects You Can Make (Cool Springs Press, 2018). Joann’s book is the first of five we’ll be reviewing this week that are written by local authors and work well for northern gardeners.

Garden Builder will appeal to gardeners who want to save some money and feel the satisfaction of building their own garden projects. The 35 projects include the basic, such as a collapsible grow box to house your seed starting equipment and store it off-season or a bee-friendly planter box, which includes room for a bee condo for mason bees and space for a pretty planting of annuals. The decorative, such as gazing balls and faux rock stacks. Some projects are fun, such as a potting bench for children or a gardener’s bench. Even the most complex projects, such as a clever cabinet greenhouse that would look great sitting on a patio or deck, are do-able for most people with basic carpentry skills and equipment.

Moser, who lives in Eden Prairie, is the author or co-author of several how-to books, including Mason Jar Nation, and the Make It series of books.

In Garden Builder, each project is described in detail, beginning with a list of supplies and tools needed, as well as cut list of lumber sizes that you can take with you to the lumber yard or use to cut your own pieces. The instructions provide step-by-step details on how to build the project. Many of the steps are illustrated with color photographs. Moser provides recommendations on types of lumber to use (cedar from some projects, pressure-treated lumber for others) and tips about placing projects (some are heavy when completed) and using them once built.

For gardeners who like to work with their hands, Garden Builder is a great place to start, with plenty of inspiration and the how-to information to complete your project successfully.


  1. Gale Sazma on March 21, 2018 at 2:35 am

    Looks like a lot of good ideas.

  2. Leanna on March 25, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    I definitely need to add this to my collection of gardening and art books…seems to marry my to passions 🙂

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