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Looking for something both attractive and space saving to house your plants? Why not make a ladder shelf? The sky’s the limit, says Martin Fish

Growing plants and displaying them around the garden is something we all do in different ways and one very good way to grow plants is on an open shelf system.This not only looks decorative, but it’s a great way of saving space and it allows you to grow a selection of plants together.

A ladder shelf is a very simple method and can be made in various ways to suit your needs and growing conditions. It is, as its name suggests, made from ladders and if you have an old wooden ladder kicking about that isn’t used any more it is ideal to turn into the frame for a shelf.

Alternatively, you can easily make a ladder-like structure out of wood that will look the part. The basic design is to use two pieces of ladder to create an A-shaped frame.

If the ladder shelf is going against a wall, it doesn’t need to be very deep, but if you want it to be free-standing in the garden, make sure it is deep enough to withstand windy weather. To make the shelves for displaying or growing your plants, you simply use wooden boards or planks positioned on the ladder rungs. Ideally, these should be fixed for extra stability and to make the shelf much more robust.

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About Kitchen Garden Magazine

Kitchen Garden is Britain's best guide to growing your own. It offers advice from the finest minds in gardening to make sure you get the tastiest produce from your plot.